Deeper Connectedness / by Michelle Cowan

I like seeing different parts of who I am. I like seeing different parts of other people. People are endless mysteries, labyrinths whose depths have yet to be fully explored. Ten lifetimes probably aren't enough to scope the vastness of the soul.

I like giving people a chance. I like asking people odd questions and noting their responses. Each new day opens up new channels of discovery. When I spend more time with a person, I usually find more and more things to like, more similarities, and more interesting differences.

I've long been uninterested in knowing only people who seem "like me" because, in the end, everyone is both like me and unlike me. The first things I see about a person may disguise untold-of connections between us. I like the intricacies within that framework. I'm interested in how we form connections with people and how we deepen those bonds.

Sometimes, however, it's difficult to find other people willing to explore those depths with me. I think that almost everyone would profess to want to get to know their friends in deeper ways, but when certain inner areas are probed, many people jerk back, afraid, or they leap forward and put on a show, pretending to reveal in an attempt to cover the truth. I'm searching for more people willing to honestly probe the depths and do their best to be thoroughly authentic.

I'm slower to cut people out of my life now, too. I am noting snap judgments when I make them but not necessarily moving out of the friendship because of those initial sentiments. Often, my resistance stems from an insecurity within myself, although sometimes resistance is an intuitive force that should be given credence.

All this to say that I am learning to be open to all kinds of people and to be brave enough to open up and seek openness from anyone who presents him or herself as willing to reciprocate. I am uncovering treasures EVERYWHERE, in everyone, even the most unlikely. I hope to continue this journey.

Following this mindset has strengthened my family relationships and enhanced the other connections in my life. I am becoming more and more curious about people.

One concern remains, though: I pray that my naturally inquisitive nature doesn't prevent me from opening up myself. I hope to give at the rate I receive. My tendency to play the observer can separate me from others in that, while I may feel more connected to them, they feel a distance from me. I hope to truly be authentic and honest about myself and lay aside the mediator or investigator hat from time to time.

People are amazing. Pity that I can forget that, run into fear, and then hide within myself occasionally. Although those hidden times are valuable, moments when I reach out and act on a willingness to be involved with other people take me to new heights. Inter-relational life is so new to me! I want to uncover all the riches within the people I know and love.

Thanks to all those who have reached out to me. The first step is the hardest for me to make, but once I take a couple of steps toward connecting with someone, I'll run with it. Thank you to those who know I need that initial push.