Billy Joel sang, “Honesty is such a lonely word; everyone is so untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard, and mostly what I need from you.”
Honesty is a tough one for us, isn’t it? The truth . . . especially the truth about ourselves . . . is not real attractive sometimes. And in our society today, it’s all about attractiveness.
But honesty can be deceiving. When I was a boy I thought my father was the most honest man in the world. I can remember many stories about him coming home from the grocery, finding he had been undercharged for as little as a dime, then returning to the store to pay back the 10 cents he owed. He was amazingly honest.
On the other hand, he held deep inside himself the truth about his worries and concerns, the truth of how he really felt. He was – emotionally dishonest.
I valued “the truth” (or so I thought), too. And growing up I tried to always tell the truth; I tried to be honest even when my older brother was not. As a result my father (the most honest man I knew) called me “The Judge.” He knew he could trust me to tell the truth. This made me so proud of myself.
However . . . somewhere along the line I began to lie about my feelings on the inside. I opted for honesty on the outside, and identified with my honest father in this regard. But inside . . . deep in my heart . . . in the dark recesses of my mind – I was anything but honest.
This kind of dichotomy, this contradiction of polar opposites in the mind, creates an insanity, an incongruity that must be resolved. And as far as I know there are only two ways to achieve that resolution: (1) complete honesty (where the dichotomy is removed), or (2) medication (where the dichotomy is overlooked because the mind that contains it is drugged).
You are reading this now because you, or someone you love, has been medicating.
The trouble with medicating, i.e. dulling the awareness of the contradictions in the mind/heart, is that the addict keeps bumping up against a reality that can’t abide the fantasy he/she lives in.
A decision must be made. A choice.