Wednesday, July 3, 2013


On all of my reflective psychology assignments, my professor always writes, “thank you for your transparency.” Every time I read that, I’m kind of like—you don’t have to thank me for that. Everyone wants a chance to spill their guts now and then. Transparency is so over-rated. Honesty is dangerous. Vulnerability is terrifying. It’s a lot easier to pretend. To make up what we want to be and then papier-mâché ourselves with what we think people want to see. It doesn’t hurt as much as putting our selves out there.

We like control. I like control. It provides safety, certainty, and stability, and we all know life isn’t stable, so control is kind of helpful. It’s kind of our lifeline, just in case God doesn’t throw us the life vest if we go overboard, which we know we will at some point. The thing is, with hard work, we can control just about anything, or least we can give ourselves the illusion that we’re in control. I can manipulate my thoughts, the thoughts others have about me; I can change my image, control how I look, how I’m perceived. I’m in control of my words, my image, my feelings. If I’m sad, I can choose to cry or not to cry. I control that. If you’re being honest though, and you’re sad, you’d cry. You’d bawl like a baby if you felt so inclined. But crying is emotion and emotion is messy (plus, who might see you? What would so-and-so think about your running mascara?) and messy is hard to handle and the harder to handle a situation is the less control-grip we have, so we just smile and say, “Oh! I’m fine.”

Is honesty worth it? In a world of fakes and facades and wannabes inviting us to fade into the quiet, comfortable background, is it worth it to be transparent or real? I wrote down a quote once that said something like, don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, because what the world needs is people who are alive.

Alive (living, not avoiding the hard stuff, being completely awake) = Transparency (being yourself, being real, being honest). 

Honesty feels scary and kind of like skydiving because you don’t know where being real and messy is going to land you. People don’t always deal with real and messy very well and sometimes it's not that desirable—but that’s kind of what life is. Life doesn’t apologize for it’s crazy ride and death or traffic tickets or debt or mismatched socks or failing Algebra or falling in love. You don’t get to punch in a numerical digit into the Vending Machine of Life and pick out what you want. There’s good and bad, mud and poetry. Completely unapologetic and real and just what it is. When you think about it that way, it makes trying to fit our selves into puzzle pieces that are all going to fit together somehow eventually kind of stupid. Why are we trying to impress each other? Why are we trying so hard? Shouldn’t being real be a little easier than this? Shouldn't it actually be the easiest thing?

How valuable is honesty? Valuable enough to thank someone for it?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I so agree. Especially in Christian circles,vulnerability is hard to come by. And I love that quote! I pray that I live life and life abundant!