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Being real and true

Being real and true: the key to our relationship with ourselves and others

I had the pleasure of attending a Women in Livingness workshop in February 2018 held by women for women. Continuing the theme of ‘Getting Real in Relationships’, it explored the topic of intimacy. So what is a workshop held by women for women on relationships and intimacy like?

In a very practical sense, it was four hours in a room with over 100 women listening to two presenters – both relationship counsellors – talk about relationships. There was also the opportunity to chat amongst ourselves about how we are in relationships, as well as ask questions and share our experiences. The session included a lovely morning tea and the opportunity to meet new friends in a modern space in the heart of the Brisbane CBD.

But if I was to scratch a little deeper and let you know what the workshop was really about, it was about women spending four hours on themselves, for themselves.

Now to an outsider or someone who didn’t attend the workshop, this might seem selfish or self-centred or (dare I say it) a little too much like a bunch of women doing ‘secret women’s business’. But as we all know, women typically do things so that others can benefit as they usually put others first (or is that just me!).

As it turned out, this workshop was no exception. There were benefits for others – lots of benefits – but the focus was on ourselves in the first instance. Let me explain.

One of the key topics for the day was the relationship we (men and women) have with ourselves: who we really are, not the person we think we are from our childhood, not the roles we play, but who we really are and how we relate to others, all from the understanding that the relationship we have with ourselves is the one that sets the tone for the relationships we have with everyone else.

In other words, how real and true are we? And how and what does this look and feel like in our relationship with ourselves? That is, how do we connect – chat, work, walk, talk, support, love – with ourselves first and then with another, be they mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, partner, work colleague, neighbour or shop keeper?

We unpacked intimacy, exploring what that is for each of us. This wasn’t about physical intimacy (although that came up too) – again, it was about who we truly are– not the person others want us to be or who we think others will like, but the real us and the qualities we bring. These qualities are natural to us – such as playfulness, fun, beauty, nurturing, supportiveness and so on – and just need to be brought out.

It was also about how much of ourselves and our qualities we’re able to bring to everyone in each and every moment of the day, and how this in turn allows others to show and bring these parts of themselves to the table too.

In essence, the more we show of ourselves, the more we encourage the same in others. In this way everyone benefits – we get to be who we are, and everyone else does too.

Now this might seem a bit heavy, but the workshop allowed everyone to be real and truthful with themselves and with the women next to them, which is how we should be in all relationships. It also provided the space to have fun exploring intimacy in the true sense, putting what we learnt into action.

It was also good to know I wasn’t alone in my quest to understand myself and my relationships – we’re all pondering the same questions.

Attending this event was a great thing to do. It provided an amazing and light-hearted opportunity to explore the subject of ‘getting real in relationships’ and being okay with the likelihood that this might be different to what it has been once you commit to being in relationships from the real and true you.



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