There is a very unfortunate stigma attached to transparency. By transparency, I mean sharing openly and honestly exactly how you feel or what you believe, whether it is positive or negative, deemed acceptable or unacceptable. We fear sharing our deepest thoughts because everyone around us is a critic. This leaves us feeling alone and ironically, leaves others who are in the same situation feeling very alone.
Humans are very linear thinkers. It is our default to think in terms of start to finish, birth to death. With that comes assumptions of where one should fall on the line based on their numeric age. This is referred to as maturity. Maturity is socially defined through arbitrary means. What constitutes a “mature mind” has always varied dramatically across cultures and eras.
Yet, we feel we must live up to these arbitrary definitions of maturity or personal growth. But no one wants to seem more immature than they truly are, and so transparency of where we are at in our journeys becomes frightening.
What if we are not mature enough for our age? Smart enough for our place in life? Well-developed enough on our path?
The fear is powerful, no doubt. It takes a hold and before we know it, we are scared to be our authentic selves, let alone speak our authentic voice.
But there is an amazing freedom that comes from recognizing that there is no where you “should” be. There is no particular point in your supposed linear existence which calls you to be more than you are. You just are. We all just are.
There are those who will point to you, point to your age, point to your education, point to your experiences and tell you that you should be more – more intelligent, more mature, more advanced, just more.
No matter what piece of yourself you choose to expose genuinely, someone will be standing there to tell you that they are “further ahead” than you are, using their age, growth or arbitrarily deemed maturity to inform you that you are less developed or still “young.”
It can be easy to get wrapped up in this thinking and constantly feel like you have to reach a certain age, maturity, development before you are able to be fully transparent in yourself. But the truth is, you are right where you need to be right now. You are right where someone else needs you to be right now. By not remaining transparent for fear of those “further ahead” than you, you rob those who do need to see you as you are now. You rob yourself of loving and accepting who you are now.
You rob yourself of now.
Be you now. Right now. Be who you are proudly and transparently. You are not a line. You are not a start and finish. You are you right now. And that is all you ever need to be.
Don’t live in fear of what you should be. Don’t measure yourself up to arbitrary, societal, or cultural points on a line. You only need one point.
So choose today to be transparent. Choose this moment to forget the fears of the “shoulds” and embrace the “ares.”
You are right now. And that is all you ever need to be.