I have been reading A Purpose Driven Life, and one thought has stayed with me for the last few days more than any other. We have to be open and honest with our friends. We need to share what is going on in our hearts. I have caught myself answering the question "how are you?" with the normal response of "fine" far too often. There are times when I am anything but fine, and still I try to hide from the very people who genuinely care most about me, and who really do want to know what I am feeling or battling with. I think we all edit what we say. Why do we hide? Pride? Self-protection?Are we too afraid of appearing vulnerable? Of showing weakness? Too little time? Lack of trust? It seems so foolish to be self-protective when the people who love us are the ones who are most capable and ready to help. How can they help if they don't know what is wrong?
And then it works the other way as well. When a friend says he or she is "fine", I now stop and think far more about how hard it is to say we are not fine at all. And I try to ask the question that lets them know I really do want to listen. Ah well. This is a philosophical time for me.