As a person in recovery, I have often struggled with the word ‘transparency’. The question being: what part of my story and my personal exploits do I share with the world, and more importantly, my children? My second question– and this is specific to my children– when, and at what age do I share my story with them?
Many times, when people are in recovery, whether that be from substances, trauma, etc., they feel the need to just release into the world all of their shame, all of their pain, and every single bad thing they’ve done. Personally, I find this to be extraordinarily selfish and very harmful, and counter to the principles of my recovery, which specifically states “…make amends unless when doing so will injure you or others”.
Let me be clear: it’s important to be completely honest and transparent with your therapist, sponsor, rabbi, and dearest friend. However, it isn’t necessary and sometimes can be detrimental and horrible for others and yourself to simply publicize everything to the world.
Our actions affect others, and sometimes they aren’t our secrets to tell.
On the flipside, us sharing our stories of pain and suffering, and our stories of overcoming can give others the courage to overcome obstacles in their own lives.
So, I turn to you and ask you the reader, what is appropriate to share firstly with the world? And secondly, what is appropriate to share with our children? What do you consider inappropriate sharing? Do you think there is such a thing?
From my perspective and my belief specifically with our children, we must know them and see them, and be aware of how our words and actions will impact them, and I promise, if we pay attention, we will know what is appropriate. Furthermore, generally letting them know that we have struggled and continue to struggle, yet we have tools to address our issues and our pain is a hugely valuable lesson for them. Finally, teaching our children that there is a process toward forgiveness, by offering amends and correcting our behavior, is absolutely priceless.
Regarding the general public, we must first take our children and our family into account, and see how our actions will affect them, and then–and only then– can we speak up and share our stories vulnerably and honestly so we can allow others to heal.
This week, let’s not pretend that life is always sunshine and rainbows. Let’s be transparent, let’s be vulnerable, and let’s share the hard parts– and just as importantly, let’s share the tools we use to make it easier.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
I want to remind all of you that you can hear more on my podcast, Showing Up. We have lots of amazing shows with interesting guests on a variety of personal development topics. It would be great if you could also rate 5 stars, review and subscribe to the show. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/showing-up-with-asher-gottesman/id1489856285y