No…not the Lady Gaga “Shallow” song – but let me be clear! I love that tune! 😊 No, this shallow reference is about someone I care about who had an epiphany this week, one that provided me with insight of my own.
You know how it is when a thunderbolt arrives, but not in the splashy, I command the sky and your attention kind of way? This was one of those subtle revelations tucked within a lengthy conversation. A story about family turmoil where the unspoken question was this: Have I done enough? Can I give up now?
When we try to reach someone we love and they’re not ready, or not interested, it’s a special form of hell. Especially when we feel, deeply – at a molecular level – that our mission is true and just. A closed door, the indifference can be crushing, even if it’s been the relationship undercurrent for decades upon decades.
I like being the sunny one, the encourager, the champion, the spark to help both myself and others problem-solve and summon tactics and ideas to prompt longed-for interaction and connection. Yes…but. Know what I’m learning? Our well-intended pursuits need to fall away, at times. Carrying the disappointment of ill-fated attempts, while lugging embers of positivity? Too much, I say, and yet I don’t like to give up, give in. It feels like retreating.
As I talked with my dear one, I realized I’ve changed, in response to indifference. I can’t be the one to do all the work, nor should my friend. As much as I enjoy introspection and the opportunities to mull and consider ‘big, bothersome questions’, on my own, it can be transformative to take the time to sound out issues with a confidante, allowing the external processing of life’s conundrums to unfold. The conversation, sharing, commiseration and confirmation that we’re not alone — as we tussle with relationships and navigational challenges can be enough.
And this. I love a good summation, a wrap-up moment when these magical exchanges occur. My dear one sighed toward the end of our conversation and said:
“I see it’s not me. What I want to talk about isn’t on his radar at all. I can’t get through because he’s in the shallows and I’m looking for depth.”
And for now, that was enough.