Why Honesty Is So Rare In Today’s Culture

Why Honesty Is So Rare In Today’s Culture

When was the last time you had an honest conversation?

Was it an hour ago or maybe it’s been a week? Has it been a month or even years?

A lot of people believe having “honest, in-depth” conversations about their thoughts/beliefs, their relationship, or their feelings about themselves/the world/others is fine every once in a while… maybe every few months.

That method of relating is bullshit and here’s why:

When we go months, weeks, or even days without showing up in our relationships HONESTLY, we are in essence hiding ourselves from being known by our people.

Living honestly before others requires that we first live honestly before ourselves. If we’re not doing that, there’s no way on god’s green earth we’ll be showing up honestly in our relationships.

When I say “live honestly” or “show up honestly”, I mean, tap in and reveal the truest, most authentic version of yourself. This means you’ll have to practice self-awareness and introspection, engage in shadow work, and be able to identify and name your feelings. I know, insane, right?

If you’re not living genuinely in your connection to self, there is absolutely NO way you’ll ever be able to live genuinely with your partner, your kids, your friends, etc. Not only that, but you will be a risky relator–meaning your lack of connection to yourself will make you more of a wild card as your relationships ebb and flow through time and trials.

What is your standard for character? Is it an outside source? What is your pattern of integrity? Do you even know? What provokes you, triggers you, or sets you on fire? What do you need to be a peace and in flow?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, are you consciously or subconsciously asking your partner/friends/parents to know them FOR you? Bullshit.

You know when people are living honestly (in their deepest level of conscious truth) because you leave conversations with them thinking things like, “Damn, that was refreshing. That person is so REAL.” So, think of the last time you had that thought and who provoked it. Let it be an expander for you to grow.

It’s time to level up, friends. If you aren’t showing up DAILY for honest conversations, your authenticity meter is out of whack. The good news is this: you can start right this minute!

Whether you’re talking to the cashier at the gas station or your partner, show up. Find the truest answer to questions about yourself or your day or your life. Commit to doing your own shadow work and not leaving that for the people who love you. Choose to study yourself so you can authentically be present in your life and relationships!

If you don’t feel seen or known by others, it’s because you’re still hiding parts of yourself from YOU and from the world. Get curious about that. Dig deeper. Lean in to self-care and start journaling.

It’s not difficult, it just takes awareness and a decision. No one can do it for you. You have ALL the power… which is freaking exciting!

Get after the honest life, people. There’s no other path more fulfilling!

XO,

MK

Want Deeper Connections in Your Life? Then Get Comfortable With Discomfort

Want Deeper Connections in Your Life? Then Get Comfortable With Discomfort

Life is full of it, so it’s time to get comfortable with discomfort.

The awkward. The silence. The divulgence. The stillness. The heightened emotion. The lack of exchange. The projection. It’s all very uncomfortable–to witness AND to feel.

But what if you became a badass at sitting in awkward moments? What if you were the kind of person who didn’t shrink away when things get weird or unusual? What happens when you’re OK with taboo or outside-the-box expressions of feelings–you know, like when they haven’t been trimmed and tidied and tied up with a pretty bow for a beautiful presentation?

What if you were actually comfortable in uncomfortable situations?

I’ll tell you what would happen. You’d find yourself meeting people at their most raw and true states of being–where they aren’t worried about preserving your idea of them or your ability to “handle” them.

You’d discover new parts of yourself every time you sat with the discomfort while another human struggled–bobbing and diving through the fierceness of the pain crashing over them.

You’d learn there is more to life than Taco Tuesday and beer with your buds. There’s something profound in the dark sides of humanity and you’d get to witness the uncovering of those corridors.

You’d find yourself walking taller, but with more grace; braver, but with more compassion. Life becomes more precious when you stand in the presence of pain.

Love. Honesty. Integrity. Time. These things matter more to you when you choose to wade in the waters of heartache with others.

When you decide it’s more important to lean in than seek comfort, you begin to live differently. You live less afraid of what people will “bring up” or how tense the truth will feel in the room.

When witnessing humanity becomes more important than maintaining the outcome you hoped for, the depth of your connections will become limitless.

We all just want to be seen, heard, known. When you show up when it’s uncomfortable, you offer what every human craves on a biological level. And you can bet your ass that energy will circle back and start seeing, hearing, and knowing YOU.

It’s not that complicated, but you have to be ready to push past the wall of uneasiness. Mentally prepare to hold space for your loved one before you pick up the phone or knock on their door. Set in your mind to be and give whatever THEY need in the moment (you won’t know until you show up).

