Ah Authenticity — Can We Be Real With Our Friends?

December 15, 2013

By Diane Gage Lofgren

It is OK to not be OK!
— Joyce Meyer

When I heard author and speaker Joyce Meyer say, “It’s OK not to be OK,” I felt instant relief. “Be real,” she encouraged. Ah…isn’t that we all want? A space and place where we can let our guard down. Where it’s OK to say how we really feel. How we want to be different, but we get in our own way. How we’re ticked off. Fed up. Tired. Angry.

Or maybe we want to express relief? Joy? Pure excitement about something that happened in our lives without someone feeling jealous or angry because good fortune came our way.

AuthenticWhere can we have such freedom? What place is there where we will not be judged or compared? Is there really a world where we can be authentic without feeling retribution?

There is one sacred place–in the comfort of a true friend. This is the woman in our life who allows us to be us. Who we can call at any time, day or night, and say what is on our heart and mind. This is the woman (or maybe women) in your life who loves you no matter what. You may talk to her daily, weekly, or once just every now and again, but when you do, you don’t have to pretend or hold back. She allows you the freedom to express all sides of yourself. When you talk with her, you feel instant relief. Suddenly life seems better. She hears you, acknowledges your feelings, provides perspective, and serves as a sounding board. You have given her permission, through your words and actions, to speak the truth in kindness to you. She allows you to see and hear yourself.

If you have a woman or several women in your life with whom you feel this type of freedom, you’re fortunate indeed. If you haven’t yet found someone, we encourage you to purposefully seek out a woman to be your confidant.

To do that, you can ask a friend you’ve been cultivating if she is open to having that kind of relationship–one in which you can really let your hair down, knowing that what is said in the conversation goes nowhere else. That mutual commitment goes a long way to cementing confidentiality.
If you aren’t up for outright asking for this kind of confidant, start with baby steps. Share a little bit deeper the next time you talk with your girlfriend and see how she responds to your honesty and transparency. If your friend keeps your confidence and responds with her own true feelings either then or in the future, it’s most likely the relationship is becoming a more intimate one.

Growing deeper in a friendship brings new meaning and reward to the relationship. In fact, we’d say that when you know it’s OK to not be OK, then you also know you have a friend of a very special kind!

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