Transparency and Why It Is So Scary

“How are you?” I ask and I already know what I’m going to hear. It’s either one of the following: “fine, not too bad, good or ok.” The most commonly asked question in our day to day lives is probably the most dishonestly answered question ever. And that, ladies and gentlemen, tells us something about society and the way we are uncomfortable with truth and saying what’s alive for us.

The issue with speaking our truth is that before it can come out of our mouth we need to know what actually is true for us in this moment. And the issue with knowing that is, that it is stored in our body, but we have been gradually educated out of the intuitive sense of feeling ourselves in this world.

Growing up in a culture that teaches us out to disconnect with our bodies (just having to sit still for hours on end when you are an alive and thriving child indicates this fact) leaves us lost in the maze of our emotional expression and we opt for the easy way out: “I’m good.”

“GOOD” IS NOT A FEELING

Chances are high that apart from the fact that “good” is not a feeling, you probably don’t even feel good (even if it was a feeling).

Most people spend their lives in dense survival emotions and don’t even recognize this fact. We are so accustomed to feeling stressed, uncomfortable, anxious or sad, that we take it for our natural state of being and think that this is what life is supposed to feel. But let’s face it: We all know what feeling exuberant and joyful really tastes inside of our bodies, we just don’t experience much of it. The reason for that is that we have so much resistance to feeling the less accepted feelings (anger, sadness, jealousy etc), that we never allow ourselves to safely express them and let these emotions to move. So there is never enough space inside for the lighter more natural feeling states.

SAFETY IS KEY

Here is why transparency is scary: For most people saying the truth feels like a road to hell. “What if I hurt this person?” “What if they don’t like me?” Underneath all these worries lives our own discomfort and fear of feeling emotions like rejection or pain. The good news is: only until we jump. We’ve had so many experiences where people who were scared to death about saying what was really going on inside, got to speak despite the fear and all of a sudden looked 10 years younger, radiated and had so much more energy.

In order for us to relearn the art of speaking our truth we need to bring new frameworks of communication so we can walk tenderly and softly around our inability to express. The framework of “Sharing” provides safety and liberation, mostly because we close our eyes during the process. That might feel really strange in the beginning, but there are a few reasons why that creates a lot more space for real transparency to come out:

1. Closing our eyes adds 80% of our sensory data usually consumed by our eyes to the ability to listen deeply.

2. Closing our eyes takes away the inner censoring that we constantly do when we talk to others and adjust our responses to their mimic and gestures.

3. Closing our eyes enables us to feel ourselves and the other deeper as we are not so consumed by everything that’s going on around.

We call sharing a “speaking meditation” – you come out the other end with so many more insights about yourself and why you are feeling.

TRANSPARENCY IS NOT BRUTALITY

You might ask, “So I’m just going to tell everybody what I am thinking about them?” and the answer to that is: No. Transparency is an inside job. It’s not about throwing your collected internal garbage onto someone. It’s about inquiring into YOUR feelings and WHY you are feeling this way.

Here is the difference between brutal honesty: “You’re a bastard and so full of yourself” and transparency: “The way you spoke to me just now is making me feel really angry. Now I am wondering why your reaction are creating so much pain inside of me…? Maybe because my father used to speak like this…” etc.

Simon and I use what we call “SHARING” as an essential and regular tool to clean our relationSHIP from the clutter that we collect on our ships deck.

We have started our relating on the basis of this practice and continue to practice even after 5 years. It doesn’t completely save us from ever falling out with each other (because let’s face it, storms happen when you are out at sea, combatting the waves and winds) but it has deeply shifted the way we communicate and know what truth feels inside of our bodies. Since Simon has introduced this practice I cannot even imagine or understand how any of my former relationships have even worked without this beautiful way of communicating. It allows the transformation of dysfunction and distortion that so often happens through words. We have time and time again fallen in love with each other by deliberately sitting and nurturing our relationship with this practice.

IN THE BEGINNING THIS WAY OF SHARING MIGHT FEEL CONTRIVED, TOO STRUCTURED OR DOWN RIGHT WEIRD. That is only because it is new. Once you start practicing and getting familiar with the process it becomes natural (but it needs repetition and blissipline)! And as a byproduct all other interactions in ‘normal life’ will also benefit immensely, because you will know how to connect to what you are truly feeling and mostly how to listen deeply. One of the reasons why communication goes so often so wrong is because everybody is doing the talking and nobody wants to do the listening.

Click on the button below and let it guide you through the process. See if you can set up a sharing with somebody who you are close to in the next week. A friend or lover. Doing this with your family is usually much more difficult, so don’t try it with your mother or father, before you feel really strong and embodied in speaking your truth. Once you know what it feels like to speak from your heart, then you can interact with others even without this framework and gently listen to them. Maybe that’s all you and they need?

Have any questions? Simon and I are available for sessions to guide you deeper into this process.

A version of this post was previously published on DaraAndSimon and is republished here with a Creative Commons License.

◊♦◊

If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.

All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.

Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.


Photo credit: Shutterstock