The Virtual Luminescence of Transparency
The word transparency gets passed around quite often these days in reference to a person’s demeanor, their honesty and clarity when engaged in conversation. To many folks it’s viewed as a negative attribute, with transparency looked at as insipid and viewed as a weakness, letting one’s guard down and being totally vulnerable. To others it’s a positive accolade of brutal honesty and forthright integrity.
In 2017 I turned 62 years old. My father died at age 49 from heart disease, I never thought I would make it this far; my brother died at age 23 from cerebral palsy, I never thought I would make it this far; my twin sister and her 2 sons were killed when she was 29 years old, I never thought I would make it this far; my son died at age 9, I never thought I would make it this far; my youngest grandchild is just turning 9; I never thought I would make it this far. I am now retired and drawing Social Security, I never thought I would make it this far.
I have made it this far, how did that happen?
When my father died, I was 15 years old and my mother told me I was the man of the family now. The youngest of 7 kids I became the patriarch by society standards and mores of the time. You buck up and put it behind you, big boys don’t cry. We buried dad, I did not cry, I did not process my grief, I did not speak of it again. That is not transparency but misguided survival. Vulnerability was seen as a weakness, especially for young boy’s struggling to become men. For men vulnerability was viewed as a weakness to be conquered not succumbed to. I put on a mask early on and trained my adolescent neural pathways to become to an actor and to hide and bury any emotions that would reveal any weakness of character deemed unbecoming of a man. I bucked it up and put it behind me.
When my twin sister and her boys died 14 years later I bucked it up and put it behind me, and although there were large cracks in the façade of my survival I pulled it off and put it behind me just as my mother urged me to do.
Two years later in 1987 my son dies from a brain tumor. I tried to buck it up and put it behind me but the cracks in my façade we becoming beyond repair and the armor of bravado and bullshit was disintegrating before my very eyes; I was a becoming as vulnerable as new born sea turtle emerging from the sand blindly trying to find the ocean with scores of hungry sea gulls in pursuit. Can I make it?
There is also a conundrum in transparency, one can be forthright, honest and open, yet invisible. People see and react to conflict very easily but are often disarmed by or even oblivious to unfettered honesty. Have you ever been the nice guy going up to a busy bar to order a drink and never get noticed, all the while you see others getting drinks right and left? One does not have to say a word to be transparent it is how we project our spirit with a bevy of nonverbal cues as body language, our countenance and eye movements. Even honesty and dishonesty, like fear and joy produce different olfactory cues that we unconsciously react to. Transparency is the hallmark of vulnerability -as one is willing to accept the consequences of honesty and integrity without fear. The caveat is we can become invisible in the noise of others selfish pursuits. In the bustle of others to oil the squeakiest wheels we can seem to disappear.
Transparency is not a bad thing, or a good thing; it’s being a 100 % present thing to best determine how and what we communicate unconsciously from body, mind, soul and spirit. Transparency translated from the Latin literally means shining through. Be resolute in the expressing the uniqueness of your character to scintillate to its full potential. We are lights, and should not be put under a basket but on a hill for all to see. Let it shine. Light dispels the dark. Illumination is allowing the light of God to shine through the lens of our existence. A huge responsibility not without it challenges but I believe is the path to enlightenment, survival and joy. We are own agent provocateur to heal our lives and inspire others who struggle in the dark.
Transparency in this context is being all in. What you see is what you get. It is what others see and feel when in your presence; it is what we project through our lens; what we emit and radiate unconsciously. The flip side of transparency is how we receive information; for it is a two way lens. When we are fully present in our projection we automatically become fully present to receive the verbal and non verbal cues that others are projecting. This allows us to autonomically govern the degree of our opacity at any given moment. You want to honest on a witness stand but not necessarily transparent.
We can change the thoughts of other without uttering a word, we can disarm an antagonist with our demeanor or we can make a child laugh with our eyes. Honesty is revealing truthful facts, transparency is revealing soul; it’s about being vulnerable and exposing the underbelly of who we are to ourselves first and by degrees to the world.
I struggled in the dark for many years after my son died; I was not transparent; I was not honest. I formed a credible façade from the cascade of unsolicited advice and pulled down the blackout screen over my injured soul. One side was black and blocked any transmissions from my soul; the other side reflective so people would see what they wanted to see. It worked, and I was left alone… all too easily. But we are a village and we need each other’s shine to light the path when darkness prevails.
In 2010 I made a bucket list. I wanted to be transparent with my needs and wants with enthusiasm for a full year. I was not being transparent although, I was being selfish and I just got fat.
In 2015 I made another attempt at transparency and created a list that sounds like “bucket” but started with a different consonant. I was not transparent, I was driven; driven to find my bliss, my purpose. It was life changing but not life affirming and not necessarily transparent.
January 1st of 2017 I started my year of transparency; I started a new health regime to be transparent with my body’s needs;learning to listen and respect its voice; I lost a ton of weight and off all meds. I created a YouTube channel called MrHeartlight and I was transparent with my character on many levels for those in grief. I was fully transparent with my wife and we bought a condo and listed our farm of 23 years for sale in one week. I was transparent with colleagues and completely changed the way I conduct business and presentations. Through proactive transparency skills I have found body, mind, soul, and spirit equilibrium. Equilibrium produces harmony, and harmony virtual luminescence and peace. Transparency allows that light to shine through and it allows other’s light to be received. This the photosynthesis of healing. Let there be light.
Mitch Carmody December 2017
“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark than alone in the light “ -Helen Keller