28 Dec Am I Keeping It Real in My Relationships?
I am a firm believer of “Keeping it REAL!”(If you’re mad, stay mad!) However, the more I really think about it – I haven’t really been keeping it real for the majority of my life.
I suppose my old definition of keepin’ it real was more of having an objective opinion of people in my life – to see the good, the bad and appreciating all aspects of who they are; to not condone any unruly behaviour and to praise them relentlessly. So before I tell you what my new definition of ‘keepin’ it real is – let us explore how I derived at this new definition.
A couple of years ago, a close friend of mine reached out to me and expressed that she felt alone in her life’s struggles. She told me that some days she didn’t know what she was doing, which direction she was heading in or where all of her trial and tribulations were leading her. Feelings of confusion were overwhelming and she felt like she was just stuck in quicksand, not knowing which road was needed to reach the destination named success.
Truth is, I have been there. In fact, most times, I am still there experiencing this confusion. I’m trying to figure out my career, my place in the social stratosphere, how to work through my inner demons so that they don’t hamper my future, keep up with fashion trends, keep my weight and debt down, relate to me and somehow in between all of this remember everyone’s birthday!
Added to this confusion, I have been blessed (and somewhat cursed) by having fabulous, super brilliant, successful, driven friends each in their own special way. I say ‘somewhat cursed’ because I used to constantly compare myself to my friends. I felt that I paled in comparison to their achievements (another issue for another blog). The constant smiles and fabulous trips on Facebook, the boyfriends and marriages, the promotions, the attainment of scholastic honours – I’m not exaggerating for pity – I really know some exceptional human beings. Everyone just seems to have their head on and moving in the right direction.
My life has been less than perfect but I’m fighting to make sense of it, to find my inner peace and happiness.
I wouldn’t say my friends didn’t know me, but I certainly didn’t share many of my insecurities with them. One day a crack appeared in my facade and I just had to release. Was it easy? Nope. I was so scared of being judged but I was also exhausted of acting everything was just great.
Opening up myself to my friends gave me a sense of courage that I have longing for my entire life. I have allowed them to see me for who I am, and they have not rejected me. Opening up and allowing to place my trust in some of my friends has definitely deepened our relationships. I am truly blessed.
We are so busy keeping up appearances with our loved ones that we risk not benefiting from truly authentic relationships with them. We risk not being able to engage, love support and connect on a real level because we are not normal or worse yet be judged since we don’t fit an ideal. When I was going through my dark period of confusion – sharing my experience was a blessing to my close relationships. A new gateway of openness and trust has been created.
So what’s my new definition of Keepin’ It Real? Well, it’s more of a personal manifesto really…
- I AM worthy of love and kindness. I embrace my strengths and my weaknesses.
- I will show up and be seen and engage people around me no matter how uncomfortable it is for me.
- I hereby choose to live authentically with the people who are close to me and persons I work with.
- I will exhibit self-compassion first – allow myself to make mistakes and not beat myself up over them. It is only through self-compassion can I really and truly be compassionate with others.
- I will take emotional risks (as risky as a former banker could) regardless of how uncomfortable I may feel and not over analyse the consequences.
- Learning to set boundaries and say no – saying no to people makes me feel extremely vulnerable.
- If it scares the hell out of me – it’s probably totally worth it!!!