Shhh…Don’t Tell Ra

21 Jul

For most of the years that my boys were growing through their teenage experiences I had this mantra called “Shhh don’t tell Ra”. (Ra is the nickname of my partner and the most deeply loved adult in my life) However, several years ago, I began systematically withholding things that I knew about the boys that I thought would make her upset, cause tension, or disrupt the flow either between them and her or between her and me. I believed I was ‘saving’ her stress and anguish (and probably some embarrassment for me). In fact, I finally have learned that I was actually slowly devaluing our relationship by not acting in clear honesty.

I believe that honesty is the primary component of trust and it is trust that is one of the most significant characters that life-bind us to long and familiar relationships. We simply don’t have much of a relationship with any meaningful person without some substantial level of shared trust.

The lack of clarity and/or honesty, if we are truly sharing our life’s experiences with somebody important, can subtly take a critically vital part of our connection away. Like the sun leaches the vibrant color from a beach towel if left out too long.
In the beginning I ‘spared’ Ra the knowing of some of the less acceptable incidents and moved on to the next experience that I chose to share. Soon this behavior became the norm. Unfortunately it moved into other parts of my life as well and eventually I found myself trying to manage stuff upon stuff and often it turned into lying.

This is bad.

Correction always comes, however, and nearly every time it is painful and it can hurt very deeply. I’m sure creating this type of pain is never anybody’s intent when they begin trying to control feedback from a situation by not telling the whole truth or engineering something else to redirect the attention, but with practice one can get pretty good at it; it eventually hits a wall.

I write in my book, Just a Dad, about the importance of trust with regards to our children, but I failed to discuss it in the context of honesty. Although the importance of honesty is probably much more critical with adult relationships, it is nevertheless important across the board.

In any case I recently learned a life changing lesson about honesty and I am redirecting my behavior and actions to reflect that.

I am mentioning it in this blog because I think it is really good food for discussion and would love to hear what other people have thought.

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