For most of my life I have been told that honesty is the best policy. Be honest with your teachers, with your parents, the police, basically anyone who is in a position of power over you. Remain always truthful, and life will be great for you was the basic message.
As I have aged I have learned that there are times when complete honesty is not always the best policy. While I would alert my friend if her outfit for the day was particularly unflattering, I would never dream of telling her that her feet look like elephant feet in those shoes or mention to a random passer-by that their haircut makes them look like an oily poindexter just because those were the thoughts that crossed my mind.
Most times, though, the honesty discussion never branches into the topic of also being honest with yourself.
We probably think that we are excruciatingly honest with ourselves. We look at ourselves in a mirror and pick apart our perceived flaws. We dissect our looks, our thoughts, feelings, conversations that we had earlier in the day, everything.
Is that honesty?
Perhaps not. It is one thing to look at ourselves in the mirror and swear that we will never wear a particular dress in public because even though it is comfortable, it resembles more closely a potato sack than actual clothing. Noticing that our hair could use a brush or a trim is simple observation. Telling ourselves that we are a fat nasty cow who is gross and disgusting is quite another thing.
This is blatant dishonesty because beauty, just as art, is in the eye of the beholder. If we could stand to lose a few pounds that’s fine. Observe that this is the case and then take steps to rectify the situation. There is not a single reason that we should talk down to ourselves and feel awful about it.
Insults are not honesty. Notice that there is an issue; formulate a response to the issue; then act upon those two things.
Your mind works at many times the speed of your mouth. You are capable of insulting yourself countless times in just five minutes, but that does not make those things true. What should matter is that you look at yourself as well as the people and situations around you with an open mind. Realize that you can change situations more effectively by looking at things with an objective eye.
Be honest with yourself but remember to also be kind.
You are beautiful; you are awesome. You can do this!