Friday, April 24, 2009

To really know someone ...

What is the most important BIG thing going on in your life right now? Stop and think about it a minute. Identify it. No really ... I'm not going to write any more until you do. Stop reading.

Do you have it in mind? Good, now you can keep reading.

What is the most important BIG thing going on in your best friend's life right now (spouse, significant other, friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, sibling, parent)? Name 5 little things that they are worried about or thinking about. Name 5 things that they are excited about right now.

Now while some of you are quite empathic and might know these things about 1 or 2 people in your life, you have extended friends and family that you actually don't spend a lot of time finding out about because you are too wrapped up in your own small world. You can't actually answer those questions about most of your friends and extended family. You may not even be able to answer those questions about the one person who is closest to you.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and the way that I respond and react to the many people who weave in and out of my life as well as the way that they respond and react to me.

How many people do you actually trust with the inner depths of your soul - even the ugliness and things that you have buried so far down because you don't want to acknowledge that they exist in your past? What about your fears? Or your dreams?

It is usually one or two people and then we manage to interact with the rest of the world on a very surface level.

We are conditioned to not trust each other. We have to 'earn' trust, it isn't something that is easily given and rarely something that is given unconditionally. If we break trust, then it is removed from the relationship, sometimes with little hope of renewal. Many times great punishment comes and destruction happens.

We also create our relationships based on our past history. We project our own reactions to behavior onto those around us, so expect them to handle our tender soul as we might handle theirs. If you know that you lie to others, that you reveal secrets easily, that you are callous and cruel ... you fully expect the world to treat you with that same behavior, even though people come in and out of your life that have never treated anyone like that. We project our own bad behavior on everyone around us and they have to prove to us over and over that they won't behave in that manner.

I expose a lot of myself in this blog and people who know me on any kind of a personal level know that I expose most of my 'self' to them through many different venues. But, what if I were to share everything inside me ... my greatest fears and the things I am most ashamed of ... my dreams and desires. The things that only 1 or 2 people might know about me.

You see, I wonder if you'd really care (no, I'm not going for teenage angst here - I want you to really think about this). Do you actually care to know that much depth about the people you are close to? Do you want the responsibility for knowing their shame? Do you want the responsibility for helping them to achieve their dreams?

This is for more than the one or two people you are the closest to.

I wonder what life would be like ...


Higgiq said...

You should check out The 7 Levels of Intimacy by Matthew Kelly. He talks about the different levels people relate on from the superficial to the very intimate. It is actually a very interesting book even tho I don't agree with some of his points or maybe even his initial premise.

Diane Muir said...

That looks interesting ... hmmm ... it's available on the Kindle! (hehe)

Rebecca said...

For me one of the first things this post brought to mind was the fact that often I want people to know those parts of me but I do not really omitt an air of trust that lends itself to people getting close. I tend to try to find out the deep things of others not because I care but because it is deflection to keep them from probing to far into me. You are one of the few that is impossible with, you have an uncanny nack at bringing out the very very hidden things in me... I cannot figure out how or why that is but after the first few times of freaking out because I laid bare my soul in some email to you I now count it a blessing! I know too much about some people... my problem is sometimes I do not do much with that information and that is a shame!
Thanks for making me think as always!

Diane Muir said...

I love your soul. God has put so much inside you ... amazing gifts, talents, creativity. It's wonderful when you let people take the journey with you!

perilloparodies said...

That is deep to me... since I have also been questioning similar things. I long for deeper and improving relationships where most people I know are too busy or content with how things are. Sad. truly sad. But then, you are correct in saying that there is TREMENDOUS responsiblity that comes with it. Thank you for the "food for thought"...

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Have a great day!!!