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The importance of being earnest

By Juliet Ohai

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the word earnest as:  “a serious and intent mental state”. What does earnestness mean in connection to our personal relationships? We can view earnestness as our sincerity in relationships, our honest decision to really be ourselves. In a nutshell, our earnestness reflects our ability to open ourselves up in relationships and put ourselves out there — even if it means revealing our vulnerabilities. It is our conscious decision never to lie about ourselves or present ourselves falsely to those we love.

Part of the process of being in love means that we must let go out our fears and struggles. Love means baring your soul to another person. How do we do this? Naturally, it’s not always easy. The process takes time, trust, and commitment.

Perhaps we don’t open ourselves up right away. In fact, in the beginning, before we really grow to know another person and before we can trust our judgments when it comes to that person, perhaps it’s not so wise to bare our souls without hesitation. But once we decide that we are going to commit, that the leap into a serious relationship is one that we want to take, then we must also take the leap of faith and relinquish any fear we might have of being completely vulnerable.

In fact, by choosing the path of dishonesty we cause irrecoverable harm to our relationships, particularly if the other person has instilled their trust in us. Dishonesty can be as simple as holding a part of yourself back from a partner  or keeping secrets from a partner while knowing that it will ultimately impact the relationship. Have you ever known the feeling of discovering a secret about someone you love, a secret that they had held back from you? Didn’t it feel like a betrayal?

Choose the path of honesty in relationships. In your quest to build a legacy with your partner and loved one, start off on the right path. The decision to be honest in all things we do will not only benefit our relationships with our loved ones, but is valuable tenet that benefits all our relationships in general, including our relationships to ourselves. Never forget the importance of being earnest.

photo credit: hamed masoumi

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