Deep Stretch: Love and Honesty

On this Deep Stretch episode of Inner Warmup, it's Taylor's turn to share what self-care and the inner work has been looking like in her personal life. Lately, Taylor has been exploring the intersectionality of love and honesty and it's definitely a conversation you'll want to take note of.

This conversation is in reference to a beautiful bell hooks' quote: “Choosing to be honest, is the first step in the process of love. There is no practitioner of love who deceives. Once the choice has been made to be honest, then the next step on love's path is communication.” Grab your journal and find a quiet space - get ready to reflect.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Inner Warmup, where your inner work begins. My name is Taylor Elyse Morrison, creator of Inner Workout and you as always are our expert guest. Thanks for being here. This episode is a little bit different because it’s the end of the month. If you're not familiar, at the end of the month, we have our Deep Stretch episodes where I don't interview you like I normally do. Instead, I pull up a chair, and share what self care and inner work has been looking like for me lately. We spent this month exploring love, talking about the types of love the ways that we prefer to give and receive love. And I thought it would be a really apt way to end this month to talk about the intersection of love in honesty, which is honestly, no pun intended, something new that I've been exploring. I want to kick off the conversation with this quote by bell hooks that really struck me. 

“Choosing to be honest, is the first step in the process of love. There is no practitioner of love who deceives once the choice has been made to be honest. Then the next step on love's path is communication.”

And it makes sense that love and honesty dovetail together and yet, I never quite thought of them as working together in this way. And I appreciate the way that bell lays it out. Where we want to get to the love, we all say that all we need is love. Love is what we want, love is what makes the world go round, love is what creates possibilities for better futures. bell says that's great but first, we have to be honest. And then we have to communicate what comes up from the honesty. And then from there, that's how we get to the love. And I've been thinking about this a lot. What does it look like for me to be honest with myself? What does it look like for me to be honest with others? And then how do I communicate what comes up with that honesty. 

And I'll start with being honest with myself and this is relatively new. I have spent several months, maybe a year at this point, feeling like there were parts of the business in our business model that didn't feel quite right. But they felt like what I was supposed to do and I felt like maybe I was missing something or I was doing something wrong. And so I just allowed myself to go down a certain path. And it wasn't bad by any means but I wasn't being honest with myself. An honest conversation with myself would have said, hey, you're actually way more excited about this part over here. What would it look like to explore that? Oh, you're nervous about that? Huh? What are you afraid is going to happen if you pursue it. And you can see, even with that moment of this is what it is and being honest with myself. It naturally lends itself to me having this inner dialogue, this conversation because that's what I've cultivated. Thankfully, I've cultivated this relationship with myself where once I get the conversation started, I know where to take it. 

And so I had a conversation with Pariss, shout out to Pariss, our content lead today, (the day I'm recording this actually) and just said like, here's kind of what I see, here's where I'm going, here's what I'm afraid of in she was totally on board and excited about it. So that was another interesting thing, too. I was so afraid to be honest with myself. I started communicating with myself, and then it was almost like, okay, now I got to be honest with someone else and communicate with them. What if it isn't well received, what's going to happen? 

And so seeing this, this concept, this model, these layers that bell talks about makes a lot of sense for me as well and looking at, okay, where do I block opportunities for love? Because if I can't be honest with myself, I can't love myself well. I can't communicate with myself, I can't love myself well. And even if I get to the point where within myself I have this container of self love, but the things that I'm talking about and communicating internally involve other people. 

Until I can be honest with them and communicate with them, there’s not going to be that flow of love that you'd want there to be, so that was one example that feels really relevant for me. But I also have other ways where I'm continuing to develop honesty with myself. And I wonder if any of these resonate, things that I feel like shouldn't matter to me, but they do matter to me. It could be something as simple as “I really like a cheesy TV show” or “I feel a lot better if I paint my nails early on in the week.” And I can tell myself, Oh, that's frivolous, that doesn't matter, or that shows a waste of time. Right now I'm watching Love is Blind or I could just allow myself to enjoy it. You can allow yourself to enjoy things too. And along those lines, being honest about the things that you want. So maybe there's things that you feel like you shouldn't want, you shouldn't indulge in that show, you shouldn’t read the light fluffy beach read, you should be reading like the deep hard hitting journalism book, or historical look back or memoir. But it's also being honest about the things that you know, that you do want. 

