Radical Transparency

Radical Transparency

As human beings, we hold secrets and thoughts deep within our selves that feel dangerous. Their potential revelation seems to threaten our self-esteem, our jobs, our families, our communities, our self-image, or the sometimes delicate balance of our lives. We hide these thoughts behind various masks, buried in the roles we have accepted or the stories we tell about ourselves, and we despair that we may never be completely free to express the fullness and depth of the selves we keep hidden. We long for connection and suffer in this isolation, yet we allow ourselves to be bound, never being seen and heard and appreciated and forgiven for the entirety of who we know we are on the inside.

I have personally stumbled through life selectively revealing pieces, trying to protect myself, recoiling from rejection and hurt, hoping to find the someone — even just one someone — who wants to approach closer, to begin to see and accept and appreciate the entirety of Me, the depth of feeling, perception, joy, understanding, and compassion that I find in my own heart, flawed as I am. I have held out the goal that this person would see more than any other ever has, revealing themselves in turn, to release and to be released by a profound partnership in honesty and transparency. I have held out hope that they would truly know me and accept me and encounter together that human yearning for connection at the deepest level.

My latest effort in this regard ended recently, and not well. I loved her and suffered under the limits of her boundaries and the walls she erected to push me away, and while I have never been kicked quite so hard or hurt quite so much, when it ended I realized that my hope and desire for connection was still alive. “Second marriage is the triumph of Optimism over Experience,” someone told me, and I have proven to be remarkably optimistic.

And so this introvert launched this experiment in Radical Transparency. If we hope to be known we need to let others know us. We need to speak up, put our selves on the line, risk the revelation of our true selves, say “this is Me,” and hope for a response, even from just one other person. I realized I may never be known if I continue to open up slowly, to one person at a time. There simply is not enough time to allow ourselves stay hidden.

So in this blog, this transparent meditation, this manifesto, this whatever-it-is, I will explore some of my most personal thoughts in a most public way, to the most people possible. I hope it will be as much a reflection on the human condition as it is a form of personal therapy and perhaps a guide for others, and I hope what I have to say resonates with you. I hope you will come to know me and be inspired to allow yourself to be known as well.

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