Edenland Eden Reilly

HOW HONEST IS TOO HONEST?

Why would anybody ever want to write anything on the internet?

No wonder people play it safe. I constantly get told how honest I am. I don’t understand… if I’m getting lauded for being honest, what the hell is everybody else being?

This week I’ve been in the biggest shame spiral of my stupid goddamn life. And I’m still in it! Hello there!

Recently I travelled to Africa for World Vision, to blog about the food crisis in Niger that’s too boring for traditional media to cover.

I am accused by a commenter on my blog of pandering: “I’m sure Eden meant well, but she’s just ...

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46 Comments

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Sharnanigans

    Hi Eden, I write a blog also, and people are always dumbfounded or congratulating me on ‘being so honest!” and I’m always puzzled by this – and like you wonder if I am so remarkable / brave / crazy for being honest, what are you being then? What is the point of being anything else? If people are having a go at your honesty and smashing your china – let them. By being honest with yourself and your readers you are keeping your own china polished. That is how I see it. Other peoples reactions are their business and when they share that with you – just take it as a compliment that they find you and your china interesting enough to comment on it. (www.sharnanigans.com)

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      ” .. just take it as a compliment that they find you and your china interesting enough to comment on it.”

      Sharnigans, thank you so much for writing that. SO true. I’ve really learnt a lot, from all of this. Glad to hear you are honest too .. fistpump for the crazy honest peeps! xx

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Lyndal

    Thank you. can so relate. Honesty gets you into deep deep shit – and makes you wonder why – a freaking lot! I relate to the insomnia, I relate to the sadness, I relate. One day – keep blogging . I’ve been in so much trouble for my honesty lately, that I may as well continue! And so should you.

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      Lyndal .. .word UP.

      So, let’s just continue being honest, shall we? I always say, “I’ve come too far, to turn back now!”

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Raylene Barton

    Love the video and thank you for sharing! I love people who put themselves out there!! Power to You :)

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      Raylene thank you so much. And people really do relate to honesty, don’t they? We all crave it.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Cate Bolt

    Some days I count my success by how many people hate me.

    “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Winston Churchill.

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      See, I knew that Winston Churchill quote but completely forgot about it. I’ll never forget it now.

      I love you, fellow soldier. xx

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Veggie Mama

    You can have my china. I’ve got plenty xx

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      You got any good gear?

      I think I may do a silent vlog like Charlie Chaplin and bash up a whole heap of crockery and china on my back deck. X

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Danielle

    Don’t ever be ashamed, Eden. People who defame you, should hang their heads. You live with honesty and integrity, and you share at all costs. That is a gift. Not an easy one, but who wants an easy one?
    After i found your site, your honesty gave me courage to speak my truth too. So thanks…… And the people who are threatened by that, the naysayers……aaaaaah, f&$k ‘em!

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      Danielle thank you SO MUCH. It’s comments like that, that keep me going. Did you start a blog?

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Cushla

    All I can say is Bronx cheers to the haters. The world needs more bloggers the likes of Edenland and Mrs Woog et al. There will always be whingers out there, and they’re just jealous of the fact that others are changing the world for the better, and they aren’t. God speed, Edenland, keep up the great work!

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      Cushla … a Bronx cheer is blowing a raspberry. Just googled it! That’s my new thing learned for the day.

      And thank you.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    bigwords

    We got rid of all our chipped china and just have one set now. People can judge us as they see fit – chips and all. If there are any chips you wouldn’t have lived a full life. Embrace your past, fuck the people who sit in judgement. They are too busy pointing fingers to actually get out there and live. You, my friend are too busy living xx

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      Oh Bianca thank you SO much. Your words have power in it that I believe.

      You are so beautiful x

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Madmother

    Hey sweetie,
    I hear ya! One of my friends (irl) once said to me: ” I love you because you are my friend who calls a spade a f*#king shovel!”

    Just sometimes some dickhead comes along and uses a bulldozer to throw the refuse of your life back over you.

    My answer? Be true to yourslef, look out for those nearest and dearest, and then hire the biggest excavator possible and dump it all right back out in their view!

    xx

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      Oh my god seriously woman, you are the Ants Pants. So, so bloody true.

