Over the last 5 years or so I've been getting together with a friend, now my best friend, about every 1 to 2 weeks. There is always good conversation, but last time something different happened. I got naked. Yes, naked. But not physically, rather, personally. I've had a lot of fears about opening up about the really deep stuff, the personal stuff, the skeletons-in-my-closet stuff. You see, her friendship is important to me, and I want her to like me. The truth is, I want her to accept me for who I really am, but, she can't do that if I'm hiding the risky stuff. Some of it I really wanted to talk about before, but I was afraid. But, for whatever reason, it all came out. It was taking a lot of energy to hold in what I really wanted to say. So getting it all out was very exhilarating. The best part is, I think she still likes me. :)
It's also brought insight to me. I can think of some other "friends" who I definitely feel don't accept me for who I am. Until now, I've been wanting to avoid them. Instead, the next time I feel criticized by them I'm going to come right out and say, "I feel like you don't accept me for who I am." I don't think that's their intention, so I have faith that it could go a long way in improving our relationship. It can't make it any worse.