When people express their thoughts and feelings in ways that hurt others it is often said this is not rudeness, it is honesty. However, honesty is an attribute of truth and truth is synonymous with love. Being rude never has anything to do with honesty.

If we are truly honest with ourselves, we understand that being rude is merely the expression of transient and fleeting ego thoughts that we express to relieve our own fear, pain and suffering. We articulate our temporary feelings of impatience, frustration, anger, resentment and jealousy purely to ease our own discomfort and pain. It is not “being honest” to voice every thought that pops into our head. This is not honesty, it is pain avoidance.

Our ego has an endless need to be acknowledged and expressed. Our ego thoughts make a strong and persistent claim to be validated and heard. This creates a duality in us that we must all learn to manage. Our ego thoughts are just responses to our fears of unworthiness and inadequacy. They are the response system to all the external triggers that make us feel we are not good enough. They are the defense mechanism we construct to protect us from all our fears that make us feel we are not smart, rich, beautiful or powerful enough.

Our ego thoughts are not our truth, they are merely our response to the particular fears we feel in any given moment. They change with time and circumstance. Our impatience with one topic of conversation today can easily disappear tomorrow.

To be truly honest with others we must first be completely honest with ourselves. This requires that we are able to discern the difference between our ego and our truth. Our ego is the part of us that feels small, isolated, separated, unworthy and afraid. It is illusory, demonstrated by the fact that its expressions are fleeting and mutable, and thus has no substantive reality.

Reality resides in our truth, which is the “Observer” part of ourselves that always knows who we are, that is never threatened by the words or actions of others, and is constant and permanent. It is the part of us that knows that we are more than our pain and fears, that when we are faithful to our truth, we are capable of greatness, sourced in our oneness with all life.

Speaking our truth entails understanding what our true feelings and desires are and then being able to stay true to them in the face of other’s demands and expectations. Speaking our truth honestly has nothing to do with what others are doing or saying in any particular moment. Staying true to who we are requires being loving and kind at all times and under all circumstances. When we are anything less than kind, we know we have submitted to our ego, the unreal part of ourselves, and in that very moment we are incapable of truth or honesty.

Eileen McBride
Eileen McBride is the author of Love Equals Power, and a spiritual seeker and teacher. This article was published on April 22, 2015.