Recently a dear and close friend recommended a book to me called “Getting to Commitment”. I bought the book out of sufferance thinking to myself “I don’t have commitment issues”. Well not until best friend laughed hysterically at that comment.
What I came to realise as I read this book was that commitment doesn’t just relate to a romantic relationships. Commitment relates to partners, friends, children, careers and goals.
For me this book was, and still is, life changing. One of the many things that resonated with me is what the author refers to as is “letting yourself be known”. To let yourself be known is to have courage to share your thoughts, feelings and opinions as well as allowing others to do the same.
As a normal rule I keep my inner thoughts, feelings and opinions to myself. Particularly when I am upset. Recently, mindful of changing a behaviour that wasn’t particularly beneficial, I beared my soul. I was open and honest in a loving way about how I was feeling, however it still cost me what I thought was a close friend.
So when a different circumstance arose where a friend had, what I considered a skewed perception regarding a situation, I was hesitant to share my thoughts and knowledge. I was concerned that speaking my truth would cause me to loose her friendship.
Ultimately as difficult as it was for me, I realised if speaking my truth (with love and respect) costs me her friendship, so be it. Mindful that letting myself be known was a two way street. Hence I would have to give her the chance to respond. I didn’t have to agree or like what she had to say, however I did have to (at the very least) respect her right to “be known” and be open to receiving her point of view.
It takes courage to stand true to what you believe in. Your thoughts, your perspective and viewpoints. It’s easier to be swayed by the popular vote or by the person who takes the more righteous stance or even by fear.
There is vulnerability is letting yourself be known. Because in doing so you expose what is close to your heart. Which means you open yourself to being hurt. However there is also much empowerment in being vulnerable, because ultimately you are being true to yourself.
Nelson Mandela said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”. Courage is a skill and like any skill the more we practice it, the more it develops until it becomes second nature.