I really love this quote (see left) about the 4th ity sincerity because it highlights the significance of being honest to yourself--to your needs, wants and beliefs. When I began reflecting on sincerity, I first thought of being genuine and honest with others; I didn't realize that it's even more important to start with focusing on being sincere to myself. To act sincerely to others, it's crucial to learn how to be true to the most important person in your life--you! This quote uses the example of telling someone that you're annoyed as an example of when it's important to be true to your feelings, even when sharing them may produce undesirable results. I think this is a great take away that many of us "people please" and "peace keepers" can work on. When we constantly suppress things that bother, hurt or upset us, we are sacrificing a big part of our happiness.
However, there is a fine line between being respectfully honest and bluntly speaking your mind at all times. I don't encourage always sharing everything you're thinking but when a situation occurs that leaves you with lingering negative emotions, take time to reflect on your next move before speaking, acting or making any decisions to make sure it's worth your energy. Think about what you'll gain from the potential outcomes if you share/respond. Sometimes, I find that even if I know an outcome won't change in my favor, I still find it important to share how I feel about to create awareness in others about how the situation affected me. Some would say this is the concept of "picking you battles" but if you communicate your personal truths in a respectful way, it doesn't have to become a battle. Regardless of the other person's reaction/response, I practice remaining calm, finding my confidence in your personal truth to be enough, with the understanding that I'm not responsible for other people's reaction to it.
Originality is a by-product of sincerity. To live sincerely, I must let go of facades that were created to control how I want people to perceive me and my life and allow myself to be flawed. By accepting and celebrating my oddities, shortcomings, and defects in characters, I have found that my negative qualities and emotions are neither good nor bad -- they are simply a part of who I am. A lot of positive growth has sometimes come as a result of embracing the unfavorable parts of me. Anger has prompted some constructive changes in my life. Anxiety has made me so uncomfortable that I've had to learn to combat it. Jealousy has taught me to look inwards and develop stronger self-love. There is no more need to judge or hate myself just because I experience a human feeling. If someone else chooses to judge me, that's doesn't need to affect the way I feel about myself.
Thanks for reading,