Let what they are lacking lead you to fill the moment accordingly. I don’t mean enabling, I mean supporting their greater good.

If they lack words, remind them you don’t have any either. If they lack feeling, remind them of how there are no formulas with grief. If they lack calm, remind them that you won’t judge their anger. If they lack confidence, remind them that there is no right or wrong in how they feel pain.

You’re not fixing their problem. You’re not righting the wrongs done to them. You’re not carrying their decisions on your back.

You’re standing with them in the moment without absorbing their experience as your own. This is how you hold space.

You don’t allow your own experience to get involved in their experience. You don’t take over their pain with your pain. And you don’t take on their situation as your own. You can be present and reflective without immersing yourself within their circumstance.

Empathy does not require you taking their pain home with you in the form of worry, anguish, or over-involvement. Empathy only asks you to pay tribute to the magnitude of force pain carries with it. Watch over it. Observe. Recognize. Notice. Witness. These are your requirements as a supporter.

You are to be one human choosing to stand beside another human, making your presences known. This is an astronomically powerful stance in the realm of the soul.

Are you comfortable yet?

XO,

MK

How To Start Conversations About Emotional PAIN

How To Start Conversations About Emotional PAIN

We may be incredibly social and tactful conversationalists on any given day, but somehow, when the topic turns to someone’s emotional pain, the conversation often comes to a screeching halt.

Why is it so hard to speak about a thing EVERY human experiences (usually a lot more than once) in their lifetime? Why do we get flooded with doubt, stumbling over our words, when someone shares their brush with tragedy? Why are we filtering our gut-wrenching urges to know more about the loss, the cancer, the chronic fatigue, the addiction, the depression, the breakup?

We are genetically hard-wired for connection; which means, our brains are designed to dig deep in search of connection with other humans… even (or especially) when they’re in pain.

But yet, we fumble. Our words. Our plays. Our involvement. Our opportunities to sift past the surface conversations (we all hate deep down inside anyways) and cuddle up with the REAL shit. The raw. The vulnerable. The tender. All that stuff that knocks us right in our chests, reminding us of how lucky, fragile, powerful, devastating, and HUMAN we all are.

If we’re ever going to have a chance at being more than cowards feigning ignorant in the face of people’s (and our OWN, for crying out loud), we’re going to have to understand two things:

  1. All pain is a matter of disconnection, or rather, connection.
  2. Your ONLY job as a loved one/support person is to f*cking SHOW UP.

Suicide. Divorce. Job loss. Miscarriage. Amputation. Death. Addiction. Mental Illness. Anxiety. Depression. Caretaking. The list is forever long.

The truth is: You can’t fix anyone else’s pain. And you’re the ONLY one who can fix your own.

Read that again. Let it sink in. And give up the agenda, the mission, the project to transform your loved one out of their anguish and into deep fulfillment and happiness (while simultaneously lavishing undying gratitude on you for the rest of their days for rescuing them).

It ain’t gonna happen. Nor should it. Because that’s actually robbery. You trying to jump in and rob them of the process they are absolutely dependent on moving through in order to heal themselves is a not your job.

Don’t be a robber. Instead, be present. Be THERE. Existing WITH them. Standing beside them. Hugging, holding hands, sharing kleenex and “what the fuck is life” convos while shaking your fist at heaven.

You imposing your human energy in their space, in their terrible, awful realm of sadness, will inevitably shift the energy of their current existence. Even if they never show a sign of it, they’ll sense they’re not alone.

Human touch and eye contact and presence. Well, it’s absolutely everything when you’re sitting in your darkest hour. So, show up. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Don’t be polite or tactful and “give them space” (unless you’ve already shown up and they’ve said “k, thanks. Bye.” In that case, wait a little while and show up again).

Oh, and by the way… if you are reading this post-robbery or post-epically failing to show up, it’s not too late. I don’t care if it was days or decades ago, as long as you’re both breathing, it’s never too late to apologize or own up to what you didn’t know but now you do.

We all experience pain and we all mess up. Perfection and flawless transitions are not part of any equation that involves humans. But living at your highest level of knowledge and choosing integrity over comfort will get you closer, deeper, and more fulfilled within your relationships then anything else.

Try it. I dare you. Next time someone brings up an emotionally delicate topic and you are triggered with discomfort and the urge to hightail it out of there, try something new. Lean in. Acknowledge their pain and if you want to, address your own ignorance on the topic (“I don’t have any idea what to say, but I want you to know I’m here to listen”). Be curious about their experience and be respectful of their story (“I can’t imagine how you are processing this right now, what is most difficult today?”).

