Honesty starts with ourselves, for if we can’t be honest with ourselves, how could we ever expect to be honest with other people? For a long time I have avoided my own thoughts and feelings. Fear and addiction breed dishonesty, and when we begin the long journey toward recovery from our workaholism, we learn to appreciate the truth again. We slowly realize and accept our own thoughts and feelings, and we can begin to open up and be honest with others.
On the topic of honesty, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“As we begin to heal, we have a new appreciation of Jesus’ words, ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’ Part of the purpose of our addictive behavior is to put us out of touch with ourselves, and when we are out of touch with ourselves, we cannot possibly be honest with anyone. We have to know what we think and feel to be honest with others. In our early recovery, we slowly begin to realize how far we have wandered from ourselves . . . a long way, indeed!
We have been fearful of speaking our truth honestly. We have been afraid of losing our jobs, losing our friends, and losing everything we have. Yet, as we become more honest, we begin to untie the tangled knot of dishonesty, self-centeredness, control, and confusion. We see how our dishonesty has led us to our confusion and even when it is difficult, we find ourselves sighing in the refreshing breeze of honesty.”
For so long, I was not honest with anyone including myself for fear that I would lose my job, my friends, and more. I thought if I was honest about not enjoying certain parts of my job, not wanting to travel as much, not being able to take on more work… I would be fired. It never occurred to me that my employer might value me, my ideas, and my work enough to accept what I was telling them and keep me on anyway, to make adjustments so that I might enjoy my role more. I look back now and often wonder what would have happened if I had said no to traveling three weeks in a row or to taking on another major project before I had finished the last. Would I have been fired like I thought? The same issue occurred with my friends. I was afraid if I said no to going out or if I was honest about what I wanted then my friends would disown me. It’s so freeing to be honest with people, especially once you realize that they will simply be glad for your honesty and appreciate you for the person you are.