Living through the seasons of grief.
I’ve been thinking a bit about honesty lately and how it is an essential part of moving along the path of bereavement. Most of us don’t even consider it. Have you seen the GIECO advertisement where Pinocchio is a sales motivator? Because Pinocchio has a nose that gives away his lack of truthfulness, it grows longer and longer every time he tells someone that they have “potential” to be a successful sales person. There is no hiding the fact that he is lying while he is trying to motivate the audience.
If we have been prone to not telling ourselves the truth about how we really think and feel and/or we have not found ways to speak honestly with others about our deepest thoughts, we will continue to “lie” as we mourn the death of someone we love. Living and working through grief can be made more productive when we resolve to be honest about our thoughts and feelings.
I realize that nearly 100% of these thoughts and feelings are extremely private, raw and vulnerable. Therefore, we seek ways to protect ourselves. We choose carefully whom we will let into our inner circle of stormy, fearful, and pain-filled emotions. At times we even hide from ourselves and live in pretend-mental-places just because it feels too frightening to be honest with ourselves.
But here is a bold statement from John Bradshaw, “It’s essential to tell the truth at all times. This will reduce life’s pain. Lying distorts reality.
Think about what implications this could have on your healing process or the healing of someone you know who is suffering deep grieving pain. Maybe one could begin to practice telling the truth to themselves just as they are waking up each morning. One way of looking at the need for honesty is remembering that our compassionate God already knows all about us. Nothing is hidden from him and he still loves us ~ the real, messy, unkempt, frightened, lying us. So no need to keep hiding and pretending with ourselves or others. No matter what painful reality we face in our own heart, the greatest truth is that God’s love and compassion for us, and his wisdom to know how to heal that hurt are exceedingly greater than our lies.