The definition of transparent according to Webster’s Dictionary:
: able to be seen through
: easy to notice or understand
This post stems from a brief interaction with a friend on Facebook Monday night and then an article posted by another friend Tuesday morning.
The one friend posted a quote which states “It is perfectly okay to admit you’re not okay.”
The other is a blog post reposted by a friend called “Somewheres” by Sarah Bessey:
Please hop over and read her post when you have a moment. It’s well worth the read.
I see multiple levels of transparency on Facebook on a daily basis. There are people who post every minute, little detail of their lives, some of which really doesn’t belong in a public forum. There are some who only post the negatives in their lives. There are others who only post the positive. There are others who give you glimpses of their inner thoughts, but it’s obvious they are holding a part of themselves back.
As I interacted with the first friend on FB Monday night, I started to think about my blog. Yes, it’s been a while since I have posted due to a crazy summer, but transparency is what I have wanted for this blog from day one. It’s crazy how you are determined to stay the path and do the “hard things,” but know that many times, the blog post falls short because the transparency isn’t always truly there.
I also thought about my own FB page. Where do I fall in the area of transparency in my personal posts? My posts are safe. For the most part they are about my kids and a little about my husband. I share the good side of parenting. While I love my kids, there are days I count down the minutes to bedtime. Yet, I don’t share that on FB. I will repost articles on faith, church, marriage and parenting. I am also an open book when it comes to the subject of miscarriages. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I am a die hard Bama fan and post many things related to Bama football.
When you look at my FB page you get a small glimpse into my life, but it’s mostly surface level things and not a true picture of who I am or my innermost thoughts.
As I have stopped to think about what it means to be completely and totally 100% transparent, I have thought about why it’s so hard for people to do so.
1) Society expects everyone to wear their masks at all time and not showing anything other than surface level emotions. Society believes “I’m okay, your okay,” and to state anything else is considered unacceptable.
2) There are people in our lives who honestly don’t want to hear the hard stuff. They only want to hear the good stuff because they aren’t capable of dealing with hard stuff in life.
3) We don’t completely trust the people in our circle can handle the hard stuff, or we don’t trust ourselves to give them that opportunity.
4) Pride. This is the one I struggle with the most. Pride prevents us from sharing our shortcomings. Pride prevents us from admitting we are less than perfect. Pride prevents us from admitting that we need the very grace Christ died on the cross for.
5) Many churches sadly don’t foster an atmosphere of openness. We walk into our churches and when asked how we are doing, the answer is typically “I’m blessed, so blessed,” when in reality there are times when there are pain and heartache underneath our “happy camper” mask.
The question running through my mind as I interacted with a friend Monday night and read the article the next morning is “Are there at least 1 or 2 people in my own life with whom I feel I could be 100% completely transparent with?” The sad, but honest answer is “no.” I am guessing that many of your reading this the answer is the same. I am also guessing that you, like me, have friends who have walked through some dark times with you. They have proven they are supportive and loyal friends, but you can’t open that door.
Given that this is a true statement, why don’t we open up? Why do we choose to stay silent when we are surrounded by some incredible friends? Fear? Pride? It could be that some of our friends are walking through hard times and we feel like what we are going through is minor or petty. So many times people are told “There are others who have it worse than you do and you should be thankful that it’s not any worse.” While that may be partially true, it doesn’t negate your feelings. Your feelings are still your feelings and you are entitled to them. Just because another person has it worse, doesn’t mean your feelings are less important than theirs.
It’s time to let down our guards and take off our masks. It’s time to experience true freedom. It’s time to start living our Galatians 6:1-2 ” Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
As you have been reading this, I hope and pray you have been mentally going through your list of family and friends and identifying at least 1 or 2 people you trust and know you can turn to when needed. While I have placed an emphasis on being open and transparent, I will caution you to make sure the person/ people you choose to open up to are truly going to support you and pray you through whatever it may be.
Here’s to learning to be more transparent and trusting.