Personal Transparency

Adopting personal transparency seems akin to coming out of the closet is for a gay person. At least, to me, it does. I always exercised caution when it came to revealing my true thoughts, feelings, dreams – the real me. Being familiar with many gay people, I’ve heard some personal tales of “coming out”. In each case it was scary for them to be honest with family and most public people, kinda like walking off the edge of a cliff into a dark abyss shrouded in dense fog. Maybe weird noises are coming from that abyss too.

Openly revealing the inner me to anyone, much less strangers, took major effort. I’d been avoiding that dark abyss for about 30 years. Maybe a few more. Such deeply ingrained habits die hard. They clutch at your throat. They threaten you in secret ways.

I learned about transparency as it related to business while working for the San Francisco startup company OOGA LABS. fearless leaders stressed transparency as the business model to follow. Until then I’d never known of  the term. No deception to the public, no double talk. They seemed to conduct their personal lives in the same way for the most part. They provided me with a kernel of an idea that took way too many years for my brain to acknowledge and embrace.

No wonder I’d felt stifled and misunderstood and unhappy throughout my years of marriage! I knew the term “stifled” first-hand. It was never easy for me to reveal my thoughts; life had not rewarded me for trying to do so. Over the years I got stomped on whenever I worked up the nerve to try. I learned mental survival happened only if I remained stifled (silent). Oh, if I’d only understood how I was damaging my internal self as well as my relationships

But fast forward to how I evolved since beginning life again in 2001!

Like a baby learning to walk, I took some stumbles and bumped my head a few times, but finally learned how to be my true self. I learned to like myself and reveal my true self to other people.

I finally figured out that an honest relationship was reliant on personal transparency. In personal relationships I came to recognize that I would never be truly happy unless the person who claimed to love me really had access to – knowledge of – the real me.

Thus, the birth of The Real Jule.

Really, the prospect of allowing potential strangers to read my personal feelings and thoughts was more than just a leap into the dark abyss. It was more than just scary. It felt like walking (not running) down the street naked – like slowly walking along the road during commute time.

I jumped into the abyss 30 times in a row during June, since I had committed to doing so for Blogathon 2013.

Slowly I became more comfortable – people did not point fingers and jeer at me. At least, not to my knowledge.

So I did another leap of sorts. When I encountered Mr. Potentials online, I gave them access to my blog. That almost turned me into a nail-biter. Still, my writing is honest, so they may as well know what I am about, right?

Cut my potential losses at the get-go kinda thing.

Each time I feel the fear and do it anyway.

The book of that title was written by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., and gave me the courage to go forth honestly and openly instead of stifling myself in many ways:

The practical principles presented in this book have been enormously helpful to me with regards to creating art, too. Apparently I had a few underlying fears that affected my progress in more than one area. So now I face them and do my best to prevail. It gets easier and easier with practice.

After recent family issues side-tracked me from writing and from painting for almost the past 2 months, I have begun to resume what for me is desired normalcy – painting, reading, and writing. I have also begun corresponding with another Mr. Potential. I had the same old jitters when I sent him the link to my blog, and felt the fear creeping through the cracks of my newly discovered self-confidence.

Yeah, I see you lurking there, FEAR, but you may as well go pick on someone else. I read and digested a book about you!

This new man seems to be accepting of the real jule – so far, so good. And I find honesty is not difficult with him.

If things move forward after we meet up face-to-face, then I know we have a solid footing – at least from my end of things. Friendship or romance? I have yet to find out. Like many people I know, both young and old, he seems to easily practice personal transparency.

To me, the road to finally being real, and liking myself, has been long and arduous – not easy.

But that which is hard-won has greater value, right?

I wonder what lessons are next for me? For the first time in many years I am not trepidatious – not afraid – just curious.

What lessons do others realize they FINALLY learned? Life is so interesting.

9 thoughts on “Personal Transparency

  1. Julie, congratulation on learning to see and feel your fears. As we both now know (I think it took us both over 30 yrs to “know”), it is the only way to move past our fears.

    I really like your analogy of walking (not running) down the street naked. We can’t hurry past our fears and run away from dealing with them.We need to accept our fears, take them in stride, and continue our journey past them.

  2. I hear you my friend! And then once you figure out the real you, the work begins to figure out what to do with it. I started blogging under an assumed name so nobody would know it was me…every time in press that publish button I feel a little quickening of my heart beat. Glad you’re back! Cheers to the real Jule!

  3. Yeah! Moving past fear and trepidation is big! And, I think we all fight that one on an almost daily basis….if we’re being true to self. What am I learning and being transparent about? Living for me, living it my way and full-out!

    • Hah! My smartass reply is that you do indeed know me. However, that seems conceited of me, so I will simply say thank you. I hope I will be the one feeling lucky or fortunate in finding who I find.

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