Tell the truth
Take the risk to be vulnerable and
Let your partner into your internal world
Truth leads to trust
Trust creates safety
Safety allows for vulnerability
Vulnerability leads to intimacy
Intimacy is the path of true love
These words spilled out after a recent personal experience where I became aware of how powerful and meaningful the words, “I have a confession to make…” were to me. We talked about telling the truth in a previous post but here we will take it a step further. When you and your partner tell the truth to each other, it becomes an intimate and vulnerable experience. When you read the lines above continuously, they become a cycle that develop and deepen the trust, safety, intimacy and love between you. Seeing your relationship through this lens also clarifies how avoiding or skewing the truth can lead to a breakdown in the trust, safety, intimacy and love between you.
Tell the truth, take the risk to be vulnerable:
For many of you, the risk of telling the truth can evoke fear of abandonment, anxiety about how your partner may react, and guilt or shame about the information you need to share. However, once you have shared your truth, whether that be a deep secret, a private thought or experience, or something that affects your partner that you need to inform them about, there is usually a feeling of relief for you and a sense of gratitude from your partner. Even if the news is tough to take at first, the end result typically reflects the highest good of all involved. The rewards are worth the risk, but courage is necessary.
Let your partner into your internal world:
The willingness to let your partner in, is all that is required here. It is a “free gift” that you are offering that provides your partner with a glimpse inside your world. When you are developing a new relationship, it is often difficult to share some of your internal thoughts or quirks or habits with your partner. But if they are to love you for who you truly are, who else are you going to be? If you can be truthful about your internal process early on, your relationship will be built on a strong, authentic foundation. And you are both free to just be yourselves, without fear. Thus, the courageous willingness to be open, vulnerable, and true are inherent requisites. If your relationship has been through many seasons, it is never too late to open this aspect of your relationship. It can often be a significant and refreshing turning point after a challenging chapter in your lives together. Counseling is often a great tool to help bring you into this space.
Truth leads to trust:
This seems obvious, but when you actually experience this, it is more of an internal knowing than merely a cognitive thought. When your partner shares his/her truth with you, you can feel yourself let down your guard, and you sense this person is trustworthy. You are more free to be yourself because you can trust that your partner is doing the same. Also, it can be helpful when you are working on healing codependent tendencies to know that your partner is fully capable of being responsible for her/himself. It frees you up to focus on your own experience and trust that you will both bring to the table anything necessary to discuss or work on together. Truth prevents opportunities for secrets, lies, and betrayals. It does not prevent the possibility of hurt or disappointment, but it is always a medium for forward movement and healing.
Trust creates safety; Safety allows for vulnerability:
When you trust your partner, you feel safe. Safety is important in a relationship in that it helps you to relax and open up. When you are open, you are vulnerable. This is a double-edged sword, however. Your partner can act in a trustworthy manner, and always tell the truth. On the other side, you must recieve his/her truth and choose to relax into it. This then becomes a reciprocal invitation for you to be vulnerable and share your own Truth. If you find that you struggle with issues of trust and vulnerability, even when your partner consistently tells you the truth, this may be evidence of an earlier wound where someone significant betrayed you and your ability to trust was damaged. That damage may have created a sense of danger in vulnerability. Trusting your partner and allowing yourself to be vulnerable are ways to engage in a corrective experience and provide healing for that deeper wound, but the decision to trust is totally up to you.
Vulnerability leads to intimacy; Intimacy is the path to true love
If you make the decision to trust your partner and feel safe enough to open up and be vulnerable, you will develop a way of interacting and communicating that paves the path to true love. Now I am not talking about fairy-tale, high-school, co-dependent “true love.” I am talking about a mature, adult, unconditional, interdependent, true LOVE. This kind of love is built on intimacy. The above paragraphs outline the path to intimacy. From those intimate actions, thoughts, beliefs, and confessions we provide ourselves with a gift beyond all of our expectations and open up a path for you to walk hand-in-hand with your beloved. I wish that experience for each and every one of you. May you unearth the courage to confess your truth!