I’m still debating with myself over how genuine Gwyneth Paltrow really is. The snippet of a dialogue from the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s specifically comes to mind:
O. J. Berman: Well, answer the question. Is she or isn’t she?
Paul Varjak: Is she or isn’t she what?
O. J. Berman: A phony.
Paul Varjak: I don’t know. I don’t think so.
O. J. Berman: You don’t, huh? Well, you’re wrong. She is. But on the other hand, you’re right, because she’s a real phony. You know why? Because she honestly believes all this phony junk that she believes in.
Regardless, a couple of weeks ago I signed up to the newsletter of Ms. Paltrow’s ravishing blog, Goop, which slips into my inbox weekly glimpses into her gilded world. While some articles are mundane, others can be interesting and instructive, especially when Ms. Paltrow taps into the brains of her many celebrity guides and acquaintances. Most recently, I was intrigued by this article written for Goop by Dr. Habib Sadeghi, treating the subject of honesty.
Dishonesty begins with the self. It starts when we can’t reconcile a difficult experience. The first lie is the one we tell ourselves. It’s usually, ‘It didn’t happen’ or ‘It didn’t happen like that’. We avoid these realizations because we’re terrified of how they will make us feel. We do it because we’d rather live with the long-term consequences of lying to ourselves and others than face the temporary pain of the truth. So, we repress the truth and our feelings about it with a lie to keep the pain at bay.
The truth is that honesty goes deeper than the mere action of not telling lies – any kind of lies. It’s a frame of mind and a way of living, which requires you – first and foremost, just as Dr. Sadeghi says – to be brutally honest with yourself. Check out the full article if you’re interested in the origin and nature of dishonesty and how to slowly weed it from your life.