This post was inspired by the Echosmith song entitled "Tell Her You Love Her." The song reminds me of the joy of love that I have felt only a few times in my life. It's not just the joy of love but also having the courage and confidence to say it aloud to someone and honoring yourself enough to just be swept up by love and away with it.
For some people love happens easily and often, but for me loving someone is rare and has only happened a few times in my life. My love for the world around me happens in moments of time. Things like the first hard acceleration up the Crest on my Ducati, the sound of the gentle rain on the sounds of the leaves, the smell of an amazing meal, or the smell of pine trees while showering in the sky, pulling on a freshly laundered and pressed dress shirt, the twilight evening of the Italian sky while dining al fresco, and a stormy day at the beach with big waves crashing in the distance make my heart swoon. But to love someone? Love someone so much that you are willing to give away your heart and everything familiar? Its only happened once in the past 10 years. As much as I tried to make that work out I now realize that it takes two people to work at a partnership. I am gathering up the broken pieces of my life and reassembling them. I am not sure what my new life will look like, but I know the lessons I have learned will not be quickly forgotten.
The song also makes me reflect on fact that if I was still that young & naive man that lost his mom too soon, I would say the joy of love is all that the song reminds me of. But alas, my adventures and experiences have spanned two decades since then, and my travels have taken me half way across the planet, and with many more highs and lows than I can count. Considering this, what "Tell Her You Love Her" also reminds me of is my own perceived short comings when it comes to building relationships. Recently, I've been more attentive to the words and questions I have asked people, and even now as I write this that isn't exactly true.
Music has always been a big part of my life. I listen to a song and I can slip into my memory of another time and another place when I first hear the song. Even bringing up the emotions I was even feeling at the time. For this reason, I tend not to over listen to songs from my past so I don't wear out those emotions or become over sensitized to them. Many times in my life I have enjoyed something so much that the novelty wears off and I don't enjoy it as much anymore.
Not just song but also objects bring up emotions and memories with me. Of all my worldly possessions the one I tend not to look at or smell too much a candle that is associated with my mom who passed away over 20 years ago. My memory of how the candle became into my possession I do not recall, but its my own thing that I have from my mom. Many people have food smells that remind them of their mother but my mom wasn't gifted in kitchen. This black odorous candle propels me back to when life was simpler, I was more naive and happier with the simple things in my life (I had so much less and it was ok).
A few years after my mom past and often recently, I ask myself why didn't I really get to know my mom for the woman she was instead of just my mom? I now realize that I haven't been asking deep enough questions from people around me. My relationships have been limited because I didn't have the skills to make them more. Most of my life I have strived for being a better me, and interpersonal skills are the same. I have a desire for deeper more meaning full connections and I am committed to push past my current level. I want or more specifically I need deeper relationships with people in my life. As I become with my true self I open my heart and soul to connect better with others. My whole life I have pushed back the idea that I belong (in a community, with a group of people, at work, or even in America) but recently I am rebelling against my rebellion. Asking deeper questions like "what if I connected deeper with people around me" and "what could I do to draw closer to those around me" and "how much better would my life be if I did this?"
What I want is to be able to become better connected with people in my life, but realize just like me we have trained responses. There are social mores when someone asks "how was your day" we naturally put on our game face and say, great, ok, good, etc that really doesn't reveal what is really going on with us, even when it's just below the surface.
I want to be the friend to others like the friend I would like to be. This is a idealistic view, but I don't think reaching for the stars is so bad when it comes to developing interpersonal relationships.
So here is what I normally get:
Me: "how are you?"
Response: "good how are u?"
Me: "Good, what are you up to?"
Response: "nothing, you?"
and on and on it goes. So I read an article recently
Questions to ask instead would be:
- When did you feel loved today?
- When did you feel lonely?
- What did I do today that made you feel appreciated?
- What did I say that made you feel unnoticed?
- What can I do to help you right now?
- Did you feel lonely at all today?
- What's going really well with work right now?
- Or ask specific questions about things going on in their life.
You know no one has ever asked me these questions to really understand me and what I am going through. Nor to really pull me closer to them and truly be connected in a more intimate way. I hope to use some of these phrases and develop more to pull those in my tribe closer to me.
Enjoy the song and I am curious to what emotions and thoughts it brings up for you.
Labels: communication, Echosmith, love, tribe