Have you ever noticed that there seems to be point we decide that we know someone well enough to stop taking in new information about them? I wonder if that relates to how many times we’ve seen them, or is it based on the number of heart-to-heart talks we have had?
This goes for our most intimate relationships, family members and friends. It’s almost as if the longer they stand in front of us the less we see them.
I think it does take a certain conscious effort to come to know someone. When I give them my attention, listen and spend time with them – that is all time spent in an exchange between to people – and more often than not that exchange has – not the purpose of coming to know them but rather the purpose of trying to “figure them out.”
I’m wondering about this. Is this an impediment? After all these years, do I really listen to who my mother is today, or do I still listen to her as if she were the same person I knew growing up. Am I open to discovering her? Or am I more interested in feeling that I have her figured out?
If I make a conscious effort at anything, surely it should be to drop my ideas about someone, to open my mind so that I can take in new information about them.
If I am not willing to rediscover people on a daily basis, what that means is the more I know someone the less likely I am to actually see them.
The ironic thing about all of this, of course, is that I myself (and each of us, I think without exception) want to be seen. We all want to be truly seen and heard. That’s impossible if our daily interactions are about deductions rather than discoveries.
What might we discover about someone we love if we just allowed ourselves to wake up one morning and pretend we don’t really know them at all – and just let them show us who they are?
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