Five years ago, at my first workshop in Greece, I recall feeling excited, nervous and inspired during the introduction round. Each participant was asked to share with the group his/her financial net worth, income, sexual history/orientation and something we didn’t want the others to know about us. Wanting to challenge myself, I volunteered to go first. I recall feeling my heart racing faster and my hands starting to sweat as I began to talk. My voice was high-pitched and I spoke quickly. As I shared, I saw people’s eyes looking at me. I imagined people were looking at me with warmth and interest.
After my turn ended, I listened to the others share things about themselves and I became a bit critical of myself, thinking: “I could have shared more things, scarier things.” Making demands on myself—and oftentimes on others, too—has followed me on my journey.
Since that first workshop, I’ve learned little by little to accept myself for who I am. I’ve learned that I don’t need to be any different than I am. By using the tools of Radical Honesty, I now tell others far more often what I’m thinking and feeling. I also talk about my self-critical and controlling traits and share if I’m embarrassed about wanting to control myself or others.