One of the scariest risks we take is the choice to be authentic. Being real with others requires us to be vulnerable — if we are rejected or misunderstood, we can’t blame others’ reactions on the mask we are wearing. We feel the pain more deeply when our truth is maligned, our dreams dismissed. But intimacy is only possible when we offer up our authentic selves.

The Real Deal
Sharing our real feelings, our fears and fantasies, our secrets and failures, requires courage and resilience. When we let someone in to see our authentic self, we are demonstrating deep respect for the other. We are saying “You are important enough for me to risk showing you the ‘real me.'” Being authentic is a priceless gift, and the only way we can truly feel accepted is when we know it’s really us that our partner is embracing. If we present anything less than our genuine selves, we can never be sure that the affection or respect we receive is ours to keep. We question the strength of a connection that could be based on who we WANT to be, rather than who we truly are. Security comes from a sense of safety, and safety is elusive without the foundation of Realness.