Keep turning the crystal
Mindfulness is ultimately all about emotional intelligence

Can you be truly honest with yourself?

I've previously mentioned the book Elephant in the Brain (e.g. here). It was eye-opening for me and I encourage everyone to read it. It lays out a strong case that the human superpower is our ability to deceive—both others but also ourselves.

There is a developmental journey we humans take wherein we are born into this world and process it through the actual input of our senses. Then as we grow up, we start to flex our deception muscle and we learn that we can deceive others. And for many of us, that's where things end. We are sometimes truthful, and sometimes deceptive. And we have various ways of dealing with the situation when we are caught at our deceptions.

But the path does go on further. It is where we recognize that—while we have the ability to deceive—it is not in our or the world's best interest to do so. This is actually a huge step to take. It requires being truly honest with yourself. And if you aren't around people who can model this behavior in a vulnerable and compassionate way, it's practically impossible to get there.

So if you find yourself struggling in life, and you have a lot of opinions and judgements about what's wrong, and who's to blame, and how things (i.e. you) would be better if only X were the case, I invite you to ask yourself, am I truly being honest with myself?

It's a tough step to take, but it's a necessary one to make progress. Your serenity depends on it.


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