Honesty is such a lonely word

When I was younger, straight out of high school, I had many friends.  I had just moved to Sydney and lived in the mid-city madness of a highly social and fast paced world.  The city oozed with life and excitement and I loved every minute of it.  Naturally, as a singer, I found place in amongst the music scene, the live and touring musicians, the creatives and the night clubs, the high fashion and pop culture.

It is easy making friends as a performer.  It’s part of your job.  You learn very quickly how to socialise in every situation and setting, how to dress appropriately, how to behave, and how to ‘schmooze’.  When you’ve had a great gig and your band is killing it, sometimes you step off stage to find that everybody wants to be your friend.  Now I’m using the ‘friend’ word very loosely because I think that being ‘friends’ with someone runs much deeper than a few ‘hi’s’ and ‘how are yous’.

Most of the people in today’s world thrive on popularity.  They feel validated by the amount of likes and follows on their social media pages and need to feel likeable and have a lot of friends to be happy and successful.  And I was this.  The social butterfly, super friendly, always rolling with the in-crowd.  There was years and years of somewhat shallow social interactions and I was satisfied, if not, comfortable with it.

Today I’m a very different person.  Don’t get me wrong, I still know how to hold myself in the social game and I play a good hand, but I also see it for what it is.  One day I stopped pretending to like everybody and everything and I put away my ever-so scripted conversational habits and started to practise Honesty.

Slowly and surely my life began to change and I became a surer and more defined version of myself.  And a whole lot lonelier.  You see I believe that the more friends you have, the less quality they are, generally speaking. It’s that quality over quantity game that I’m playing now and when I’m winning, I have meaningful and honest friendships and relationships with the people around me.

When you have honest relationships you don’t need to keep up an image or idea of yourself.  There is less ego and more vulnerability.  You also don’t need to censor words and actions.  And the best thing is that you allow people the opportunity to get to know the real you and decided whether they accept or not.  You leave the door open for those who aren’t compatible to leave, and those who are to stay and understand.

Nothing worth doing is easy, so I’m not going to tell you that practising honesty is.  It starts with being honest to yourself.  Which can be extremely challenging.  To separate our feelings and set aside pride and ego and let the facade fall away.  Sometimes we don’t like what we find under there; insecurity, contradiction, imperfection and fear.  Some people have lived behind an idea of themselves for so long that they don’t even know who they really are, what they actually like, where they want to be.  It’s a scary stage of self discovery but it is necessary regardless.  And sometimes on this journey, we discover we have made bad choices, and wasted a lot of time.  Imagine working your ass of to climb the ladder of a certain career path, getting to the top and realising ‘oh shit! I actually don’t like this job at all’.  It happens.  More than you think.

These days society almost encourages us to turn off our inner voices and blindly follow the crowd, and be part of whats trending.  It’s great for marketing and business, but not so great for humanity.  Honesty doesn’t necessarily keep you ahead in the game, in fact it is often met with distaste.  Most people don’t want to want to hear the truth.  They may think they do, but when it comes down to it, they only want truth that benefits them.

So when I say what I mean and I mean what I say, it can be confronting, well for those who do not practise honesty that is.  I found that once I committed to always speaking the truth and sharing my real feelings, I lost a lot of so called friends.  Most people don’t want to hear about your horrible day when they ask ‘how are you’ nor do they want to know about your life problems or hear you whine or help you work through issues. Most.  Real friends do. And this is what I mean when I say quality over quantity, having honest relationships requires time.  And not all of us have ample amounts of time left after family and work chews in.  So we must choose our friendships wisely.  And accept the fact that some people aren’t ready to have honest relationships and may want to run in the opposite direction.  What you do gain, after the filtering is a close group of friends who have care, consideration and are actually interested in being apart of your life.

It’s very sad to see the lack of truth represented in today’s world.  With fake news at it’s peak and the distance that social media and technology ironically widens between people, its no wonder some of us feel lonely in the most crowded places.  But we must rise above and stop to listen to our own truths and seek out truth in others and try our best to practise honesty.  Go with that gut feeling, go against the crowd if that is how you feel and be honest about your opinions.  There are people out there that will share similar opinions and that will understand you.  But first you need to give them a chance to get to know who you really are.

Everyday I wake up and choose to live my truth and it has been a difficult and continues to be a challenging task.  Being a parent and setting a good example for my children has being one major reason to keep me on this path.  I have reached the point where I’m mostly content with myself and the people around me.  But I do need to constantly stop and have a good think about how I really feel about certain things that come up each day so as to stop reverting back to a scripted life of blindly following the crowd and people pleasing.  I’m sure a lot of people are on the same journey of self discover.  If you are constantly trying to separate the real from the fake in your head space and life please comment with any tips, because anything that might make the process easier is worth a try.

The end goal is to be truly happy, whilst being happily true.

 

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