Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I was thinking about how we look at others on a surface level and judge them and their life. Then when we get closer and come to know them better, sometimes they reveal more of themselves and what is really happening in their lives. That makes us readjust our former conclusions about them and develop empathy. Someone can look externally like they really have it together and we in our minds eye compare our life to theirs; but we know our trials and problems intimately and know nothing of the other person's inner thoughts. We don't really know others unless they let us get closer and reveal their true feelings. We only know the image they project. In public, it's easy to look around at a smiling individual and not know that beneath the facade is pain and fears just waiting to be shared.

I guess what I'm talking about is FRIENDSHIP. Getting close enough to know someone so they trust you enough to open up their deepest thoughts to you, to share their pain and troubles. BLOGGING gives us a little opportunity to do that with the added benefit of distance. Most of the people we interact with, we'll never meet so there is a certain level of safety and trust in that. 

I'll close with my Grandma Johnson's thoughts...if everyone were to put their problems in a big pile, we'd all take back our own. I've felt that way sometimes after listening to a friend share their personal challenges-feeling grateful that my problems seem smaller or more manageable after listening to theirs. Writing does the same thing, putting my thoughts and feelings about problems down on paper makes them less stressful. Tell me of your experiences. 


  1. Lin;

    Putting my feelings and fears down on paper(computer) gives me a voice. I am naturally a talker...I love to be together with friends and just talk. Being more house bound these days , I have been reaching out and am finding that my group listens with open ears and open hearts!
    Thanks for your thought provoking post.

  2. I know that for longer than a decade, I've thought of one of Wayne's siblings as having a "Norman Rockwell" family. I've carried that thought with more than a slight tinge of envy. But, with the passing of time I've learned that the truth of it is... they don't have the depth of relationships with most of their married children that we have with ours. And she has some pretty scary health problems. Her health issues are far more severe than my morning stiffness and aching feet. So.... your grandma is absolutely right. I would definitely grab my problems off the pile and leave their bright shiny faces that hide so much fear and disappointment to them.

    I also remember meeting a woman while I volunteered at the local museum who took my breath away as I got to know her better. She was so quiet and unassuming, so simply (really quite poorly) dressed. She sort of faded into the background when the women gathered together to chat. One afternoon, as she was sitting alone, I walked over and started a conversation with her. I was bowled over! She's brilliant. She's led a completely fascinating life and is a trained mid wife, personologist, kenesiologist, and artist. (and more) She has become my mentor. I can't begin to tell you how much she's changed my outlook on so many topics. She's been a mini miracle in my life! Who would have thought...? So you're spot on. It's just silly to judge anyone or envy what appears to be their circumstances. We never know what size the rocks are under the rivers surface.

    I usually sluff stress off easily.
    I certainly have it. Real Estate is a frustrating business. I have four grown children who's lives I am very involved in... stress sits at my table now and then. But, it rarely spends the night. Does that make me sound shallow? I hope it's more a matter of finally understanding that life has a way of leveling out, so I just don't allow much bother me for long. I let the lows stick around just long enough to send the highs soaring even higher.

  3. A very thoughtful and insightful post.

  4. There is so much below the surface of each of us. It's good to remember that.

  5. I always read your post and then Caryn' response as they build so beautifully on one another...

  6. So true.
    Sometimes I wonder how many people see the person on the inside of my being rather than the chubby person with RA on the outside. Looks are so deceiving. I know when I look in the mirror, I can't believe it's me!! So, I'm doing the same thing...judging my own appearance as being the important thing.