Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Peeling the onion

Bear with me here ... analogy time:

It is my belief that the personality of every human being is composed of layers. We all have a protective shell, but underneath are a series of softer layers, each one a little bit deeper; each one protected by the layers above. You have to penetrate through those layers to get to the the center of the person - the core; and this task is impossible unless the other person trusts you enough to let it happen.

Speaking for myself, I only reveal a few layers to most people (regardless of how long I might know them). I tend to expose a few more layers to family and friends, but even then, there are some limits to how much I am willing to reveal. My deepest layers are revealed only to my closest friends; it is rare that I trust someone with that level of knowledge. {"Knowledge is power."}

We had a good talk the other day.

The conversation skipped around from lighthearted, to deep. From playful to serious. Both of us revealed things that we normally wouldn't. It was a game of truth or dare, but each time one of us took a turn, we were always choosing truth.

The conversation lasted almost six hours. (Thank goodness for unlimited long distance, right?) After all was said and done, I was physically and emotionally drained. Nevertheless, I can't think of anything that I would rather be doing, nor anyone else that I would rather be doing it with. {Okay, sex might be the one exception...}

It seemed that no topic was off-limits. We talked about values, goals, childhood experiences, and yes, we also talked about sex.

It was during this conversation, that I chose to reveal one of my deepest, darkest, and most closely guarded secrets. A layer so deep and so personal, that I have never revealed it to anyone else. {Actually, I did talk about it once with a psychologist, but those sorts of conversations don't really count, right?}

Since the beginning, she has always been very accepting of me. Though at times I find it dofficult to believe, she actually seems to like me just the way that I am (flaws and all, no bullshit). For that reason alone, I made the decision to trust her; to reveal this hidden truth about myself, and to believe that she would continue to accept me regardless.

So - she listened, and once again she accepted me. Even more, she validated me. She could have reacted a thousand different ways, and the results could have been disastrous for me. Instead, she took the high road. She responded with understanding and compassion.

To anyone who was not yet experienced the liberation of being able to reveal yourself completely to another human being, I implore you to do so ... as quickly as possible.

In the days since then, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. After being "the rock" for so many others who shared their innermost thoughts, this time it was my turn to let go, and it felt good. Real good.

She is a blessing to me in so may ways.

Thank you, Angel.

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