I was watching something on TV the other night and there was a man sharing how he was upset that his friend wouldn’t talk to him about a struggle he was going through. He then stated that transparency creates friendships. Most of the time when I watch TV, it’s more of a way to unwind, watch a show or two at night, and then head off to bed. So needless to say, I don’t think too much into what I am watching. However, when this was said I literally paused the TV, rewound, and then watched it again. It really struck me at how true and underestimated that statement really is.
Man, being transparent has been hard for me. Anyone else agree? Like most people, I was transparent and got hurt time and time again. So what did I do? Well, I lifted my head up, kept going, and did not let it phase me of course. Totally kidding. I did the opposite. I allowed that hurt to hurt me and prevent me from really opening up to those around me. I didn’t allow people to see my weaknesses or current struggles. I would just smile and keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. This really only hurt myself. The result of not being transparent and open allowed for shallow friendships and to often be misunderstood.
There has been certain events that took place in my life that really opened my eyes and brought me to the point of feeling comfortable with being transparent. Through all of these events I have learned more about who I am and what I’m good at. I have stopped allowing the negative words of others dictate my confidence and choose to walk confidently in the call God has placed on my life.
By nature, I am not the first one to share what is going on in my life unless I am asked. God, being the way he is, has placed certain people in my life that are not afraid to ask me deep questions. When they ask me how I am doing, they really mean it and want an answer. One day my friend had a bunch of people over and another friend asked if I wanted to sit on the couch with her and chat. As soon as we sat down she goes, “So, heather… what makes you tick? What is something in your life that makes you feel like you had enough?” So yeah, as you can see that is not a superficial question. This same friend also asked me how my brother passed and when I got done telling her the crazy long story, she then followed up with the question, “So how do you feel present day without him being here?” I could have just said “Fine” or “It’s hard” and moved the conversation along. But, I didn’t. I shared with her my feelings and cried like an ugly cry but, I allowed myself to go there.
“Going there” is hard and it is something that we all should take the risk and do. It’s a risk because you are trusting the person on the receiving end to handle your emotions with care. And if they don’t handle it with care then it hurts, really hurts. Sadly, it is apart of life. We have to learn who we can and cannot trust. We have to learn to have discernment on others but sometimes you learn the hard way. If we allow the hurt to stop us from being transparent then we get shallow friendships, like I had mentioned before.
Most importantly, there is a time and place to transparency. I choose to lead my life with the Joy of the Lord so when I say things are going great, even if there are aspects that aren’t, I really mean it. I choose to Joy…. this is a whole other blog post, but knowing when and were to be transparent is important.
Fostering relationships to welcome transparency creates strong bonds with others and allows you to live a life in community with others. It creates a culture of support, compassion, and allows us to grow. And I am not willing to stay stagnant in life.