Think of a friend. Not a best friend, but a friend. I'm assuming you know their family. Do you know what they do for a living? I'd hope so. Do you know about their favorite childhood memory? Can you name their favorite activity? Or hobby?
Think of a best friend. One of your VERY best friends. Let's assume you know their family, their career (I mean… I'd really hope so!). Do you know their views on marriage, kids, faith, politics? Do you know one thing they dream of? What about what they're afraid of? The things that keep them up at night? Can you identify their talents? Do you know what they struggle with?
Think of a family member. Can you do all the things I've already named? But can you also name their greatest of these things? They're greatest love, fear, doubt, hope, dream, relationship, memory?
Can you do it?
I have a group of friends I affectionately refer to as the Musketeers. We have a notebook. Remember when you were in middle school and you had a notebook. You'd write in it, bring it to school pass it to a friend, they'd take it home, read it and write back? That's what we have.
When I last had the notebook I started a page called "Confessions" where I decided it was time I fess up to something that's been on my mind.
We are friends, we hang out we laugh, we play games, we eat. We spend time together. But I'm not sure how much we talk. Really talk. I don't think I could answer all the questions above about them.
With the amazing advances in technology I wonder how much that impacts the connections we make? How we communicate? And are we losing the ability to communicate well? Honestly? And openly?
The part that is hardest about communication is that depending on what you are talking about you are opening yourself up. You're handing someone a fragile piece of you, hoping they won't drop it and let it shatter like glass on a hard surface. It's scary. But unless we open those pockets, the deep ones, not just the decorative ones, no one will ever really know you. Granted there are always pockets that we keep to ourselves, we have to try.
It's funny to me that I had a similar "a-ha" moment three and a half years ago. When I wrote that post I challenged myself to dial into my interactions for the week. I'm going to try to really focus on the people in my life this week. To be present in conversations, and to try to be open and honest.
Remember many things in life can wait, but being with the people in your life,
being present, sharing some pockets,
and The Sunset Won't.