I thought that after the recent experience in a business environment I had learned about all about ‘being real’. That breakthrough lesson which taught me more about my connections with others. It was a growth experience: the epiphany that hiding is what keeps us separate from others and disallows the Oneness. I had learned my lesson and I was happy to move forward. I couldn’t wait to share this experience with a dear, dear friend.
This friend demonstrated her spirituality, compassion, kindness, gentleness, service, and love everywhere she went throughout her community, and her community was the world. Everyone who knows her sees her as this. We’ve had a close, honest friendship for several years now. A friend who said she loved me unconditionally. A friend who told me repeatedly that she was there for me, that I could trust her. I could tell her anything. I echoed those words back to her many times. I deeply trusted this person despite having previously learned to be more prudent with that valuable commodity of trust in others.
So, while we were sharing our challenges with inauthenticity, I opened up about an important and very painful circumstance I was in. My recent epiphany left me open, feeling strong in my ability to speak my truth. For the first time in a long time, I felt free to be me, free to share my inner thoughts and workings. So, with my new-found experience in truth, I opened myself to my friend. I told them things I’ve not told anyone. Guess what happened?
I felt a shift. I felt a change. I knew something was wrong. Bells and whistles were going off everywhere. I tried to address the situation, find out the truth. “Everything is fine.” I heard repeatedly to my frequent questions over the next day. I couldn’t ignore my gut. I knew this was a lie. Everything was not fine. Honoring her desire to remain private, I left it alone. I ‘d approach it in a day or so after she’d process whatever was going on for her. I didn’t get the opportunity. The very next day, she authentically went online and made derogatory comments about me. She posted things she couldn’t say to my face when I asked. Her comments were hurtful and maligning, but the worst of all was what I perceived as ‘her lies’!
From my limited perspective of pain, it appears she’d overstated how committed she was to the friendship; “unconditional” she repeated. I believed she’d overestimated her ability to hear the truth. “Anything, anytime”, I heard her past words echo in my heart. Most of all, she thought herself authentic and truthful. Yet she couldn’t speak her truth when I asked her to honestly share her thoughts and feelings about what I knew was happening. Instead, she used public disclosure to express her feelings without communicating with me directly. In an attempt to salvage the friendship, I asked her to be truthful, be real, but she couldn’t. I frightened her with my honesty and she couldn’t handle it. She shut down and shut me out.
It was another authentic teaching moment for me. I openly faced a huge fear of being myself, speaking my truth honestly and openly. My worst fear had come true. My truth had cost me an important friendship. This time, I learned another truth about authenticity. Authenticity does not change reality and people can only be as honest with you as they can be with themselves. She could be my friend when she saw only those traits/characteristics that she believed. She couldn’t face the truth I revealed when I pulled away the mask. While she might not have been able to speak her truth, her behavior was completely authentic to her. I was the one having the problem. She felt free to be herself. I now saw what I had closed my eyes to all along.
I realized she had spent the entire previous conversation complaining about her friends: why she didn’t like the way they were or what they weren’t doing for themselves. She couldn’t tell them the truth or distance herself for fear they might think differently of her. She couldn’t tell them how she felt used, or that the relationship was imbalanced. Instead she smiled her truth, took their calls and texts, lent an ear and a shoulder, but as she stated, the discomfort of it was ‘killing her’. She had been talking about her inability to be authentic and real in her relationships all along. Somehow, her authentic words never penetrated my idealism about her and our friendship. Clearly, I had covered my eyes and ears, blinded by her brightness.
Authenticity and truth have a funny way of showing us about ourselves and our perceptions about the people around us. I suspect our relationship formed during a time when we resonated at the same level of inauthenticity. Having moved into an authentic vibration within myself, the relationship no longer resonated. We were out of harmony. We both felt the discomfort. Therefore, the relationship shifted. It matters not, how it happened, just that it did. It was a necessary letting go of another relationship that formed while I was wearing a mask. It shattered in the reflection of the light that now shone upon it.
There was another important lesson: the power of illusion. She saw only what she wanted to see and I heard only what I wanted to hear. I’m grateful to get this lesson (again). I know one thing for certain. Without a question, standing in my truth provides me so much more clarity and opportunity for growth. Hiding will never unleash my light. Hiding will only continue to support illusion, confusion, and stagnation: living in the dark. I’ve had more than enough hide and seek in my lifetime.
The simple reality is that truth and authenticity are the means by which we find out connection to Self and others. It provides a platform to engage with life. Life still presents important challenges, situations, and lessons. Truth and authenticity don’t change that; they only provide the best perspective from which to view the landscape of our lives. With that greater perspective we can then see the best action to take toward the future.
……Another lesson on getting real in tomorrow’s post.