Honesty is Reached Through the Doorway of Grief

Each month I choose a word as a theme for my blog. Last month I wrote about GRIEF and the vulnerability that comes with loving.

Today, the word that came to me was HONESTY.

I never thought about those two themes being connected. Then I saw this quote by English poet David Whyte:

Honesty is reached through the doorway of grief and loss. Where we cannot go in our mind, our memory, or our body is where we cannot be straight with another, with the world, or with our self.

First, I was struck by the word “doorway.” In a literal sense, I’ve been passing though a new doorway as I settle into the home I recently bought. As much as I love my new place, I’ve faced some frustration about repairs that were shoddily done and fixtures that were not properly installed.

I’ve found myself thinking, more than once, “Whatever happened to honest people?”

Whyte’s quote made me realize that honesty begins inside me. It requires a letting go. To be honest with myself or with someone else means I have to give up trying to control something. I have to be willing to lose something.

To me, honesty is about owning myself and all of my truths.

So I had to wonder if I was being completely honest with myself or if there are places within me that I’ve been unwilling to go. What am I afraid to lose?

The answer was swift and clear—I’ve been afraid of losing my house.

This house represents a new start for my daughter and me. It’s in this home that I envision doing the work I’ve been called to do. But in order to align with those goals, I need to align with all of my emotions, including my fears. I have to grieve the “should-haves” and “might-have-beens” and face the possibility of failure.

As I allowed myself to sit and feel this, I heard an inner voice say, “Check the foundation.”

Oh no. Was my contemplation of HONESTY about to uncover more problems with the house? I didn’t want to face that or think about the money it would cost. But I did it, and the workers found a crack.

As I was taking care of this, grateful that it was a manageable problem, I heard the Bible story of Martha and Mary. Believe it or not, I had never heard this story before! In the Gospel of Luke, a woman named Martha opened her home to Jesus and his disciples. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said while Martha ran around cooking and washing the floors. Martha was too busy with chores to listen to Jesus and she was resentful that her sister wasn’t helping. But Mary understood that Christ would not be there long and she wanted to embrace his wisdom.

Whenever I hear a story from any source that impacts my soul, I ask myself, “What am I to learn here?“

This story struck me in the same way the David Whyte quote had. I wondered if I was being like Martha or like Mary. In what way do I need to check my own foundation?

When I’m being ruled by fear, I’m tempted to act like Martha—too busy and not present, resentful toward others and how they seem to be creating problems for me. I miss the whisper of my wisdom, my intuition, my truth. But when I sit and listen to what’s in front of me, I clearly hear what my next step needs to be.

Being present and honest creates a foundation for healing.

This is the basis of my work. By connecting to my breath and allowing all of my emotions to surface, I am in alignment with my purpose. This is the only way I’m able to be in alignment with others and with the world.

If you would like to explore how unresolved grief may be keeping you from your most honest, authentic self, contact me for an individual healing session.

Kimberly LeClair