      When can we ever meet up again? You’re fricken AWESOME.

      XXX

      • Reply May 3, 2012

        Madmother

        Whenever you head up here, or my next trip south… If you come up here I’ll take ya skatin’!

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Brand Panda

    Hey Eden, thanks for your honesty.

    I promised myself when I was a (poor, struggling) student that the first thing I would do with my first paypacket was to sponsor a child through World Vision. My first job was in an ice cream factory, where we poured tonnes of milk and sugar down the drain on a daily basis, on the way to making sweet yummies for the western world. In all good conscience I couldn’t see how I could communicate what I did for a living to a child on the edge of starvation. I let that moral inconsistency paralyze me into doing nothing. I’ll always regret that.

    So Eden, I’m not really thanking you for your honesty, I’m thanking you for not being paralyzed.

    Just remember – You can make beautiful art with smashed china.

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      Melissa

      Best Comment Ever. ‘So Eden, I’m not really thanking you for your honesty, I’m thanking you for not being paralyzed.
      Just remember – You can make beautiful art with smashed china’.

      I blogged it, so you know how I feel about this, darling girl. But I’ll say it again. Your kind of blog? With the mosaic of smashed china and funny and meaningful – it’s the only type I really love.

      • Reply April 26, 2012

        edenland

        Melissa, I got all squirmy when I read your (beautiful, amazing) post. Like, THE JIG IS UP, PEOPLE. I AM SEEEEEEN.

        I am. And so are you. xx

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      Um, Brand Panda? I want to know EVERYTHING about you now. Wow.

      Do you have a blog? Please say yes.

      x

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Kirsten Alexander

    Fabulous, wonderful post. Thank you.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    jenny @ let the children play

    I love that you are honest. It is a shame that there are so many haters in the world who are willing to jump on you – often anonymously because they are just so brave. I had a troll on my blog ask me last week “how do you sleep at night?” and I write a blog about preschool play for heavens sake!

    Just wanted to say thanks for your blog – there are so many more of us out there that would only say good things if we saw you walking down the street – beanie or no beanie :)

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Fiona

    I like your style. No guts no glory, right? So ditch the shame-it makes life easier.
    I also like your most inspirational video. in the spirit of colllaboration, here is mine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cle20lQg0Qs

    Onwards and upwards.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Magi @ toffeeapple mama

    You are STRONG.
    You are BEAUTIFUL.
    You are IMPORTANT.
    You touch many people.

    It is disappointing that there are people out there who put a negative to your positive. But don’t EVER change.

    Be PROUD.
    You are GREAT.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Benison O'Reilly

    I guess it depends on your religious beliefs, but I believe we only have one life to live and the doubters and the carpers are letting their lives pass them by. They’re the losers.

    I, for one, love your honesty. Honesty helps other people- and we all have our insecurities and imperfections – feel less alone. xxx

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Sarah

    Great article, Eden, and great work with World Vision and your blog.
    Your words stand strong enough on their own (and, to be honest, don’t need that blokey video).

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Angela

    You should be proud of yourself for trying to live an honest life, don’t let the sh*t-throwers bring you down. People feel challenged by your openness but that is THEIR problem. Look at all the support from your readers above, you must be doing something right! Better to regret the things that you have done, than to have done bloody nothing. Keep being brave.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    me

    This is a conundrum I have been considering quite a lot recently.

    The “honest” debate.

    I used to be nice to most people to keep the peace but it got to the point that it was doing my head in and I actually told one of the most irritating people I know exactly what I thought of them. Long story, but essentially we shared a mutual friend hence it seemed easier to pretend to be nice.

    The irritating text messages, phone calls and unannounced visits have now ceased, so good, right?

    Well yes and no.

    I live in a small country town and someone said, “It’s a small country town, you have to be nice to EVERYONE.”

    This is essentially true because I prior to this, I had actually put a small segment of the town offside after deciding to share my thoughts about various town related issues on my youtube channel.

