I was invited to a Blessed Is She Brunch this past weekend and I had a chance to visit with some lovely ladies and just do a little bonding over Catholic #BISSisterhood. It was absolutely delightful.
We all pitched in a dish for an amazing potluck breakfast. There were beautifully printed name tags for us each to wear. Mary was our speaker and was a spit-fire and I just wanted to drive her back to my house for chocolate shakes and be best friends with her forever. And I felt the same way about the ladies sitting at my table too. These were some quality women. Women you want to know, and learn from, and pray with, and laugh with, and eat with, and well, just be when you grow-up.
Mary talked to us about sisterhood and how it all starts with honesty. Jenna recapped her talk nicely here. This honesty can lead to affirmation. And that affirmation can lead to prayer for and with each other.
And I have to tell you, it's the honesty that is stunting the growth of my relationships into real friendships and sisterhood.
It's not that I'm not honest. I am. People who meet me, especially in a business setting, will quickly realize that I am honest and blunt. I will tell you the truth. You ask me about your product and I will give you an honest assessment of its merits and flaws. You ask me about your presentation and I will tell you honestly about the good points, the lost points and the no points you did or didn't make. You bring me an idea or plan and I will SWOT analyze it until you're ready to just plain swat me away.
To quote the Godfather, "It's not personal, it's just business." Because I am not my work and you are not your work, I find it very easy to be honest when it comes to work related stuff. I don't take business criticism personally because, when given properly, it is my idea or work product that is being criticized, not me personally. (I fully understand that some work is more "personal" in nature and some people feel that their work is a direct reflection of who they are - and when working with this personality type, I try really, really hard to adjust my blunt style. That's an entirely different topic for another day).
I'm honest with strangers on Facebook in various groups in which I participate. I share intimate, messy details of my life with people I will likely never meet. And the introvert and perfectionist within me hopes that I never meet them. Or at least if I do meet them that they don't remember the embarrassing details I shared when I thought I would remain just a screen name.
It's the honesty about who I really am in real life to the real people I meet that keeps tripping me up. I don't lie, but I don't share my heart either. I keep people in real life at arms distance and on the other side of my self-built wall. It's my vanity and pride that you might just figure out that I'm not perfect. And enough is enough.
Because I want real friends, who know the real me in real life, if you meet me you are really going to meet me. And we may not be best friends (because not everyone can be best friends), but it won't be because I was too prideful to be honest about who I am.