May 21, 2016 – Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Vulnerable Honesty

There’s a fine line between being vulnerably honest and just being honest. Has a friend ever called early in the morning, right when you were waking up? Can you remember how you talked then, before your defenses were up?

When we’re vulnerably honest, our defenses are down. We’re gentler, kinder, more open about ourselves. When people preface whatever they’re going to say with “I’m just being honest,” they’re usually going to tell us what they think. Vulnerability doesn’t need a preface or an introduction. It comes from the heart, and it speaks for itself.

A man was complaining about something I’d said in one of my books. “Don’t you know people will read that and interpret it as encouragement to do anything they want, maybe have an affair and cheat on their husband?” he said. “Or if they’re recovering, they’ll think it’s okay to get high again?”

I started to respond by being defensive. Then I took a deep breath and went into my heart. I explained that was never my intention. I wondered whether he had possibly misinterpreted it? Then I took an even deeper breath and took a chance. “Are you in a lot of pain?” I asked.

It didn’t take him long to respond. “Yes, I am in pain. Thank you for asking,” he said. “I just discovered my wife had an affair, and I don’t know what to do.”

When we get those defenses down and come from the heart, it doesn’t just help us. It helps other people open up too.

You are reading from the book:

52 Weeks of Conscious Contact by Melody Beattie

52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie

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