I’ve been ready for a slap. It’s been building up. I’ve been too seductive. I needed to be knocked back to earth.
Last week, in the midst of the slap-down-I-needed-to-have, my mate Dan Buettner posted a quote on Instagram from the Health Matters conference he was speaking at. He cited Bill Clinton, who spoke at the conference:
“It only hurts for a while to start practicing transparency. Then you can’t believe you didn’t do it all along.”
Reading it, I realised I have been a coward of late.
I realized fear of the pain entailed in being truly real stops me from being really true.
Sure, I’m great at exposing select truths. Of doing warts and all exposes about my bowel movements and various comedic faults to you all here, and in other mediums, and with the people close to me. But even with myself, I seductively and very selectively choose the less ugly warty truths I wish to expose. And in doing so commit a greater sin. I cover up my lack of real transparency with semi-transparencies. Everyone will think I’m telling the truth about everything, if I go above and beyond what most people do in polite company. That’s my seductive thinking.
But to be truly transparent, in the transformative and humanity-serving sense, is to be real and raw about the stuff that scares you most. You know, the stuff that you avoid. For it’s this stuff – or the breaking down of it – that will grow us and grow those around us. Actually, it’s breaking through the squirm inherent in this stuff, and front-facing my ugliness, that sees me grow.
If I’m being too cryptic for some of you, let me be transparent. The past few weeks, I’ve been abrupt with people I adore because I’ve been in my own preoccupied world, thinking my stress justifies my shutting the world out. I’ve not been real about my behaviour and I haven’t been transparent about why (nor have I been transparent with myself about how I don’t really have a valid excuse). I’ve been slapped a few times as I face the reality of this.
Thing is, Bill (Clinton) is right – the pain only lasts a little while. Which makes my behaviour even more cowardly. I’ve hurt others to avoid short-term pain.
OK, time to switch to a kinder tone with myself. The good, uplifting thing to take from Bill’s wisdom is this:
Transparency is worth the pain. Especially because the pain is short-term.
I’m ready to be truly real. Are you really true at the moment? Need a slapdown?