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Manifesto Monday: Honesty

2.09.2009

photo: by cig harvey

Everyone believes in honesty, right? Well, I've awakened to a place in my life where I haven't been very honest. Recently I have been talking to a few professors about my desire to go to graduate school. Every time I make an appointment I have to do some serious mediation and breathing to calm myself down. The last thing I want to do is cry in front of one of my professors. Yes, I cry a lot when I think of how far I have to go. It looks hard. I also cry because of my past (not very yogi-like, I know, but it is what it is). My point is, is that when I speak to my professors about graduate school I am not completely honest with them. Perhaps this excerpt from The Power of Kindness will say it better:

But honesty does not concern only the difficult, unpleasant aspects in life. Even more it concerns the creative and beautiful ones. Because often, strange as it might seem, we hide those very aspects: our tenderness, goodwill, original thoughts, our capacity for being moved. We do this partly out of a sense of reserve: We don't want to overwhelm others with our gushing emotions. But mostly we do it to protect ourselves. We don't want others to see us like that. We would feel weak, exposed, perhaps ridiculous. Better to appear a bit cynical, even hard, or, at the very least, not so dangerously open. In that way, however, we separate from the most spiritual and beautiful part of ourselves--and prevent others from seeing it.

I am afraid of looking ridiculous, and exposing my real tenderness and my original thoughts. I am afraid to tell my professors why I truly want to go to grad school, and I am afraid to tell them what I feel are my "original" thoughts. Sigh. So in my efforts to be kind, I must also be honest, no matter the emotions that come gushing out. This I believe.

6 comments:

Jill said...

I don't know if you remember me Ann (Nat's annoying little sister), but I love your biog, just so you know.

Natalie said...

I have never thought about honesty that way before. Very insightful!

julia said...

it seems liberating and equally burdensome to let people in this way--but perhaps necessary. i think the tendency to feel overbearing, is natural but rarely the case. to others, they have reached our core. finally. void of weaponry and skepticism. thanks for sharing this. i needed to hear it.

Marie said...

Annie I think you are great. Good luck with your journey to grad school, remember you are great no matter what you do!!!

lane said...

I love this post! That passage is perfect. How often, when someone asks us if we would like to have the precise thing we have been wanting so badly, do we decline bc we don't want them to know we wanted it in the first place?

Not being vulnerable is self-defeating. Vulnerability is so hard.

Jenny said...

Once you open up you heart and share your true feelings with your professors you will feel such a relief and true joy in having done so. Even if it's not comfortable in the moment people always appreciate a genuine heart. Your heart it nothing but beautiful-so go ahead and share it.