Not long ago I read a previously unpublished Harlem Renaissance novel, When Washington Was in Vogue. It is a love story told in a series of letters. I loved it. The book also reminded me that my love of writing letters had been pushed to the side with the advent of email, texting, IM, twitter and Facebook. The intimacy, anticipation and strengthening of relationships that occurs with letter writing has been lost. At least it has in my opinion. Not too long after reading this book I came across a collection of letters edited and compiled by Pamela Newkirk. It's called A Love No Less. It is an impressive collection of African American love letters from the Civil War era to more contemporary times. I was struck again by the social distance that technology has created between people. After reading these books, I decided I would begin letter writing again. I ordered personalized stationary and then asked FB friends if they would like for me to write them a letter. There were some folks I expected to be on board and I wasn't disappointed. I was shocked by others who requested that I write. One was an old love that I have previously mentioned and the other was someone I dated in the past, but didn't click with in that way. With letters I can't blow smoke up someone's ass. I'm compelled to tell the truth. The person that I used to date requested a letter that answered his question about why we can't still be in love. I'm puzzled by the request because we were never in love, but apparently I'm the only one who doesn't know that. Still, this letter doesn't pose much of a challenge to write. The other to the old love will prove to be more challenging. I feel a need to be extra careful in my writing, but not shy away from being truthful. While contemplating these things, I read the latest blog post from Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love.
In Mastin's latest blog post, "Got Guilt? Tell On Yourself and You're Off the Hook" he encourages us to tell the truth and shame the devil. He recognizes there is fear in revealing what you think, how you feel and risking rejection. He suggests that we look at this from a different vantage point. What if we do tell the truth and the person or persons you most want to accept you and your truth don't? Mastin offers that we don't view this as rejection, but as vibrational alignment. If you go to a person with love and truth and are turned away, then room is made for someone or something new. Mastin writes:
"Instead of worrying about being rejected for who you are, I would like to invite you to step into the sifting device that is your authentic true self. When you are radically honest with people in your life, you begin to emit a new “vibration” and those who match that new and authentic vibration will begin to come into your life and those that don’t will take a bow."
I can attest to the validity of those words. For the last couple years, I've been been practicing radical honesty. As I become more and more committed to this path, I have been "rejected" and have found that friendships don't go as smoothly. I'm not talking about being mean or nasty with people. I'm talking about no longer sacrificing myself, my feelings, my comfort, my need to take care of myself, my needs and wants or my preferences in favor of someone else's preferences so that others will think I'm sweet, kind or always do the right thing. I have no need to be recognized as the perfect anything. I don't find much personal validation or satisfaction in that designation.
When I look back at past intimate relationships, I know for sure that I wasn't radically honest with myself and wasn't with my partners for fear of not getting what I wanted or needed. The irony is that by withholding my authentic truth, I wasn't any closer to getting my wants or needs met. When my groom comes along, I know that any chance of success will be rooted in our ability to practice radical honestly individually and as partners.