am 30. Juni 2000
When Radical Honesty was first recommended to me, I was quite surprised, because I had always thought of myself as an exceptionally honest person. While I was not a 'liar' - deliberately telling people what I knew was not the truth - I had never considered that witholding my thoughts and feelings was actually lying.
Brad Blanton, the author, clearly shows how witholding our thoughts and feelings, is a form of lying, which is very destructive to our mental, physical and emotional well-being. The book explains how lying or withholding our true thoughts and feelings is bred into us as moralists, the idea that we should be and act and say things as society expects us to.
We may never 'be' who we think we ought or should be, and so we lie (pretend) about it. Lying and withholding our thoughts and feelings from those we are close to, denies us the ability to BE who we really are, and so we run around in a whirlwind of always trying to be who we think we should be, which cuts us off from the 'nectar' of just 'being'.
Many people misunderstand the concept of 'radical honesty' thinking that if you are radically honest, then that means you just go around telling people what you think of them. Radical Honesty is NOT about simply going around sharing your judgements and assessments of other people. Radical Honesty is about sharing your thoughts, feelings and actions with others, and being committed to working through with the other person, until the anger or pain has gone away.
Radical Honesty is about taking responsibility for your feelings, your actions and your thoughts, and taking charge of your life as an intentional creation based on your preferences, rather than as a victim, blaming others for your pain, hurt feelings and reactive way of living life.
In the end the book is about freedom, about learning to be who you really are and really want to be, not who you think the world, your mother, husband, lover, etc. thinks you 'SHOULD' be. When we show all of who we are - the good, the bad, the nasty - and we can get over it, and people can learn to see us as fallible human beings, and we can relate to one another as human beings, without the expectation that people should be other than who they are, then we have a foundation where true initmacy, compassion and creativity blooms like flowers in the desert after rain.
Sometimes Radical Honesty is about anger. We all get angry, and we can all get over it. We can experience the anger and transcend it. It is when we suppress the anger, that it grows into a cancerous hatred inside us, that eats us up alive. I think we would all prefer to deal with someone's anger than become the object of their hatred.
The book helped me to realize how much of my life had been lived trying to be who I thought I should be. I had been living in my mind, instead of my heart, my thinking based on my expectations of what I thought were other's expectations of me, and who I should be.
The ideas in Brad Blanton's book have changed my life, like very few others ever have. I took his 2 day workshop, started some completion work with my family, then took his 8 day intensive workshop, and it is like I have finally found my 'being' independent of all those images I had in my mind about who I 'should' be. My relationships with my family, my husband and my friends are more intimate, compassionate and life is so much more worth living. And my sex life has dramatically improved, which I cannot complain about.
This book is not a 'gentler' self-help book, like many of the self-help books presently on the market. Do not read it if you want the author to be 'nice' to you. Blanton uses strong language, which some readers may be put off by.