The truth hurts sometimes, but trying to keep an obvious truth hidden inside yourself can hurt even more. Making excuses doesn’t help, rationalizing doesn’t help, yelling doesn’t help. Bringing yourself to a painful but honest realization will actually …

4 Comments to
Self Honesty – Knowing Is Better Than Not Knowing

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  1. “if you want to get better, take a pill, but if you want to get it right, then face the truth.”

    A line in a show heard over a year ago that is now on a wall in every office I work in.

    Hence why people need to be in therapy, but, of late, seems few agree with that assumption.

  2. While I believe that medication has a place in helping people get better, medication doesn’t do the real cognitive work. Facing the truth is only something that can be done by a courageous willing human being.

  3. In my book “Emotional Honesty & Self-Acceptance” the central theme is healing emotional wounds by “attending to them” vs. ignoring and harboring the pain inside. I draw an analogy: If we ignore the fact that we have a physical wound that cuts through the skin, we run the risk of infection, and possibly death. By “attending” to our emotional pain we actually learn to be honest with what is going on inside. That is the first step in healing and getting over these wounds. “Talk therapy” such as cognitive behavioral work is successful largely because we can “name” it in order to “tame it.” Neuroscience is also discovering how our brain can learn to cope with emotional upsets and stress by taking these wounds out of the dark chamber of sub-cortical instincts and up to our rational, thinking brain (neocortex). If we leave the wounds deep inside primitive brain areas outside of consciousness, we will never learn to own our feelings as part of us. If we own the hurt, we’ll eventually heal it since unattended emotional wounds often make us feel there is something (mysteriously) “wrong with me.” We can even teach 9-12 year olds the simple process of “naming, claiming, taming & reframing” each wound when it occurs. “Reframing” is simply questioning why a particular experience is so painful. The answer is that emotional wounds tell us what we really care about and need — the opposite of what happened to cause such distress, anger or sadness. This process is now explained in a free, interactive “Name that Upset” game and lessons on “The Coping Brain” — part of a new public health education program available free on the Internet: In little over a year, over 30,800 pre-teens, their parents, educators and counselors have accessed these open-access resources from every state in the U.S. plus 150 countries.

  4. Over the years, I have become quite frustrated with the limits of ‘talk therapy’, especially in a setting of individual therapy.
    (this is more in response to the last comment than the article itself)

    Especially the limitations I see with ‘being motivated to change, and really feeling energized to change) I don’t think talking ‘cuts it’. The insight has to hit you in the gut, not merely the brain.

    I have become to more and more appreciate for that reason ‘action methods’ in addition to intellectual understanding.
    Experiential therapy, like Psychodrama.

    PS: I have always disliked the name; doesn’t do the seriousness of it justice.

  5. To face truth one must surrender one’s denial, and that’s a hard thing to do. Denial is a constructive and successful coping mechanism most people rely on through out their lives. We deny to ourselves the eventual loss and death of all we love. Most of us act as if we’ll never die because on some level that’s what we believe. To ask that someone give up his or her denial is to ask that person to achieve an astounding magnitude of spiritual growth.

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