by Lauren Hawekotte
What is Transparency?
Transparency, quite literally, means to be able to be easily seen through. The thought of someone being able to see through me used to be terrifying. What would they think if they could really see me? What would they say? How would I be judged?
The questions I should’ve been asking myself were – Who would see themselves in me and find comfort in knowing that they weren’t alone? Who else is afraid to be transparent but would be inspired to do so by seeing someone else do it?
Isn’t Divorce Private?
Divorce is one of the few things in life that you might like to keep as private as possible, but it’s made so public in so many ways. I’d like to think that I made the choice to be transparent because it was the “right one.” The fact of the matter is, I really didn’t have much of a choice. I had to be honest with my (then) husband. We had to share the hard truth with our children. I turned to friends and family for support and was quickly faced with the reality that I had been far too opaque for far too long.
Transparency is Freeing
The thing that I learned through my divorce was that being transparent wasn’t nearly as terrifying as staying “opaque”… it was actually quite freeing. In being transparent, being see-through, being vulnerable, being exposed, I was able to connect with people in a way that I never had before. I was truly loved and supported.
Friends who were going through the same thing as me but had no one to talk to suddenly had someone who could understand. Had I not been willing to open up and be real and honest about what was going on in my life, I would’ve missed out on those connections. I would have missed out on living authentically which is freeing, not terrifying.
We all have a tendency to want to present the best version of ourselves to others – we highlight the happy moments on social media, we talk about the things we’re proud of that our spouse and children are doing, we don’t want to “air our dirty laundry.”
This comes from a good place, from a desire to lift others up and shine a light on the best aspects of those you love and good things they are doing in the world. Listen, no one expects you to post a photo of your house in disarray or quote the argument that you just had with your significant other. However, this one sided view of others can lead to feeling like “everyone else has it together, and we’re failing miserably at life”.
This is not how I want to make other people feel.
Being Transparent Allows Others to do the Same
The reality is, being transparent with others allows us to be transparent with ourselves as well. It allows us to finally acknowledge who we really are, who we are meant to be, and to fully embrace ourselves – fully visible scars and all. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.