I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Below the Surface

It’s easy to like people at their best. What’s not to like?

When we first meet a person normally we see the best of them and we show them the same. In the first ribbon of a friendship everything is placid, like a lake, not knowing what lies underneath.

Showing the best of us is not deceiving; there is simply no need and no time to see more deeply.

It is easy to enjoy the company of a runner during a weekly run discussing common interests. After 45 minutes or 2 hours running we might know the music they like, their favorite energy drink and how long they have been running. What we don’t know is what frightens them, what makes them proud, if they have loved, if they have cried at night. We don’t need to know that. We might see them every week or we might never see them again, it won’t matter much.

We can stay there, at that ribbon. It’s safer…and less exciting.

Developing long lasting and meaningful relationships involves more than scratching the surface of the new personality we have met. It involves learning more beyond the common interests we shared in the beginning.

It is finding what that person does in their empty moments, what they dream of, what makes them sad and what makes them laugh. It might mean seeing them in a bad mood, having different views, disagreeing. It means accepting shortcomings, it means forgiving mistakes.

Getting to know a person at a deeper level is understanding and accepting their differences and their weaknesses and limitations; “Love me for what I am but more so for what I’m not”. I heard that quote somewhere.

The people I have loved have not been perfect, but they have been real. My best friends, my friends, the man I love, are those who have annoyed me, have pissed me off and have also accepted my shortcomings and I have accepted theirs. They have forgiven my mistakes.

They have accepted me.