We all want to be seen, to be known. We all want to be able to see and know the others in our lives. Our feelings, wishes, desires, excitements, joys. All of it. Who we are as individuals, with our own combination of attitudes, feelings, traits and interests. Our gifts.
Yet the degree of fear, of competition, and of control that pervades our culture inhibits being comfortably transparent. So we are forced to evaluate, and decide how transparent to be with each person, and with each group.
TRANSPARENCY WITH BOUNDARIES
Adding the concept of boundaries is essential as we practice being transparent. My new group of friends appreciated my being transparent, and gave me the nickname, Lets it Rip! The man who told me this was concerned that I would be offended. Instead, I was deeply complimented, as this is how I want to be. But of course, most people I am around don’t want me to let it rip.
CONTINUUM OF TRANSPARENCY
While I may not let it rip in everywhere, I no longer change my facial expression to indicate something I’m not feeling. Well, most of the time anyway. When I try to project something that isn’t true, I feel gangly and odd. It’s painful to feel that way and not be able to name it. if I can tell the person, then the discomfort goes away. Then I get to process what is going on for me, or ask the other person what may be going on that they might talk about.
The GATHERINGS are designed to invite transparency with boundaries. When you tell someone that you aren’t comfortable talking about something, you are still being transparent! You are expressing a feeling, a limit. So the two of you are still intimate.
Being in a group of people who are committed to checking in with themselves to see what is going on, and then revealing it, allows each person to feel safe and at home. You are not alone when with open, self-revealing people – even if they don’t want to talk or interact at all! They are real. Healing Humanity: Life Without Shame and Create New Love: How Men and Women can Prepare for a Lasting Relationship both present information on the function of belonging to a group.
Being with others who are real allows each person to heal from the effects of being in a dysfunctional culture, and dysfunctional families. You no longer have to figure out how to alter yourself in order to fit in. To belong. You get to be yourself and still belong!