The Secret to True Connection
BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM
I was once friends with a girl who kept her life very private. I never really knew when she was struggling or how her life was at home. She’d tell me about her latest boy crush and their brief, flirty text messages—but nothing more. We’d call ourselves “best friends” but I didn’t have a clue about her past. I couldn’t tell you what made her, well, her.
Being the person I was, she knew a little bit more about me—but when it came to the skeletons in my closet, I only gave her a peek. I never felt safe to open myself up. Yes, I trusted her… but vulnerability is a two-way street when it comes to relationships. Looking back, we only showed each other what we felt comfortable with the other person seeing. It wasn’t a friendship built on unconditional support and love. Our hearts were guarded—even after knowing each other for 10+ years.
Perhaps, this is why our friendship didn’t make it. When things fell apart, our relationship couldn’t withstand the confrontation necessary to work through the hurt. After operating only at a surface level, we were in uncharted territory when things grew serious.
You see, friendships that last—truly last—must exist within a space of acceptance and honesty. A relationship merely surviving off good times and selfies is bound to end. I’m not saying those friendships are pointless because there is a time and a place for them. But, if you care about someone enough to keep them in your life, you must let your guard down.
If you’re longing for true connection, the secret is found in vulnerability. It’s scary I know… but you have to keep the rewards in mind:
To be truly known is to be truly understood.
To be accepted, despite flaws and mistakes, is to be loved unconditionally.
To be celebrated in your victories is to be encouraged wholeheartedly.
To be comforted in your hurt is to be genuinely supported.
To be trusted is to be valued and seen.
I challenge you to open your heart and build connections that mean something. To be surrounded by solid people who make you a better woman is worth every ounce of vulnerability. Trust me, you’ll see.
Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.