So we were both eating and chatting, catching up, going over how our day has been, etc. Then she throws it at me, “So how are you and Susie Q? I know it was tough there for a bit.”
Awkward silence… (In my head at least.)
“You know, (stutter) we’re doing ok… (stutter)…”
I would like to make a lil’ confession. Sometimes I sure do stink at practicing what I preach.
It is so much easier for me to open up to an anonymous blogsphere than to a living, breathing, caring, human in front of me. The internet doesn’t ask me hard questions or hold me accountable to my actions. I don’t have to be vulnerable when I type because I completely control the conversation.
It hit me the other day when I was having lunch with my friend that it’s been a long time since I’ve really opened up to someone.
And let me tell ya, it was hard.
As the conversation progressed and I squirmed in my chair I realized how much practice it takes to truly listen to a question, think about it honestly, allow the painful emotions to come up, and then here’s the hard part: be real.
I’m caught up in the over-sharing of Facebook and Instagram so my friends have perfect snapshots of my life. I see that I tend to carry over the same perfectly filtered facade to our one-to-one relationships. I either speak in metaphors or in one liners that might as well be a hashtag.
“We’re doin’ awesome!”
“Busy but good!”
I so easily settle into the habit of comfortably closing in.
The funny thing is I stinking love people. I love connecting with people. I’m just terrified of being vulnerable.
Isn’t that the most beautiful, interesting human relationship dynamic?
In order to truly connect, be close – you have to first remove barriers, let your own guard down.
It is such a simple truth that it can be easily missed.
I do all the time. Here’s to practice.