Note: This blog series investigates twelve attributes I see as conducive to recovery from PTSD (and other past stress) which has become part of our ethos or basic belief system. September looks at honesty.
Out of Europe comes a form of honesty that has taken root in fertile soils of North America. It comes in three species of Brassicaceae (mustard family) known as “Honesty Plants”. Like some cousin species such as Pennycress, Honesty plants produce seed pods that resemble coins, but that’s not the honesty part.
These three species of Lunaria are called Honesty plants because their seed pods are transparent. We can look right through the outer layers of the fruit and see the seeds inside. Life on the inside is visible to the outside.
I spent a lot of years preventing that kind of honesty in me. I wore a mask—several of them, actually, and I became emotionally opaque.
But I left tracks.
Some of them on other hearts.
The seeds of feelings I tried to hide deep inside sprouted emotions which took root in behaviors more difficult to deny, but deny, I did.
Behaviors leave tracks that belie the emotions beneath and the feelings that generate them, for awhile. Sooner or later the pattern of behaviors tells a tale, a story of confusion and unhappiness, depression and anger, fear and guilt.
“Only good people feel guilty.” (my friend, Ashley B. Hart II, Ph.D.)
That is our dilemma, or one of them, in Post Traumatic Stress. We are good people who feel bad. We are not born transparent so the world cannot see our feelings—or, so we can see our own feelings. To face the depths of our hearts, we must do three things: get honest, get help, and look inside.
I wish I could tell you that the feelings will go away. Probably not.
I can tell you that honesty, help, and hard work can mean different emotions and behaviors leaving much nicer tracks on other hearts. And, that will help us feel better, or at least, less bad.
And that is good.
It all starts with honesty.