    The videos were funny, and were only telling the truth but this small segment of people saw it as an attack on the town (which it wasn’t – it was actually a well worded attack about the services or lack of provided by the shire council here).

    In fact, a lot of people really wanted to visit the town after seeing these videos!

    In the end, I decided to take down my youtube channel last year after I heard someone else give someone some very good advice and that was, “You don’t have to share EVERYTHING with everyone. If you are having a great day or you are doing this or that, why must you tell everyone on facebook etc. Keep some things private or they are no longer special.”

    So yes, the videos were removed (they are still up, just password protected for anyone curious to see them) but of course the damage was already done.

    Of course I also got into the insipid debates that these people chose to fight, again waste of time.

    These are people who don’t understand there is a whole other world out there. They have been in this town a lot of their lives and know no different, and this was one of the reasons why they didn’t get the humour (mind you, a segment of the town DID get it and loved the videos).

    I take nothing I said back, and it has actually lead to some changes taking place in this town, however I do think, “Wow I could just be walking around pretending to be nice to all these people and they wouldn’t know any different and would say I was a great person.”

    But then I think, “Ugh I would have to then put up with their conversations about how wonderful a weekend they had getting drunk and picking up some random bloke and so forth…”

    The stuff that doesn’t interest me at all, but there are so many people who would nod and smile and say, “Wow, that sounds like an AMAZING weekend!”

    So perhaps it is better to keep ones opinion to oneself.

    These people all have opinions, they just talk behind your back, not to a camera.

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      edenland

      I am intrigued at what town you live in now. I love that you have a private subversive YouTube video channel. That right there is art.

      And this bit … “You don’t have to share EVERYTHING with everyone.

      YES YES YES. I want to write a whole blog post based on that one sentence. How true is it? There’s things we tell and then there’s things we tell. Thank you for this.

      • Reply April 27, 2012

        me

        edenland – happy to share my youtube videos, but as they are private, i just need a youtube id to send the particular video/s to… it wasnt private before, it was there for all to see, i kept those videos up rather than flat out delete them as a lot of work went into them and they also represent a certain stage in my life. under a year later, i present myself considerably differently. instead of walking around this tiny country town in jeans and a t-shirt with my head down or pointed at a video camera, i walk around in dresses every day regardless of how im REALLY feeling. its about creating a certain perception and the results are quite surprising. people say that i should wear some of these dresses for special occasions, but i say to them that i am alive and breathing so i figure its a pretty special occasion.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    boomerangjane

    So loving Brand Panda’s word “So Eden, I’m not really thanking you for your honesty, I’m thanking you for not being paralyzed.

    Just remember – You can make beautiful art with smashed china.”

    Girl don’t you dare apologise for anything, and PLEASE don’t let the fearful ones change you one iota. You are perfect just because you are you. You help, you inspire, you bring joy, love and wit to so many.

    I know it’s difficult to ignore the negative ones who scream loudest at times, who seem to take pleasure from bursting bubbles. But remember, your bubble is bullet proof and Kevlar strong. Don’t let them make a dent in your beautiful armour my friend. You are far too special.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    OlindaI

    Thanks for sharing Eden. I love your frankness. Somehow we all have to find the balance between society’s approval and being who we are. Who you are is wonderful, warts and all. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr Suess

  • Reply April 27, 2012

    TMT

    @ me. I understand completely where you are coming from with the small-town required nice. I spent many years in a town chock full of rednecks and spent every day choking down my politics and my sneer and being ‘nice’. What shocked me out of it though was an encounter at the bar between myself with a friend and a couple of girls from the local supermarket who confided to us that they had always hated us, yes hated us, because of the way we dressed for work. They didn’t like that we dressed up for work (a workplace requirement) and because of that they and most other people according to them, hated us.
    From then on, I thought fuck it with the being nice crap, they can get what they get.

    • Reply April 27, 2012

      me

      i love the town im in, never a dull moment. things happen here that one would never believe. i was informed recently that the council keeps a book of all press clippings related to the town, that could possibly be a best seller if it got into the right hands, or at the very least an entertaining stage musical. i dress differently to most people here, always wear a dress. it wasnt always the way though, but perceptions certainly change when one puts even a moderate thought into their attire. people are in their little bubbles about what they think the world is all about and really they have no idea, nor do i for that matter.

