I am the kind of person who is brutally honest about my own person. Some may believe that I am harsh or unkind about the pieces of me that shame me but I believe in the necessity of that honesty. I can’t say that I am honest in all parts of my life as I believe strongly in white lies and using certain points to encourage and move others in my life. Honesty is not something that should be spread around like the pollen currently covering my deck, but rather a tool to be used to allow for improvement and often, simple kindness.
When it comes to our own selves I believe that we have to be honest. We have to look at that image in the mirror and see exactly what is there, even when what is there is seen through eyes influenced by other images. And when we see our life through the images of our imagination we have to recognize that we are doing this as well. Brutal honesty makes us realize that who and what we are is colored by thousands of falsities that are incredibly hard to see past.
This false image that we see inside of us isn’t who and what we are; but the ability to get past that image to see the truth would be like finding the ability to fly. It may or may not be possible one day but the likelihood of it happening is negligible. We can’t fly today and that image in the mirror can’t be changed in one day.
There are books, articles, studies, therapists who are wish us to see ourselves through their own prism. They want us to understand that our inability to see ourselves as the creatures that we are, and to like the creatures we are, is a horrible thing. Seeing ourselves through the prism of our own eyes is often wrong but if we were just to believe in ourselves all that would change. To many if we simply saw ourselves in their truths, or even in the false white lies that they give us, the misery and illnesses that we all suffer would be instantly cured. If we saw our self surely we would love ourselves.
But when you are brutally honest with yourself, you realize this promise if as false as the white lies you are being told. You learn that simply acknowledging your own person doesn’t make the dangerous hatred you have for yourself go away. You learn that although you can possibly see why others are calling for you, the truth is you can’t hear them. The brutal honesty of one own’s truth can not prevent the hatred of one own’s self.
Except for narcissists, there doesn’t exist a person who can find no fault with their own selves. Actors, models, the powerful, the celebrated share many of the same insecurities and doubts that we in the real world do. They may have more money to cure what they think is an ailment, but that ailment will exist. We know this through interviews and studies made. We even know that many women in the deepest, poorest parts of Africa will find fault within themselves, despite not only having no access to televisions or magazines but rarely access to mirrors. This is a proven study and while it doesn’t change the problem it makes one wonder what part of our psyche wants to hurt us by concentrating only on the damage we perceive to be ours.
Because there is a strain that runs through the majority of human beings. A strain of self-doubt, of self-loathing, of simple disappointment in our own selves that is as universal as our need for breath. It lies there dormant in our young children to be brought forth in the most controversial times of our lives: those teenage years. It is there. But why is it there?
Is it there in nature’s attempt to have our own selves improve? Is it genetics’ way to better ourselves for the generations that will come from our own bodies? Is it a simple strain given by the first women to get a sunburn when she lost her hair and dealt with the shame of being different then her primate cousins? What is inside of us that needs to destroy our own belief in ourselves and our own confidence that who and what we are is enough? Can we see it under a microscope or is this simply something as real as the soul even when we can’t measure it?
I know in my honesty that I am too brutal about the things that I cannot change and ultimately the things that make me so very different than the thousands of others out there. Time can’t change this. Self-help books aren’t going to make a difference. I will sit on that fence, staring out at space, and continually lament what I can never be; what my general conscience will never allow me to be. It has nothing to do with age, with beauty – perceived or lied about -those that pass me by, those that live in my heart. It has nothing to do with the reality, because I can’t see the reality. Even in my brutal honesty, I can’t see the reality.
I believe that one of the hardest parts of this life is the realization that no matter what we try to become we can’t see the reality through the eyes of others. We may hear our husbands praise us, our friends love us, even strangers enjoying our conversation. But we can’t see what exactly they describe. If you want to see reality, you must go much further then your brain will ever take you. You must sit down and recognize that reality doesn’t actually exist and therefore, your own conceptions can’t exist.
For the reality is we aren’t real. For the reality is, that person you see every time you look in the mirror, isn’t the person that actually exists. Rose colored glasses may give you one view and dark shades another but it won’t give you a picture free from perceptions, preconceived exceptions, or the falsity of a certain light. We can sit here and pretend to be brutally honest about who and what we are, but the truth is the only thing we are truly inept at is seeing at all.