Dirty Laundry! Radical Honesty? Over Spiced?

Ever heard of radical honesty? In an age where “telling all” is a sign of courage to some individuals, an age where it is a “new power” as one stands naked in their truth and vulnerability or it is seen as a sign of being healthy, there seems to be an unintended consequence often overlooked…. “lowered morale”.  And in the “tell all” do we not often over spice the story with too many four letter words or graphic pictures in an effort to avoid being “boring”, that we miss the flavor of the real story.  This too can feed “lowered morale”, not to mention deteriorated language skills.

As “heroes” fall from their path of glory, unmasked often by individuals or groups who get a sense of vindication or gloat in self righteousness in doing this, our level of trust in people also falls.  Trust in the fabric of society as a whole is diminished as a result. No one believes anyone anymore…no one is surprised anymore when the next big person or institution falls down. And some conclude, “if they can do it and get away with it why can’t I?” And the slippery slope begins spiraling downward to the “why should I care?” (also often colored with four letter words)attitude.

In an age of transparency in business strategies and ethics, it has extended to transparency of all your life from birth to the present moment in your life, in the public and private arena, in the business and personal world…in any area where your mistakes, past poor judgments, etc, etc, lie and where someone can get you and tear you down if they have the information.  Those that want to know everything about you so that they can use it later if need be to smear you are alive and well. (This may be a possible reason why the President of the U.S. has said in the past that we be careful about what we post on social media about ourselves.) It is true we don’t know how any information can later be used against you in the world.

Does that mean we should not be telling our stories or being “honest”? Telling our stories can be healing and transforming, being honest is freeing at many levels, but to whom does this honesty belong?  If you are a private individual, it belongs only to you and those you wish to share it with. It does not have to be a media event. If you are a public individual, then your public life of service can be scrutinized as it is part of the domain. However it seems that the personal is often scrutinized mercilessly and has become part of the public domain!

“Dirty laundry should be washed at home” was an expression used when I was in formation to draw a line between creating public scandal, maintaining public dignity and respecting social norms (even if you had deviated from one, you and your confidants held the pact of silence and did not contribute to public scandal or demoralize others with your failures). Shame on you or the family was not just for the moment and for the transgression, it was for the rest of your life if it was aired in public. Caution was exercised when you sought out counsel.

Your dark moments (excluding criminal behaviors) and accumulated errors called experience were for you to learn something about yourself.  Honesty began with you to avoid self-delusion or denial of your behaviors.  In the act of telling someone who could guide you back to your sense of self, you became vulnerable and entered the realm of humility. Your possible arrogance faded and you moved closer to being real and authentic, a more genuine you. Healing for your transgression was the result. You were transformed. Honesty was the key to gain the gifts of courage, (the result of sharing your truth), humility (the result of becoming vulnerable and giving up your pride) integrity (the result of being back in the “whole of you”, not broken or fragmented or separated from yourself by self deception or in the denial of your transgression). Honesty, radical honesty, with you, with someone who could guide you, with those that had a right to the truth and with God was the virtue; the public exposition was not the virtue.)

And it ended there, with your new insights and realizations, arresting moral turpitude, and a new desire to contribute in better ways. The larger picture of societal norms remained the ideal to aspire to in your life. Public scandal and expose’s was an injury to the public morale, something to be avoided. But now we make money, get famous and rise in our ratings or sales from our dirty laundry and spicy language.

Individuals are far more tolerant and forgiving of transgressions more than ever before, which is a step toward unity…as we unite in our common ground of being human and not perfect. Yet should we not re-examine who and how we “tell all” to? Would not a few trusted individuals be enough?  Is the anything goes way of being “really healthy” for the social fabric of life that needs to be inspired and strive toward realizing ideals?

It is true that all stories of being healed are a true inspiration for many.  We all need the inspiration from other people’s journeys and stories that overcome trials and tribulations and smile on the other side of the experience full of hope, gratitude and wisdom. However, eloquence in telling stories is often replaced by crassness. If our dialogues or writings are not spiced with four letter words and graphic sex do we call it boring and no good?  Are we so hooked on the spice, that we miss the real flavor of the truths in the story?  Would it not be refreshing to taste real unadulterated flavor and not have the over spice of words change and adulterate the experience of the story? It indeed is a matter of taste.

As we move to higher consciousness, evolve toward a shift in consciousness, might we first awaken and examine our dirty laundry at home with radical honesty, only the necessary spice and inspire many to be more genuine, authentic, and whole?  If we desire to use more four letter words…LOVE added as the spice, flourishes best when we wash our dirty laundry (preferably at home) and commit to radical honesty to gain in the virtues of a more evolved world of higher consciousness. How can lowered morale, contribute to this shift, when rather than lifting ourselves and others in love, we toss so much garbage at each other? Dirty Laundry! Radical Honesty! Over Spiced?

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again. www.mariahildapinon.com