A friend of mine, who I have known only socially, and I were together today. Today, the usual small talk quickly became serious. The "how was your day?" from me got, again, a somewhat normal response of "I've had a really bad day". My friend continued to share with me some things that had devastated her today. Large or small, they were so important to her. As we talked through her worries, as her eyes welled with tears, I found myself overwhelmed with many things: I was honored that she trusted me with her real thoughts and emotions; I was respectful as I learned more about this person as she talked about why she was upset; I was in awe of her willingness to share more of herself and be truly open with someone that she had never had more than casual interactions with before.
Tonight - my heart is heavy as I hold her in my prayers and hope that tomorrow is better for her. I also am so appreciative of the immediacy she put into my life to remember to be open with people - as this is the way to true connections and friendship and relationships. Its only through sharing our real selves with others, warts and all, that we can first find those who will support us and also, sometimes, find ourselves.
There are many reasons we are all protective of who we are, and these are truly good reasons. We've all been burned. But to have the courage to carefully select some to be open with - well that is amazing, as is my friend. Please, even if you chose not to be as open as some, respect the gift of someone sharing themselves with you.
To my friend, thank you for what you shared with me and for what you taught me tonight...