The “o” in ALOHA stands for oia`i`o. Oia`i`o means truth and/or truthfulness.
It’s simple. To live from that deeper understanding of aloha and bring the empowerment you desire, just be truthful: To everyone. All the time. Including yourself.
That means no more white lies, pink lies, yellow lies… In fact, I don’t care what color you put on a lie, according to oia`i`o, a lie is still a lie!
I always keep in mind that the deeper teaching of aloha (including oia`i`o) was taught to me by individuals who led some amazingly empowered lives. They knew that these basic concepts could keep you pono (right) and could bring ho`omana (empowerment).
And, while each concept in aloha is important, and while I believe that we each have a particular one that may need more work, clearly truthfulness is something we could all work on. Imagine for a moment, being totally honest in your relationship and your partner being 100% open and honest with you?
To me that would be refreshing!
Truth From Your Heart
No more BS, no more guessing, no more wondering. You were truthful and said what was in your heart! And that is the key. You need to involve your heart, because oia`i`o does not mean being a jerk!
I had a student worry about this: “But if my friend doesn’t look good in an outfit and he asks my opinion, I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” But oia`i`o means to be truthful and tactful. Be truthful and caring. Be truthful from your heart.
In that example, you could respond in a few ways: “You look awful!” or “May I be honest from my heart? That outfit is not my favorite.” Anything. You’ve got lots of options other than, “You look like a donkey!”
I’ve had students ask me for my opinion, and I will often say, “Are you ready for my truthful answer?” Some say, “Yes” and others have said “No, not yet!” When they are ready, it is rarely as bad as they thought it would be.
I also learned from my father that there is a right time and right place for everything. Maybe now is not the time to have the discussion. Maybe being truthful is saying to your partner, “I need to sleep on this, then let’s talk.” That is being truthful, right? You are not ready to talk, so be honest!
Truthful to Yourself
Are you truthful with yourself? I used to lie to myself when I was 85 pounds heavier. I would lie to myself every time I talked about health and fitness. I was not practicing what I preached! Once I lived the life I promoted and became more oia`i`o with myself about my health and fitness, I felt more pono and aligned with myself.
I’ll be the first to admit, oia`i`o can be a big one. We don’t necessarily live in a world that supports complete honesty. “What they don’t know won’t hurt them.” “It’s about the sizzle, not the steak.” Models’ photos are regularly airbrushed, politicians “spin” their positions, and it’s practically considered naïve to pay everything you owe in taxes. It almost seems like telling the truth puts you at a disadvantage.
But when you make the sincere effort to practice oia’i’o, you not only bring in the aloha and ho`omana (empowerment), you learn more about yourself and others — and the truth becomes reality.
Be truthful from your heart!
Photo by: usedfree