Tact is required in these conversations because your “lean in” will depend on your current bond, the setting, the type of pain, the rawness of the griever, your level of awkwardness, their level of desired privacy, their response to you, etc. So, be aware and pay attention (this would not be a good time to check your phone or wave to someone across the room).

Start with eye contact. From there, just do your best to follow their lead. If the griever mentions their pain, they’re usually going to be open to you leaning in. If you know about the tragedy/loss but the griever hasn’t directly mentioned it, you’ll have to decipher when/where/how is best to show up and connect.

Above all, let human connection be your beginning point. We can do hard things, whether it’s surviving a suicide or engaging in an uncomfortable conversation about someone else’s emotional darkness. We can all do hard things.

XO,

MK

PS. I’m here if you have any specific questions or comments. Please don’t hesitate to ask!

Pain is Universal: You’re Not Alone In Yours

Pain is Universal: You’re Not Alone In Yours

Every human experiences pain. It’s inevitable. It’s universal.

When you’re in pain, you have a choice: separate yourself because your pain is unlike everyone else’s OR lock eyes with the ones who have walked through deep pain too and keep living.

I can tell in an instant those who have moved through their pain (not rejecting it, staying in it or running their lives by it); the ones who have sat with it, grieved with bloodshot eyes, and chosen to rediscover life after it. It doesn’t mean we don’t ache or that we “get over” it, but there’s a certain understanding piercing through the eyes of one who has honestly accepted their heartache and it’s noticeable to other grievers instantly.

There are so many clubs no one ever wants to join, but when they are forced in, they’re so thankful others are there to walk with them: the widow/widower club, the survivors of suicide club, the miscarriage club, the loss of a child club, the divorceè club, the cancer club, the amputee club, the PTSD club, the depression/anxiety club, the caretakers club, the loved one of an addict club, this list is endless…

If we look for it, we’ll see our pain in the eyes of strangers all around us. I’m not being Negative Nancy here, asking you to see how woeful the world is, but rather, I’m asking you to notice how alike we are.

You are not alone in your pain.

When you learn to sit with your own pain, deeply observing it and allowing it to exist in you, you will give yourself the most sacred gift a grieving heart can receive: hope to live beyond the darkest hour of your life thus far.

When you meet your darkness, though you fear it will pull you under and suffocate you slowly, it will actually show a splinter of light peeking in on the other side.

You will notice that you are not alone in your experience (no matter how unique, there is nothing new under the sun). You will find there are MANY people equipped and ready to hold your hand and walk you through the the crippling hollow that steals your breath.

Your only job when you’re in pain is this: keep breathing and do not give up.

The reason I fixate on the topic of connection so much is mostly for this reason:

We are all going to experience pain. People are our lifelines in the thick of heartache, tethering us to the world outside and hope beyond this moment. It is imperative for our survival that we are able to maintain connection through our pain.

So, who do you have in your corner? Who’s going to show up when shit goes down? Who’s going to stand beside you and stare your darkness right in the face and not try to fix it, diminish it, delete it, or help you forget it?

If you’re grieving now, reach out (to me, to a support group, to any safe place for your heart). If you’re not in pain now, start building deep connections with people who will be your legs when yours buckle and who you can carry when they are stricken down.

Beauty is all around us. So is pain. If we are truly living, we will see and live both.

No matter where you are, there are people–GOOD people–in the world who are big enough, strong enough, capable enough to hold YOU up while you find your footing.

Life is no joke. It can be ruthless sometimes. And it can be so damn fulfilling too. Everything is temporary, aside from love. Love can live on through generations of pain and healing cycles, death, and dysfunction.

Keep breathing, loves. Find love in the eyes of another human today, it’ll remind you that you’re still alive.

XO,

MK

The Self-Sabotage MIND-Field

The Self-Sabotage MIND-Field

Self-sabotage keeps you from being able to receive love. It’ll leave you empty, searching and always wanting more.

But how do you STOP being your own worst enemy? How do you stop getting in your own way and missing out on opportunities for deep connection?

You clean up your mind. Tackling the MIND-field can seem daunting when it’s been wired by unconscious habits, first-family wounds, and years of practice… but there is hope.

It’s time to be your own savior and ride in on a white horse and claim what’s rightfully YOURS: your mind.

It starts with consciousness (aka mindfulness, aka awareness).

