Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Art of Being Known

Breathing in thunderstorms, finding great coffee, visiting with friends and family, and soon, a taste of lake filled cottage life…all these activities are an integral part of my day to day life at the moment. I am in Toronto, my disowned hometown, and land of my raucous and well spent youth. As I travel down memory lane, awake to every nuisance of my past, I translate each feeling into present time awareness and realize how very changeable my inner state is here. I feel a mixture of gratitude and happiness as well as painful queasy swirls as I pass by landmarks from my childhood that vibrate with images of who I was. I cannot help but compare that with who I am now. There is something humbling when one realizes just how unconscious one was…and truly, even though I was always a searcher I can see how very limited my perception was. I used to believe that if people did not see things the same way they were not connected. That thought left me feeling disappointed.

Now I start with the premise that everyone has a different map of reality and no two people do see things exactly the same way. I start with the belief that we are all connected in essence and now when I find mutuality and commonality on a form level I am thrilled.

This brings me to today’s musings on the art of being known. I have a man on my mind, or on my heart and I am damned if I can settle on a geographical name for him. For some reason he is difficult to place that way. I reject Costa Rica since that feels like his past and I am just not landing in any kind of solid resonance in terms of anonymous nicknames. If I was to follow an unbridled spark I would name him Paris, since he seems to have inspired a French  fantasy filled with morning light, intimate connection, shared warm chocolate de pain and café au lait as steamy as the details of a Parisian film noir starring Catherine Deneuve and Yves Montand.

He says he desires to be known, to be understood. He does not really know yet that he has met a person…me….whose skill set and desire for knowing others is far beyond the norm. When he states this yearning, which he seems to feel quite deeply, it excites me. I too after all desire to be known. I don’t doubt my tenacity to keep asking until I get it right. And I no longer make the kind of assumptions that I used to when viewing peoples behavioral choices. These days if I don’t understand I ask. But here is the tricky part. Being free of assumptions and having unlimited curiosity and willingness to stretch to include another’s reality isn’t really enough to know them. That other person, beyond their desire to be known has to be willing to disclose and be transparent. In others words they would have to do their part and supply the information necessary in order to BE KNOWN.

In this case I am confused! I have a variety of interpretations about a number of observations. The answers to my musings could be a, b, c, or d….and really there is not allot I can do about another person’s willingness to share straight up, direct,  personal information….especially of the risky kind…the kind that generates intimacy.

 I also used to think that by modeling disclosure first, it would somehow invite the other person to follow suit. I am not sure that is true anymore either. So I remain honest and willing to answer any and all questions, without taking the lead. Not an easy feat for an over functioning leader type who is used to going full steam forward when my interest is piqued.

This time around I want an unfolding, an experience of relationship opening with ease and gentleness. I desire a person who wants to open as well. This time… Je voudrai transparence, to be the default, not the cherry on top. (Pardon what is possibly grammatically incorrect French.) While such openess  may not be for everyone, it is for me. I feel safe and included, seen and known when transparency is a mainstay instead of just an occasional yummy red bite of dessert afterthought.

Who do I know who has that quality in their relationship…no one.   And yet that doesn’t deter me. If the desire to be known is strong enough then transparency is the key component that increases the likelihood of it happening. I remain committed to The Art of Knowing and Being Known, not just on special occasions but as a way of being that invites depth and oneness all the time.
And I continue to imagine what it might feel like if there are ways of knowing and being known that I haven’t even thought of.

Authentically yours,

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