Love is at the core of what I write about. Love of people – love of travel – love of self. Through a desire to learn more about love I started reading all about love by bell hooks. In it she establishes a definition of love and its core components. One of them is trust.
It should go without saying that in order to have trust, honesty is required. Not only honesty about our actions or feelings but also honesty about who are as a person and what we really want. Throughout the book she touches on the integrated pattern of lying in our society.
We are raised being told that lying is wrong all the while being taught that lying makes things easier. So the normalization of lying is ingrained in us from a young age. We lie to stay out of trouble, in an attempt to protect other’s feelings, to be liked or to get ahead.
As women, many times we aren’t honest in our relationships in order to make our partners more comfortable. We tell them that we are fine keeping our relationship casual even though we actually want commitment from them. We tell them that it’s fine if they blow off our plans to go out with their friends for the third weekend in a row. We tell them we will put off talking about having kids, again, even though our desire to have them grows stronger each day. We tell them that we are happy in our relationship even though our desires aren’t being met.
Being blatantly honest doesn’t seem like an option when we think about what will happen afterwards. There are times that we fear the outcome our honesty so much that we silence ourselves. However, our needs will never get met and we can’t have a truly solid relationship if we can’t be honest. That isn’t love.
I make it a personal mission to be as honest as possible. But it seems impossible to be entirely honest. I’m honest with the people in my life about my thoughts and feeling except when they’ve done something to upset me. I feel that if I bring their offences up, it will only make things worse. But what ends up happening from that one unaddressed offence: resentment begins to grow. Love can’t be built on resentment.
While we may think lying or withholding information protects those in our life from pain or disappointment, according to hooks, where there is lying there cannot be love. Being completely honest is easier said than done, but overall transparency is possible. How nice would it be to not only have a truthful and loving relationship with others but also with ourselves?