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Be Honest

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

I caught up with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world a couple days ago.

We talked about everything under the sun until we landed on the topic of shrinking—

Shrinking ourselves to people please, when we noticed it happening and why.

During the conversation she reminded me of my honesty, and I told her, “This word keeps coming up”; she’s the third person to speak to me about the gift of my honesty and trustworthiness in the past month.

{God, I’m listening.}

She reminded me how I used to speak up on any and everything; I have always had a heart for advocacy because I always wished to be advocated for.

I was reminded of a time in elementary school when someone was making fun of my friend’s weight. I went in, y’all. I don’t remember what I said, but it wasn’t happening on my watch; we are still friends today.

So I’ve been shrinking this brave, brilliant and resilient part of my inner child.

I remember vividly about a month before my first born turned 1 year old—I found out she’d be a big sister in about a month.

I called one of my friends seeking validation; as she talked me down from an emotional ledge, she firmly encouraged me to calm down and try another way. She checked me.

I did not want to hear it in the moment, but in time it clicked.

I got honest with myself, and I started to move differently.

I needed her honesty. I needed to be honest with myself.

Honesty is required for building resilience.

I have felt like I was “too much” in the past for being honest with people. I’ve received a range of responses, from: no response at all to belittling to dismissal to gaslighting to understanding, growth, a deeper love, appreciation and respect—sometimes a bit of it all in one relationship. Authentic relationships are just so worth it to me.

One day when I’m no longer here, I will rest knowing people know how I feel, that they know where I stand, and who and what I stand for, or that I tried. I showed up for the hard conversations, and even initiated them.

Not always pretty, and not always right, never perfectly, but honestly.

This is how I choose to live out my story: with brave, brilliant and resilient honesty.

Shush Your Shame

Jennifer Jackson

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