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Arjen Vegter

I am a 53-year-old man from the Netherlands. I have two children, a 21-year-old son and a daughter who is five. When I turn 55, my career in aviation will end (due to forced retirement) and I make myself very happy being an assistant for Tuulia and Pete for 1.5 years while I continue to work on my triggers and the traumas from my childhood. Maybe after that I will become a trainer, too, which is a wish I’ve had ever since I was introduced to Radical Honesty.

About one and a half years ago, my wife and I got in contact with Radical Honesty and decided to introduce this way of living into our relationship. At first, I was quite scared. I had a lot of hidden shit to reveal. In hindsight, I realize that for years I had built walls around my authentic self and had masqueraded the stuff that I wanted people to see. Most of the roles I played (or performed) I did so to try to prevent people from rejecting me. I tried to avoid being disliked by almost everybody around me. By doing so, I had completely lost contact with who I really was. I was so good at showing this made-up person that I started to believe it myself.

And then Radical Honesty came into my life! I started breaking down those walls and phony roles I had portrayed and lies I had told in order to please people. By revealing myself, I learned my fears and my motivations for my past behaviors. I started experiencing the emotions I had tried to avoid experiencing by manipulating and lying. And I discovered that the actual experience (e.g. somebody not liking something I said or did) is much less horrible than the stories I had created in my mind about it. Nowadays, I’m more comfortable with people not liking me or being angry at me. And, at the same time, I’m more comfortable with expressing myself when I don’t like something someone said or did or when I’m angry.

Life feels so much lighter for me now that I’ve stopped using manipulation or playacting to get others to like me. Life is so much simpler for me when I just do what arises in me without a mental filter constantly asking: What will people think of me? What will happen if I get annoyed or angry?

And I imagine this is all still an ongoing process for me which might never end. And I’m OK with that thought as I love what I’m doing because it’s ME who is doing it. I am a recovering people pleaser—and I like that! I’m no longer attached to being perfect anymore. And the trap would be the same if I became attached to being perfectly honest, too. So, I just do my best and try to live truesome to where I am right here and right now.

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