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Honesty


In today's The Embodied Podcast episode I discuss a poem by David Whyte called Honesty.



I then break the poem down line by line and offer contemplations for each line.




HONESTY


is reached through the doorway of grief and loss. Where we cannot go in our mind, our memory, or our body is where we cannot be straight with another, with the world, or with our self. The fear of loss, in one form or another, is the motivator behind all conscious and unconscious dishonesties: all of us are afraid of loss, in all its forms, all of us, at times, are haunted or overwhelmed by the possibility of a disappearance, and all of us therefore, are one short step away from dishonesty. Every human being dwells intimately close to a door of revelation they are afraid to pass through. Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth.


The ability to speak the truth is as much the ability to describe what it is like to stand in trepidation at this door, as it is to actually go through it and become that beautifully honest spiritual warrior, equal to all circumstances, we would like to become. Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of grief that is conferred upon even the most average life.


Honesty is grounded in humility and indeed in humiliation, and in admitting exactly where we are powerless. Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness. Honesty allows us to live with not knowing. We do not know the full story, we do not know where we are in the story; we do not know who is at fault or who will carry the blame in the end. Honesty is not a weapon to keep loss and heartbreak at bay, honesty is the outer diagnostic of our ability to come to ground in reality, the hardest attainable ground of all, the place where we actually dwell, the living, breathing frontier where there is no realistic choice between gain or loss.”

David Whyte


 

Here are the contemplations from the show:


HONESTY is reached through the doorway of grief and loss.

  • What is my relationship to grief and loss?


Where we cannot go in our mind, our memory, or our body is where we cannot be straight with another, with the world, or with our self.

  • What feels the most off limits, my thoughts, my memories, or my body?


The fear of loss, in one form or another, is the motivator behind all conscious and unconscious dishonesties: all of us are afraid of loss, in all its forms, all of us, at times, are haunted or overwhelmed by the possibility of a disappearance, and all of us therefore, are one short step away from dishonesty.

  • What am I truly afraid of that I do not like to admit?


Every human being dwells intimately close to a door of revelation they are afraid to pass through.

  • What do I believe happens when we die?


Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth.

  • In what area of my life do I try to avoid the truth the most?

The ability to speak the truth is as much the ability to describe what it is like to stand in trepidation at this door, as it is to actually go through it and become that beautifully honest spiritual warrior, equal to all circumstances, we would like to become.

  • Who would you like to become in relationship to honesty?


Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of grief that is conferred upon even the most average life.

  • What is your relationship to power? Vulnerability? Humility? The Unknown? Grief?

Honesty is grounded in humility and indeed in humiliation, and in admitting exactly where we are powerless.

  • Where does the feeling of humiliation lay in my body?

Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are.

  • What happens in your body when you hear that statement?

To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness. Honesty allows us to live with not knowing.

  • When you become powerless to the unknown, do you have an impulse to fight the unknown, or to run away, or to dissolve?


Honesty allows us to live with not knowing.

  • Do you agree with this statement?


We do not know the full story, we do not know where we are in the story; we do not know who is at fault or who will carry the blame in the end.

  • Who do you think is the writer/ co writer of your life’s story?


Honesty is not a weapon to keep loss and heartbreak at bay, honesty is the outer diagnostic of our ability to come to ground in reality, the hardest attainable ground of all, the place where we actually dwell, the living, breathing frontier where there is no realistic choice between gain or loss.”

  • Do you believe that Being is the same as Non Being

  • Do you feel like gain has to directly oppose loss?


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Thanks for being here.

Much love,

Danielle



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