Be Transparent

 In Blog

“A successful life is an authentic life. Happiness and creativity rest on a foundation of transparency to yourself and others. Knowing your own heart and speaking clearly to others keeps you on the path.”

—Gay Hendricks


My sister Zoe, myself and my Dad, circa 1973

Note: When this article is published on, Sunday, December 17th at 10:30 p.m., the moon and sun will be conjunct astronomically and astrologically; it will be new moon in Sagittarius. And I will have just been hanging out with some of my family for a Hanukkah gathering in southern California.

I yearn for honest, deep, open and transparent communication: in my relationships and as a writer, business owner, music minister and leader. In the past, I had thought of myself as a very skilled communicator, able to articulate what’s going on for me clearly and honestly, especially in relationship, but after being married for 11 years, I am humbled and know that I have a very long way to go. I am committed to learning and growing in this capacity, though. And I hold a vision for this facility to be fully manifested. As a writer I am engaged in writing this blog as a means to practice and find my voice in this way.

Being transparent dovetails with taking responsibility (see the blog article entitled “Take Responsibility”), because having the clarity to know what my experience is, and owning and taking responsibility it, is a precursor to being able to verbalize it.

At the time this blog is published, I will have just been hanging out with much of my immediate family in Los Angeles for Hanukkah. It’s a family scene that is less than easeful and comfortable for me. I am kind of the black sheep of my family. Even as I try to describe the scene, I am being stretched to own and express transparently, my experience. Initially, when started to describe it in a draft of this article, I went to a place of judgement and victimization. So let me try and say what my experience was at the gathering.

I felt like I was on the outside. I felt a bit isolated, alone and a little lonely. I felt (and have often felt) misunderstood. I found myself acting reserved and withdrawn and being more of an observer than a participant. I felt very far away from being the awesome, transparent communicator I fancy myself to be and that I aspire to be.

During all of the strained and polite interactions with my family, I wanted to just tear into the flesh of the heart of the matter! Previously, I have also had many polite and reserved dinners with my Dad and Step Mom. Through all of these times recently, I have often imagined saying to my Dad: “There have been so many years that I have yearned for your love and approval. I want to connect with you and heal anything from my past that prevents me from loving you fully. I yearn to know how much you love me, and I treasure this time together, because not only are you 85 years of age, but you have had two strokes and a minor heart attack, so dare I say it? Dad, you might be at the end of your life.” (Note to reader, talking with my Dad about death seems taboo in my family. Or maybe what I should say (in the spirit of taking responsibility) is that I am scared shitless to talk about death with my Dad, because I fear I would be disowned.) But in my fantasy, I continue. “And I am curious, are you scared to die? And even though you have identified as an atheist all these years (And when did that start? Was it when your Dad died, when you were a child?), do you think you might open to the possibility that there is a part of you, that is eternal, and that perhaps that part is really who and what you are and what will be even after your body is laid to rest?”

But as I sat at the dinner table with my Dad at Hanukkah, I did not say any of that. But, I did find a way to be open and authentic and loving with my Dad anyway. After we finished eating, I took his right hand (the one affected by his stroke) and massaged it, opening the contracted, tight muscles inside each of his fingers. And I lovingly put each of my fingers in between each of his fingers and gently rotated his wrist in a circle. I felt present and I felt my heart open. And even though my communication fell short of the goal and vision that I set for myself, I wrote this blog article, in which I aimed to articulate what has been going on for me. So I will claim this a step in the right direction. And let it be.

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