There’s so much I wish we could talk about. Our personal inner struggles, lessons learned as we travel through our life, deep questions rolling around with us in our beds at night, oceans we want to cross, stupid fears holding us back, and dreams we’re planning on pursuing in the pockets of our day.
I wish we could tell each other our wildest secrets without judgement. Confess openly our marriage problems and parenting fails without shame. Rant about what’s bothering us while also sipping tea and still laughing.
I wish we could give each other a tour of how we are evolving in our beliefs, tearing down religious rules, and finding Love to be stronger than we imagined it to be.
What’s holding us back from the sweetness of such rare vulnerability?
For me, first of all, I wonder what you will think of me? Will you quietly disappear out the back door of my life? Will my raw honesty shock you or make you wriggle in your seat and change the subject? Will you, in the most endearing way, suggest, “Maybe you need to get some help, I don’t think this is normal or healthy?”
Next, I’ll convince myself that I’ll regret this divulging of inside information tomorrow morning. After all, it’s too heavy and complex and probably won’t be beneficial to you anyways. What if my open heart might be met with your silence, maybe you’re not ready to confide in me yet. How awkward. Your view of me will change and you will treat me differently and I like our friendship right now. So, I resolve to stay hushed because it’s easier for everyone if we don’t go there.
And lastly, I’ll second guess my motives. Why is it that I think we need to peek into one another’s stories anyways? Am I addicted to swimming only in the depths and require people in my life to plunge them as soon as possible if they want to be my friend? Am I obsessed with vulnerability; is it my only marker of real community? Am I being selfish, and desiring you to meet my need for connection in listening to me chatter?
When I wade through all these reasons in my head, the only logical conclusion becomes – keep quiet. I shouldn’t be one to easily offer you parts of my heart unless asked, and even then, it’s unlikely I’ll willingly disclose the whole story.
Why would I want to bore you with my uninteresting experiences, won’t it sound like blah, blah, blah?
Why should I scare you with revealing of a lifelong struggle?
Why would I want to burden you with the pain I feel over aborted ambitions or dreams that have never left the pages of my journal?
Why would I want to make you envious of my exciting opportunities or the stirrings of a new season when I see you’re feelings stuck?
Why would I want to do that to you, my friend?
We subconsciously take vows to stay silent, skim along on the surface, and offer stiff support. Neither of us wants to bare too much soul skin.
We cut out the heavy baggage and hot tears, or surprise blessings and joyous news from our candid conversation. After all, we argue to ourselves, you don’t need to know all that.
In an effort to be the polite, respectable, and well-liked one we miss out on the gift of a colorful, multi-faceted friendship. The kind of friendship we all want but are too freaked out to pursue.
This sleek, yet bland façade becomes our silent enemy, killing our closeness before it even has a chance to crack the surface.
We hardly notice the ways we smooth out our true selves, as if we were a wrinkled shirt, removing every sign of texture or curve. Have we become merely pieces of fabric needing ironed?
I’m convinced we as sisters are separating slowly. Dangerously slow. We’re too timid to admit we’re tired of the two-dimensional fronts we raise every time we come together.
We yawn. Untouched, unmoved by one another’s radiant presence. We go about our lives, letting our distance become the common denominator.
We keep our lips sealed, hearts fossilized, and our appearances composed. Our stories stay suppressed and our friendship goes flat.
Do you feel it too? Maybe it’s time to admit, “There’s so much we have to talk about! Let’s hang out.”
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”