I do want to be in a relationship, or I do want to quit my job or I do just want to feel a little bit more space in my days. There's power in you just being able to admit these are the things that I want. These are the things that I don't want. These are the things that are feeling really good. These are the things that aren't feeling really good. And then it leads you into that communication. Remember, bell says, we start with the honesty and then the next step on love's path is the communication. 

So communicating with yourself can be if you know that you want more space in your weekend, it could be saying, okay, you know what, I'm not going to make Sunday morning plans anymore. I'm not going to go to Sunday brunch, because my Sunday mornings are too precious to me. So you already know exactly what you need. Or you know that you feel good if you get up and stretch for five minutes in the afternoon, that’s that loving response. Could be making a change, it could be just giving yourself space to explore further. So if you know this doesn't feel good right now, but you don't know what feels good, giving yourself permission to say, okay, what are the other options? This is the way I've always thought it should be. This is the way I've been told that things should be, but how else might I approach this? What if I didn't do my morning…even there…I said “morning” workout. 

What if I didn't work out in the morning? What if I did it over lunch? What if there were some days that I didn't do a regimented workout at all? What are my options? And just giving yourself space and permission to explore them. And sometimes in communicating with yourself, it's helpful to have a coach, a guide, a facilitator to help you have that conversation with yourself, to hold a mirror and to move it around to show you blind spots. Hey, I noticed that you've mentioned this a few times. Why is that important to you? 

I've had this happen to me recently where there were certain phrases or fears that continued to come up that I didn't realize I said often. And then when someone asked me I realized hmm, I guess that is important to me or I guess I've been told that that's important. So I'm just regurgitating it without me even thinking about it. 

So you have the honesty, those moments where you realize, okay, here's what I want, here's what I need and then you can act right away. You can give yourself time to explore or you can get help from someone else to support you in that exploration process. And then we get to externalize a little bit further. Like being honest with others, and communicating with others. For me, recently this happened. I was on a trip with my husband and I'm an introvert and I could just feel when my introvert battery ran out. And our flight was really delayed and I just told him like, this is what's happening and I wish I'd said it in the beginning. I told him exactly what I needed. Thankfully, he's a really good partner and was able to help me verbalize what I needed, which was first some words of affirmation, because hey, that's my love language. And then second, just some space where I could like read, watch Love is Blind, and just free charge a little bit. 

And that's love in action. It's also, you heard it took work, it took intentionality on both of our parts. What I find in being honest with others, and this goes back to me growing up in the church, there's this verse about speaking the truth in love. And it's that balance of being really clear and stating what you want, and what you need, how you're feeling. And also not using it as an excuse to be rude. So being honest isn't about just being blunt and “telling it like it is” without regard to the person on the other end of the conversation. But it's also not being so circuitous as you're talking that the person can't understand what it is that you mean, what is the action that they're supposed to take, what are they supposed to get out of the conversation. And so I want you to think, as you begin to be honest with others, what's that balance between being really truthful for both of your benefit, but also being really loving without clouding the message either way? Because if you're very rude, if you're overly blunt, that's going to overshadow your message.

And if you pat it with so much flowery language, that's also going to cloud your message and make it hard for either party to love well. So that's what's been on my mind lately. I've been trying to be really, really honest with myself. I even just started a Pinterest board that's just called “I like” and its things that I like, that I think are beautiful, that I might want in my home or that I want to inspire me. Regardless of whether it's really out there, whether other people will think it's fashionable or cool, but just me being honest about what my tastes are. That's the step that I'm taking right now for honesty. I want you to think about for you, when it comes to loving yourself, when it comes to loving others, how can you be more honest? How can you create space for you to tell the truth to yourself and to tell the truth to others. I think I'll leave it there for today. I hope this sparks some good reflection. And if you've got anything that comes to mind, feel free to send us a DM at Inner Workout or you can send a DM to me at Taylor Elyse Morrison. Thanks for listening and take care!