    • Reply April 27, 2012

      me

      also…thing is with my youtube videos, the only difference between this and their bitchy gossip sessions was that i pointed a camera to my head and told everyone what i was really thinking. so everyone has strong opinions (including those who were knocking me for having mine!), but apparently social media wasn’t the place to share them. fascinating.

  • Reply April 27, 2012

    neeter

    Thank you for your truth, all of you! Right there with you. Love your work.

  • Reply April 27, 2012

    OHN

    Wouldn’t it be great if everyone watched this each morning before leaving the house?

  • Reply April 29, 2012

    Carmel

    I was surfing channels a little while ago, and stopped where a woman was being interviewed about her recent trip to Africa – it was you. The interview prompted me to drop in to your blog and have a quick read. Your story made me cry – great work, keep it up, keep telling the truth. Even if we can’t directly or immediately help these people – awareness is important – we know, we care, and somehow, we will help when we can.
    I also read about your lapse with addiction – we all make mistakes. Maybe those people who criticise those of us who make mistakes, are just so perfect, they don’t belong in this world. They certainly don’t belong in my imperfect, mistake laden, but heavy learning, world.

  • Reply April 30, 2012

    Lisa Jane Humphries

    LOVE this post, especially this:
    “Just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t make it wrong. I’m out here in the world having a go. What the hell are you doing?”
    Am going to share this all over my world, thank you!
    Also love that post you linked to by James Altucher, thank you for that!
    I also bought show bags this year, and on the same credit card I made a donation to a few charities, and I paid for my anti-depressant medication.
    The more we tell the truth, the more people we reach who may just be waiting to be reached.
    xox

  • Reply April 30, 2012

    Emma

    I read your blog occasionally, and I appreciate the honesty. I think shame happens when people are trying to hide something painful. Honesty and love are great antidotes to shame.

  • Reply May 14, 2012

    Mumsy

    Good on you for sharing this Edenland. Your post and the resulting comments filled my honest heart with joy. I’m fortunate enough to have a sister who every once in a while picks up my shattered china and hands it back to me. My hubby supplies the glue to piece it back together and my Mum always tells me how beautiful my china – flaws and all – is. I’m lucky for that.
    It’s a hard road to travel.
    I have learnt above all else that it is those who can’t be honest with themselves, those who lack courage, those who cannot stand in the arena of life on their own, to be the ones that can’t tolerate the likes of us.
    Fuck them.
    My China has their name on it.

  • Reply June 27, 2012

    sami

    I get this, on a much smaller scale though. So many people, when they find out I’m vegetarian, start questioning it.
    -”Oh so what about dairy? Doesn’t that bother you?”
    (Yes, and the only dairy I consume is cheese. I’m trying not to. I do okay.)
    -”What would happen to all the livestock then if everyone went vegetarian? We’d have to kill them all anyway!”
    (Eh? What a likely scenario.)
    -”So how come you drive a car then?”
    (Because I need transport. If the environment is a concern to you, you may be interested to know that it’s ‘better’ to be a V8-driving vego than a Prius-driving omnivore.)
    -”What about all the people that need help? I don’t think you should be concentrating on animals when there’s humans to be saved.”
    (These things are mutually exclusive? How do you know I’m not?)
    -”What do you feed your animals then?!”
    (Meat- I can’t afford vego food for them all, nor am I clever enough to be able to cook vego food for them without messing up their nutritional needs.)

    etc etc… and I’m not even an evangelical vego. I just go about my business and it’s no concern of mine what others eat. It’s my choice and it’s my small difference and it’s better than doing nothing, isn’t it? It makes ME feel better about myself. I am not ashamed, and nor will I feel guilty for not doing more.

    The sum of our small differences is a big difference. So do what you do, and feel good about it, not ashamed.

  • [...] and more so now, I often struggle with the balance of being TOO honest on my blog – here’s a great post on asking if there is such a thing as being too honest on the [...]

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