Is it possible to truly know a person? Emboldened by previous experience and time spent together, we may assume we have a certain understanding for what makes another tick. To be allowed behind granite walls and into the inner sanctum takes an incredible amount of trust and vulnerability between people.
Many of our interactions are held in controlled circumstances through work and educational environments, community, common interests, and social outlets. Because of this we have each created an outside personality. To genuinely know a person, one must first be able to see behind their carefully orchestrated public persona, and into the eyes of their true self. Until then, everything remains a well constructed story.
It’s fascinating to me as human beings how we can assume someone is irrevocably a certain way based on a combination of only what they want us to see (or inadvertently let slip) and our own projected views of who we have decided they must be.
Sometimes, it’s not until those meaningful moments of beauty, conflict, intimacy or even trauma that a chunk of wall can be removed and a piece of our true unvarnished selves becomes revealed. It’s up to us to then take these shiny morsels of truth, and to add them carefully to the puzzle of knowing that we are continually in the process of building.
I think we want to count on and believe that the people in our lives are unchanging, when in reality, transformation is all there is. Our fundamental truths may define who we are, but even these can shift. Values, morals, personal beliefs, in conjunction with our own extraordinary personalities, are what distinguish us as individuals. And yet, who we are is not written in stone but lightly etched upon the sands of time.
Believing someone to be a specific way doesn’t necessarily mean that they will, now or in the future. Perhaps we won’t ever conform to perceived expectations. So what happens when we stray from our usual path, when we do behave differently. Will we be turned away for being other than imagined. Must we stand within the light of another’s understanding to be everything they dream us to be. Or can we be accepted for all that we are now, and may potentially be in the future?
These are the questions that continually rise up in our relationships, one by one, until they can be acknowledged and decided upon in real time. The answers we come up with inevitably bring us closer together or draw us further apart, in either case providing essential insight and personal growth.
It is a miracle to me how anyone can know another, when nothing and no one remains the same. Yet despite all of this, trusting in our hearts will have to be enough. For you to know me, and for me to know you, is an ongoing endeavor. Only in the end can we see its entirety.
We are chameleons of chance and circumstance, our colors changing with each and every sunset.
It is my belief that to know someone is a gift we continually open. In this understanding, perhaps the question is no longer whether we can honestly know a person, but whether we are willing and able to invest the time and energy it takes to do so.
In Peace, Raven
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