Is there an elephant in your ‘relationship’ room?
There are lies we tell ourselves. And they prevent us from having authentic, emotionally naked relationships with the people who should be our closest friends and confidantes.
Telling the truth is hard. But avoiding the hard truths and telling lies instead – the ones you tell yourself and your loved ones – only prevents you from living your best, authentic life.
How do you address the elephant in the room…and to whom?
Well, that depends…
Pride comes before the fall…
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, we’ve all made mistakes – and the severity of our mistakes varies from person to person.
Maybe you’ve lost money gambling, you’ve been arrested, you’ve had an affair, or you’ve lied about a life goal that lives deep in your heart but were afraid to share.
The severity of the lie isn’t the issue…it’s learning how to be honest with yourself, and honest with the person you’ve invested your future in…the person who will help you be your best self.
There might be some secrets you’re afraid to share with your partner. I’m a strong believer in sharing all the shades of our personalities – the dark and the light – but if you don’t feel comfortable sharing all those shades with your partner, you need a trusted, neutral confidante. You need a therapist, counselor, or coach who will guide you through the conversations you need to have in order to shine a light on the dark side…to bring your secrets into the light.
We’re all here for a reason.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
I believe that we’re all here for a reason, we all have a purpose. We have certain gifts…and certain deficits. They make us human. But how do we make the most of our gifts, and adapt to our deficits?
When you’re entering into a relationship, you’re going to bring your strengths, and your vulnerabilities, to the table. There will be certain ‘absolutes’ in the early going:
- I hate the smell of cigarettes.
- I’m allergic to cats.
- I’m a terrible cook.
- I thrive in a crowd.
- I like to be alone with my thoughts.
It’s vital that you’re honest with yourself, and your partner, about the absolutes in your needs and wants. Maybe you don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke, but you don’t ‘hate’ smokers. Or you don’t like socializing every night of the week, but you can enjoy time with friends on a Friday night…just so long as you have some quiet time the next day to recharge your social battery.
How will your partner know that you need or want these things unless you’re willing to share?
The bits of your ‘self’ that you share can be very visceral.
- I’ve been hurt in the past and I have difficulty trusting people.
- I’m dedicated to my work, but sometimes feel tethered and it’s frustrating.
- The smell of cigarette smoke reminds me of some childhood pain.
It’s okay to have these responses to triggers in your life, but if you share them in the early going, or lay down a path to sharing when you’re in the midst of a committed relationship, you’ll find a happier, more fruitful path.
Listen to the ‘still small voice’…
One of the greatest lies we tell ourselves is that our fears and dreams aren’t valid. But our “still small voice” (Kings 19:11) is speaking to us all the time. And when we embrace those truths, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. I call them Naked Nuggets.
Seize the opportunity to stare your dreams and anxieties in the face…and share them with the person who is going to walk alongside you on your life journey. They don’t have to provide the solutions to all your problems, and they don’t have to be champions for all of your life causes, but knowledge of your intentions will enrich their understanding…and your relationship.
For the Naked Nuggets you don’t want to share with your life partner, find a trusted third party who will listen to your concerns, fears, and aspirations without judgment. They will have tools necessary to help you walk through your life journey with vibrancy…fully engaged, unencumbered by your fears and foibles.
It’s vital that you tell the truth…to yourself, and the people in your life who want to help you fulfill your dreams and aspirations..and forgive you for your mistakes.
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This article was originally published in January of 2017 but was been updated just for you on May 28th, 2020.