Mindfulness is like stepping back and getting a broad view of your life without the sting of self-judgement, shame, or criticism. It’s observing the reality of the condition you’re in and accepting it fully, just as it is. This acceptance isn’t a free pass to continue living in old patterns that aren’t serving you, rather it’s a call to become aware of where you are.

When awareness becomes the new lense to view your life, growth toward your true self naturally presents itself. And it’s that invitation to grow that will allow you to break free from self-sabotage.

How do you become mindful? Well, luckily, there are many paths to living a conscious lifestyle, but in short, it is the practice of connection with self. Whether it is through meditation, prayer, yoga, breath work, or a combination, the key is to quiet the mind and sink deep into yourself. Past the analyzation, through the feelings, and into the soul.

Obsessing, worrying, over-thinking, criticizing, and judging yourself (and others) will only rob you from actually living your life. You’ll miss the whole thing (LIFE) if you never take the time to clean up your mind.

Seems like a no-brainer, but people spend their entire lives running FROM themselves because it takes a hell of a lot of courage to sit with your TRUE self. You know, the one that you’ve been trying to keep hidden from the rest of the world? The dark thoughts, the emotional instability, the crazy tendencies, the deepest dreams, the rawest form.

It’s going to take you realizing that those fears, deficiencies, wounds, triggers, imperfections are all what make you… just a human. And that what may seem to be brokenness is actually your invitation to bloom into power.

Every single person on earth has them. Even Oprah. And that’s f*cking beautiful.

So, start there. Figure out what being a human actually means. This will take you naming and burning all the bullshit ideas about yourself that you picked up along the way through childhood, church, school, family, work, relationships. (A piece of paper or notebook may come in handy here)

I’m a HUGE fan of lists. My current list is titled: FACT vs. FANTASY. This list is another step in me cleaning up my mind. I’ve been running the list for about a week and I already feel freer, lighter, and cleaner in the head! Which means I have more space to connect with my little humans and the world I’m actually involved in today.

What list do you need to start today? Fear vs. Reality, True vs. False Beliefs, Who They Want You To Be vs. Who You Want To Be, Who You Are vs. Who You Want To Be?

Cleaning up the MIND-field is like going to battle. So go in the officer’s tent (your safe alone space) and start drawing up a game plan (listing, naming, observing). Then watch how your newly keen awareness (free of judgement) begins to reveal the triggers and detonation codes.

A clean mind. Sound. Free. Calm. It’s not unattainable. In fact, it’s just around the corner.

Happy cleaning, friends!

XO,

MK

On Emotional Exchange

On Emotional Exchange

It doesn’t matter what circle you’re relating in–the church, the dance floor, the family BBQ, the workplace–if you don’t know what you’re worth, you will not be able to identify or set clear boundaries to safeguard YOUR TRUTH.

The world can be ruthless to the unsuspecting. And if you’re running on your default coding (first family habits, relationship dynamics, and emotional intelligence), you’re going to be prey for being taken advantage of or feeling like a doormat.

So, what is it that makes us feel that we OWE people things just because they want things from us?

It’s codependency. It’s perceived opportunity to be seen. It’s a potential path to acceptance.

Remember, if we haven’t given our inner selves a safe home within our soul to rest in, we will be searching (no matter how ludacris the outlet is) for a place to belong.

When someone asks something of us, faulty programming will tell us they WANT/NEED us and that feels damn good to an inner child in need of attention. So, even if we see the flags on the play, we ignore them, because our desire to be accepted is so much greater than our desire to heed caution.

Awareness is the first step to re-coding the programming that isn’t truly serving you. This will require you making space to be quiet, listen to your inner voice, and allow yourself to FEEL (not think) your way through the relevant emotion–rejection, abandonment, loneliness, etc.

Then you can create the kind of “home” you need to feel truly at peace (see How Does Your Garden Grow? on my blog). This is where you will be able to hold your truth, build self-worth, and live with an open heart without fearing being trampled on or betrayed.

If you feel that others take advantage of you or if you feel obligated to accommodate people’s needs and it is taking a toll on your mental, physical or emotional well-being, it’s time to do some shadow work and follow the trigger feeling to its source.

But only do this if you’re tired of circling the same cycles in your life. Only pay attention if you are fed up with feeling empty and depleted from your relationships. Only lean in if your current tactics aren’t serving you anymore.

Once you see it one time, you’ll see it everywhere. That’s what growth does to you. It expands you. Makes you larger. Calls you into greatness.

XO,

MK

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