Honestly, I’ve written three different versions of this post because this question is such a salient and hard one for me right now...

I’m finding it difficult to come up with something snappy, succinct, clear and worthy of your inboxes. I’ve tried the list of tips, I’ve tried the meandering reflection, and I’ve tried the detailed dismantling of perfectionism in our culture, but none of them have felt quite right.

The reality is, I sometimes struggle to express myself honestly on GOOD days. It’s even more difficult when things are hard. I suspect I’m not alone in that.

And though I’d like to be able to give you the “top 5 tips for expressing yourself honestly,” I don’t think that’s an accurate or helpful portrayal of the reality of expressing of honesty when life is difficult.

But over the last couple of years, I’ve learned some things about what it means to show up honestly in my life, accept where I am, and ask for help from others. I haven’t done it perfectly. I’ve definitely hurt others along the way, and my inner demons are still there, albeit quieter now.

But through all the trial and error of learning to be more honest with myself and others, there are some things I know to be true for me about honesty:

  • It can be difficult to be upfront and honest, even - maybe especially? - with the people you are closest to. This is especially true if you’re from the midwest…oh passive aggressiveness...
  • We’re constantly fed messages that encourage us to sugar coat things, and stifle our own honest reality for the convenience and feelings of others. Oh hi social media. Oh hi unreasonably high expectations. Oh hi societal norms and life milestones.
  • When you are able to find others who can be trusted to hear your story, you’ll discover more compassion and empathy than you expected. But you don’t owe anyone any part of your story, especially when they’ve shown themselves unworthy to be trusted with your heart.
  • Showing up honestly in your life gives you, and others, the permission to be flawed. All you achievers and perfectionists out there, this will feel weird at first, but it’s also really freeing.

I’m still learning how to be honest in my everyday life. Just last week, I was having a really tough week with a lot of internal and external stressors. Was I honest with myself about how much that was affecting me? Was I compassionate with myself? Was I considerate of how my stress and frustration were affecting those around me? Was I clear in my communication with others? Was I taking time to address my needs?

...Let’s just say I’d give myself a solid C- on my ability to express honesty last week...

But I’m also learning that C- weeks happen, and that’s okay. Life is not meant to be static. It’s not meant to be all good, or all bad all the time.

And, perhaps most importantly, I’m learning that the C- weeks don’t destroy everything you’ve worked for. They are merely a part of the work.

Sometimes we wrestle with hard things. But the more we do so honestly, the more potential there is to grow and deepen our understanding of life, and of ourselves.

I don’t know if any of that is helpful, but that’s honestly where my head and heart are today. What about you? How do you express yourself honestly when life is difficult?

Honestly yours,


Honestly Series!

This month, I put out a new video on my walk with infertility. As always, you can check out my website for more details on the Honestly series!

More on Honestly series

Books and media I’m loving now

I thought I’d put in a new section of the newsletter highlight some of the books and media that I’m loving right now, in case you’re curious what things make my heart go pitter-patter these days.

Call to Courage

Netflix Special with Brené Brown

I'm loving all things Brené Brown lately, and her new talk on Netflix is no exception! She's everything I want to be as a public speaker. In her talk, she addresses shame, vulnerability, and living honestly with a wonderful combination of humor and humility. You'll laugh and you'll learn!

You can stream it now on Netflix.

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