When I posted Being Real....What Does That Mean? I felt like I had more to say on the subject but it just didn't seem to come. So I decided to post what I had written all except for one paragraph that just wasn't fitting for me figuring if I thought about it long enough the rest would come............and as Linda Ellerbee used to say, "And so it goes....."
For me being real means saying what I believe, treating people in a manner I think appropriate and striving to do better each day. Sometimes I do ask others for their perspective but only as a sounding board to find my way to what is right morally, ethically and for me.
While difficult in the beginning I have found staying true to myself has become much easier to maintain than the old ways of trying to achieve happiness by keeping others happy . It really is amazing how much energy gets used up trying to create happiness for others instead of doing the same for oneself. As difficult as it was trying to figure out who I was and what I needed, it really was easier than trying to meet the needs of others.
I've found that this method of being real has developed much stronger and healthier bonds in my relationships. Those around me know they can count on me to be honest, even when it's tough. They in turn feel more comfortable being honest with me. The relationships grow based on mutual trust. They also become relationships worth fighting for.
While people might get mad at me sometimes because of my honesty, it still usually works out better in the long run. I found a long time ago that that short term fix rarely works. The one geared towards how things will work out in the end is much more efficient and rewarding.
The other thing important about being real is it gives people the opportunity to do things differently. Folks can't fix their annoying or hurtful behavior if they don't even know there's a problem in the first place. They can't apologize for something that's hurt you if they don't know you were hurt.
Granted many of our original friends and family may not function well under or even appreciate these "new" rules. My feeling about this has been if the relationship was important, finding a way to make it better would be important too. For me that was a measure of whether a relationship was worth holding onto or not. If what was important to those people was maintaining the status quo whether it hurt me or not, then I had a pretty clear answer of my importance to them.
For me the measure of a friend is based on what that friend stands for under duress. Anyone can do the easy thing. It is the difficult thing that shows the true character of a person.
Being real definitely separated the wheat from the chafe in the relationship department. My siblings, step father and mother pretty much were all chafe. A couple of unexpected friends turned out to be wheat and since that time I've found others to add to the classification of wheat.
I don't miss those people I left behind. I miss what I never had in the first place. There is a distinctive difference between the two. Being able to understand this has been healing.
I don't get tempted to "return" to that family of origin because there is really no family there. I can work on building what I need in a support system to make up for the family I never had. My inner child (actually children in my case) feels nurtured for the first time in her life because she is protected from the harm of that dysfunctional family. In turn she feels safe enough to be real in all the ways that count....... meaning she now feels free to be herself.