There was the me who once upon a time felt a need to hide certain aspects of who I really was. I believe growing up in a world and a household of mixed messages gave me indirect ideas that being vulnerable was not safe. Then there was that issue with trust I carried with me into most areas of my life. I tried to exude the personality that I was this together person even though deep inside my insecurities were holding my foundation in a sea of quicksand! It did not help that one of my parents told me repeatedly it was important to “look good” to the outside world. I imagine many of us have lived with a similar internal conflict.
Transparency implies openness, accountability, and intentional honesty. Most relationships, be it romantic partnerships or friendships, lacking transparency, crumble over time because one within the friendship/partnership is either incapable or refusing to share important facts and information. It is not that the other is intentionally lying to the other…they have just withheld truth.
I remember the day I made the decision to become transparent and authentic . Once the decision was made I did not need to wait to be asked about specific things in my friendships. I knew with all my heart and soul it was important to reveal my thoughts, my challenges, even my fears.
There have been friendships in my history I have tried to maintain in which the other person has not been transparent, and I struggled with them, knowing they were not equal ones. I suppose I could have continued in such relationships. However, trust, accountability, and honesty are keystones for me in any relationship I choose to maintain in my present evolution of being the best version of myself. My deal breakers are proportionally aligned with my core values. When I have revealed what is really inside of me, aspects of my life with complete vulnerability and the other person judges me or immediately changes the subject without responding or shifts the conversation to something about something else without acknowledging what I just honestly and with vulnerability shared it is a red flag for me. It is not even about them agreeing or disagreeing with me. It is about evidence of my being heard.
In the new world we are now living in, it may be helpful to assess if we as individuals are content with the health of each of our friendships , if each is authentic and equal, if our friendships are with those we can truly trust and count on to be honest and loyal, and are we confident of having no fears or apprehensions of being judged or criticized (verbally or non-verbally).
My bottom line is when I am transparent and authentic, I am showing up as the true being I am. Furthermore, I desire and will honor myself by being in relationships with those who embrace and welcome me as I am. Those who think I need to follow their set of rules or beliefs are welcome to co-exist in our world, but I am not so sure I want to maintain a friendship or partnership with them.