I have been pondering transparency — by which I mean reducing the number of walls and hidden rooms in one’s life — integrating the various aspects of the self — and being up front, real, straightforward, honest — not having different masks or selves for different occasions.
(To my friends who are multiples, I am not talking about your kind of situation. Although I think it’s interesting that I can talk about my singleton self in language that can also be used of multiplicity.)
Sometimes I think that absolute transparency is the ideal — being the same person to everyone in my life, whether they understand and respect me and know and love me well or not.
Sometimes I think that healthy boundaries includes the idea that some hidden rooms, some thick walls, are not only necessary but good and wise — that not all relationships must include the same level of transparency from me.
Other times I think it is wrong or hypocritical of me to share some things with some people and not with others.
Other times I think there’s a difference between healthy boundaries and hypocrisy.
Sometimes I think I have just about mastered the art of being transparent with everyone and yet being intimate with hardly anyone. Sometimes I think that is good — it keeps the peace — it’s me being real. But sometimes I think that is bad — what matters in relationship is the heart, the actual closeness, not how much I’m willing to share with my words, how much I’m willing to let people see me.
So I still have massive walls — they’re changing from brick to glass, with remarkable clarity in some places — but they’re still walls.
One of the risks of transparency is ridicule, hatred, judgment, shock, or other forms of rejection.
Another risk of transparency is that people might take it as an invitation to intimacy (is it?), and I might not want to be intimate with those people, even if I think I should be transparent toward them.
I want to know more how to go about my life — how to be integrated and real and straightforward at all times (maybe that doesn’t always mean 100% transparency in all situations), how to develop and maintain healthy boundaries (does that mean limiting transparency at times?), and how to have real intimacy where I want to (if I really am allowed to choose), at the level I want to (again, if the choice is allowed).