When we talk to other people and we express vulnerability to them, a powerful transaction happens when they identify with us and reciprocate. When we feel heard and understood, it opens up the relationship in a beautiful way, offering a deeper foothold to the people in it.
Life is short. I get tired of the surface chatter. I know there is a place for it in our day to day lives, and that it's not reasonable to have a heart to heart at every moment of the day, but I'm discovering that when you offer a little piece of yourself to someone in the course of your day, and they reciprocate, it makes everything brighter and better. You know you are not alone. You can feel the relationship getting stronger and more meaningful on all sides.
I had this happen twice yesterday, with two different people. Very simple conversations instantly turned deeper when I brought up something personal about myself. The people I spoke to were gentle with the information and vulnerability I offered them, and they instantly found a point of relation and shared something about themselves, which changed the level of the discussion.
There was a peace that came when I realized how similar we all can be. I try so hard to have it all together, but when I admit that I don't, and confess to an area of pain and difficulty and it is received as graciously as it was yesterday, there is a freedom in that place. A connection, a point of togetherness, and a depth is found that is not regularly present in day to day interactions.
I would like more of that, but I have to be willing to start this ball rolling. I have to break down my own walls, the ones that keep me isolated from others, and be more intentional about the areas that I struggle with. What are we all doing on this earth together if we can't provide a little support and help to each other where our lives intersect? I don't want to be cavalier and flippant about these moments of connection with the people in my life. We can all do a little more for each other, with minimal extra effort, if we will share a deeper level of ourselves and find reciprocation for what we have shared.
Perhaps winter is a good time for this experiment. Freezing temperatures and falling snow make me want to hole up in my house, but that doesn't mean I can't still offer more of myself to my friends and family. I want to go a little deeper, within myself and in my relationships. And when that depth is reciprocated, find comfort in the fact that we are more alike than we are different, and that we are all in this thing together.