Often hard. False beliefs block the way. We think we'll be rejected, the object of scorn, if we ex-press opinions differing from the crowd. It is common to be infected by doubt and the anxi-ety of not fitting in. Our fears often are the offspring of
outdated lessons from youth. We cling to invalid conclusions, not reality.
It's far better noticing what prompts our fears. Instead of resisting emotional pain, it is best focusing on it. Not because we are maso-chists. Our intent is seeing what transpires when facing this black beast known as terror. What image surfaces?
We'll find, like the ghosts our fears appear to be, they vanish, upon scrutiny--- when placed in the light of reality.
Holding on to nebulous fears makes them larger. They become more disturbing. Fear can easily haunt our psyche, instilling dread. Most are imaginings. Little substance to them. Acknowledging our anxieties--facing them, staying with them, seeing where they take us---usually diminishes the generalized unease they produce.
When relating transparently, we don't need to be perfect. We reveal who we are---the good with the bad. Comfortable in our own skin, we are. What makes this vulnerability possible is having a sup-portive network. When surrounded by good company, it is okay to fail."Courage faces fear and thereby masters it."
It is no big deal.
We can pick ourselves up when we fail. With our friends, our worth is not related to how well we perform. With good company, there is acceptance. We are not defined by our failures.
Our friends may not necessarily approve our behavior. But we are accepted for who we are, the good along with the not so good. We are simply loved. Safe People---emotionally healthy people---are commit-ted to us. They have empathy. Empathy does not mean agreement but it provides compassion. Being graciously loved, we are motivated to take the path of gentleness towards our weaknesses and failures.
It is essential finding people who prefer truth to being comfortable. Avoiding honesty to protect others from feeling uncomfortable or ourselves from their reactions, if we are honest, is insincerity. Let me say that again. If we are a chameleon about our values, adapting them to whatever group we are with, we are as phoney as a plastic flamingo stuck in our front lawn.
Without transparency we will not laugh all of our laughter. We will not cry all of our tears. Without authenticity life loses its fullness. Strong, authentic connection will not be impossible. There's a word for strong contact.
Intimacy. Living transparently, it can be ours.