Safe to be Real

06262014 safetobereal

I promise to be honest here in this space.

I know it’s a public, online community where anyone can read these thoughts.  But we promised when we started the blog to be real.  Not inappropriately airing dirty laundry, not gossipy or show-offy, but authentic.  Vulnerable, real women who want not just to live, but to THRIVE.  And nobody be thrivin’ on fakeness, people.

I know it’s tempting to make myself sound better or more spiritual or less annoying; to embellish or exaggerate feelings or events.  It’s easier to post pictures of my two year old holding her lip gloss exclaiming “I’m beautiful!” rather than the permanent marker she decided to grace her lips (and therefore her teeth) with.  I’d rather show you the perfect dinner I plated “food network style” than the disgusting homemade “sauce” I whipped up, or the flowers my husband brought than the argument we had regarding whipped cream.

I know it’s easy to get carried away with trying to look smart or cool and ‘real’.  Just look at Facebook; everybody’s doing it.

It’s also tempting to just write about all the stuff I want to complain about, and not share the celebration or joy that I experience each day too.  That’s not fair either, and hardly a true picture of my real life.  I’d rather not dance between the two– boasting or complaining.

I will just be me, hopefully.

It’s hard to be real, the real raw, vulnerable real that makes a deep friendship.  I grew up in a community that seemed to prefer to see you at your best– nobody’s parents fought, everyone bought MAC makeup and we were all going to grow up and live the dream, whatever that was at the time.  Then in college I realized that’s not real life.  The people I thought were perfect had affairs or quit their awesome spiritual jobs or got divorced or married or both or went down a path I’d never expect.

And it begged the question of me…

Am I safe to be real with?

Can my friend open her heart and tell me her deep pain, unafraid of judgement or shock or disappointment?  Can that same friend share her exuberant joy and excitement without fear of jealousy, downplay or hidden contempt?

I want to be safe to be real with.

And reality is that sometimes I will judge, sometimes I will be jealous, sometimes I will be shocked but I will not hide behind the facade that everything’s perfect (insert smile and head tilt here).

I want to be safe to be real with.

So now I pose the question to you.

Are you safe to be real with?

Can your child tell you they were tempted to try something you’d curse?  Can your spouse tell you he/she feels alone?  Can a friend give you deep news without a judgmental stare?

Let’s be safe to be real with.  We all crave it, want it, need it.

It doesn’t mean it’s open game for gossip, complaining, rolling of eyes or even revealing all the details of private matters.  It simply means we share each other’s burdens, and rejoice with those who rejoice.  We let someone mourn with us, really mourn with us when mourning is appropriate and share joy when joy abounds.  It isn’t covering up the mourning with fake joy or downplaying the joy with a standard “it’s okay.”

Let’s be safe to be real with.

So what do you say?  Are you in?

Rachel Signature