Figuratively, I still do that. I gaze through a little hole in frosted glass at those around me. And only allow them the same size hole to peer in at me.
From that vantage point, I can see someone that has it “all together” and become envious. Kids well-groomed and walking calmly behind mother’s grocery cart. House tidy and neatly arranged. Everyone contented. At least that’s the way it looks through that little hole in the frost.
I can also cast judgment when things seem to be “crashing down”. A young boy kicking the van tires in a parking lot meltdown. Countertop covered in dishes and muddy tracks across the floor. Their world in chaos. At least that’s the way it looks through that little hole in the icy window.
If you were to step inside my home, you may be surprised. Especially if I’ve only let you peer in through a tiny opening in the frosted window of my life. What you think you know of me may not be true…
How many people know what life is really like on the inside? In this culture of social networking, we often don’t truly know one another.
Sometimes we don’t LET ourselves be KNOWN. We keep to ourselves. We don’t open up. And sometimes we don’t ACCEPT what is revealed (either in ourselves or in others). The truth is more than we wanted to see or hear or deal with. It’s better left alone. Or is it? You can’t love somebody you don’t really know. Without authenticity is loneliness.
I’ve come to realize how quickly I form opinions. Coming to a conclusion when I don’t have all the facts. I have to stop myself and repeat one of my husband’s favorite lines… “Everyone’s got a story”.
“Every single person you encounter…has so much more going on inside of them than you’ll ever know. But once you get to know a person, once you get to know their story, you’ll be amazed at how much you like them. Once the external layers are peeled away, you’ll begin to understand that we all struggle and wrestle with a lot of the same things, and once you realize that, it makes a huge difference in how you relate to people.”*
It’s true, isn’t it? When you get to know someone – when you open up and begin being honest about life – you find yourself becoming much more gracious in your interactions. When you let the frost on your window totally melt away, or better yet just open the door and let someone come right in to your life, you are able to finally be real.
Becoming deeply connected to others allows you to relate in a meaningful way. When you truly get to know someone and let them know the real you, “you’ll be amazed at how much you like them.”
So as 2013 begins, I encourage you to make it your goal to let someone in to your life… to connect below the surface…. to establish a meaningful relationship.
We never know what struggles we may face down the path a ways or even just around the corner. But whatever lies ahead, I can guarantee that you will weather the storms and delights of life much better if you aren’t walking down the path alone.
-* except from Simmer Down, Mr. C by Scott Bitely (pg. 143)