Thanks to a listener this week we are looking into our cupboards to see if there are any skeletons. The answer is that of course there are. We all have a past and we all have secrets, that is the normal state of humanity. No one will ever be completely honest and transparent. After all does your partner know about all the detentions that your served when you were at school? Of course they don’t. The only way you can truly know and understand a life is to have lived it
One issues raised by Ed is if you have done something that has led to a criminal record, or to you being put on one register or another, at what point do you tell your partner. I guess the answer to that has to be fairly early on. This is for two reasons one is that your new partner can make an informed choice about whether or not to have a relationship with you. The second is that if you leave it too late to reveal what may be seen as a hidden secret your new partner may feel that you have tried to dupe them in some way.
It is certainly true that many employees are required to undergo checks into their criminal or financial history before they can gain employment. Some employers will now do online searches in social media to check out potential employees before they are given a job.
It has become common place in the media to see celebrities undergoing investigation for their hidden skeletons and being charged or imprisoned as the contents of their cupboard is revealed. Even those that have nothing in their cupboard can be damaged by the ‘no smoke without fire’ philosophy that pervades society.
When you are honest there is now need to run
My teacher would always suggest that being honest was the stressless way to live. In honesty there is nothing to hide and nothing to worry about or to give you sleepless night. In honesty there is no need to run and no need to hide.
Can we forgive?
If people are honest about their wrong doing should that keep them tarred forever or should we be able to forgive them? This has an important impact on people’s willingness to be honest with us. Fear that people will be continually penalised for their past behaviour may lead them to hold back from being completely honest. The deal in our society is supposed to be that wrong doers or sinners pay the price for what they do which, should in theory, lead to forgiveness and if they are repentant lead to some level of redemption. This, from a mindful perspective would lead to self development.
The example below is about Leslie Grantham, the actor who played Dirty Den in the soap opera ‘East Enders’.
According to Wikipedia…
…on 3 December 1966, Grantham attempted to rob a taxi driver, Felix Reese, in Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, West Germany. A struggle between Grantham and the driver followed, and Reese died from a gunshot wound to the head. In his statement to the police following his arrest, Grantham claimed that he did not know the gun was loaded and it had gone off during the struggle, which would have resulted in a conviction for manslaughter if a jury believed this version of events. However, at his trial in 1967 he was subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Although he had committed the murder in West Germany, he served the entirety of his imprisonment in various British prisons. This was because soldiers and officers convicted of any criminal offence that warrants a sentence of over two years are automatically transferred to Her Majesty’s Prison Service, they are also automatically dishonourably discharged…
The British public were able to allow him to move beyond his act to become a well known family star. This is a rarity in British society.
The main requirement of honesty is to be honest with yourself
Whoever you decide to be honest with, in the end, the only person who you really need to be honest with is yourself. In self honesty we can grow and develop. In mindfulness the observation of self leads to a level of honesty as we get to know who we really are.
The are some things to look out for
You can only be truly honest with others when they are first, open minded and are able to hear what you are saying or revealing without judgement, something that in psychotherapy would be described as ‘unconditional positive regard’ coned by Carl Rogers and second, those that are forgiving if forgiveness is what you require or need.
My resource of the week is, if you are suffering from skeletons to do step two of the Live In The Present Ten Steps. This is the step that deals with self forgiveness. You can find this step in the podcast archive episode 103.
Take care, be happy and be as honest as you can be to keep yourself safe. However, always be 100% honest with yourself.