23 May 2014

Transparency

Remember in this article when i talked about transparency? Transparency and emotional honesty are not as easy as they sound. Of course, how simple is it to say, "i want you to be perfectly honest with me about how you feel, what you think, your bad habits, your past, everything." Then the truth comes and all the sudden i am left having to process all the information for which i asked.

It can be overwhelming; it is hard to hear the honesty of someone else. Part of my recovery is learning how to process the honesty of others, along with the emotions that it invokes in me, in a healthy manner.

 i have discovered how hard it is to be emotionally honest with others. Even though i want to talk about the hard stuff, it makes me very vulnerable. People do judge--or i feel like they are judging. All the sudden my emotions are right out there, to potentially be trampled on, contradicted or dismissed. Not hiding behind a facade is terrifying. Have you ever tried just being REAL? i didn't realize how much i either dramatized or minimized my life until working hard on emotional honesty. My ability to trust others was greatly damaged in the last 2.5 years and letting myself be transparent takes work and effort. Maya Angelou's words resonate with me, "“Let's tell the truth to people. When people ask, 'How are you?' have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don't want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.”

However, the most surprising thing has been to discover the difficulty of being honest with MYSELF. As Alan Moore wrote, "You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it." My sponsor has had me work on several inventories about my strengths and weaknesses, my fears and the shame messages that i tell myself. Brutal. It has been one of the hardest things to admit to myself my imperfections and yet even harder to admit to myself my worth.

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”
  -Barbara De Angelis

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