Being honest is not being mean – by Wesley Kew, Clinical Psychologist
No one prepared you for just how tough it is to make a success of your own life. As you enter into the so called “r`eal world” as my mom so loves to call it, you quickly learn that the world is not a bad, ugly or cruel place – it is just extremely competitive. Think about it, there are almost seven billion people on this pale blue dot drifting in space – and each one is vying for their share of its resources.
The competitive nature of our existence is a reality – but this lesson/knowledge seems to be losing popularity as more and more individuals and parents especially, try to shield and protect their children’s feelings by making life easier. Often I hear parents telling me “I want my children to have an easier life than I did.” Be careful what you ask for, you just may get it!
This desire to soften the blows/lessons of life, only serves to have truth and honesty become collateral damage. Just take a moment to contemplate the fact that you’re seeking to protect individuals from feeling discomfort, hardships or pain. Even though we place so much emphasis on feelings as being the presiders in life, meanings are the guides of all feeling. Therefore trying to protect someone from them, borders on the absurd. Feelings describe our relationship to the events in our life.
As Nietzsche’s reminds us, convictions are greater enemies of truth than lies.
No matter who you are you cannot shield your child, spouse or parent from experiencing pain or disappointment perpetually. In fact doing so you are making them more vulnerable when experiencing these states of being. Not to mention the anxiety and frustration you will continually be forced to digest.
Being honest is not the same as being mean. The truth is the truth – you can try convince yourself that ‘DE-NIAL’ is a river in Egypt, but sooner or later the truth will casually walk up and give you a “honesty packed snot-klap”.
Take a moment to think about what experiences taught/gave you – your most valued lessons? I’m willing to bet little to none of these experiences were soft, fluffy, happy or comfortable?
You learnt through struggle, being strong, working hard and maintaining steadfast belief in yourself, because at times you did not know how – or if you would make it to the other side.
We often forget that our greatest pain’s and hardships are our finest teachers!
If you are truly looking for success, you must be hungry for success. Seek out pain and opportunities to learn from. If you are taking offense to truthful feedback you are not learning. Without struggle there is no progress and progress equals happiness. No has ever said it will be easy and very often we want the rewards without the sacrifice.
“To get what you want you have to earn what you want. The world is not a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people”
Remember that pain is temporary – it may last a minute, an hour or a day. Maybe even a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. This struggle gives us the opportunity to become stronger versions of ourselves. One does not become an experienced sea captain by staying in the harbour.
Seek out opportunities for growth – if life knocks you down, land on your back because if you can look up you can get up. Everybody has the resources they need to succeed within them. We must just be willing to look deeper and be willing to focus our attention on what we want to achieve. Take a lesson from the humble seed that is thrust deep into the ground and covered in shit. However, as T. Elston said to me “shit happens and then you get compost”.
Life is competitive. Enjoy the scenery because it’s not about what you achieve it’s about who we become.
Who do you dare to dream to be?
By Wesley Kew, Clinical Psychologist. firstname.lastname@example.org