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hands reaching

One of the most devastating truths I have learned in my life so far is this: I believe we can really never know another person.
Here’s why:
We fear intimacy.
We keep so much of our selves hidden.
We convolute the meaning of our relationships.
We take others too lightly, or too seriously, or we take them at their word when to do so is sadly ill-advised.
We hear what we want.
We hear what we hope.
We silence what doesn’t feel right.
We are self-referential, projecting ourselves, our meaning, and our motivations onto others.

I know this all sounds pessimistic, but I believe it is true. I believe this is what stands in the way of meaningful, emotional intercourse.

I believe we are here to connect but are given such sadly impotent tools.
We dance near, shuffling and trying to get close.
We grasp or hold or push.
We use our mouths to speak what is in our hearts with imperfect language that can never communicate our true nature.
We fearfully, skeptically watch each other for signs of honesty or safety.
We try to touch each other with meaty hands and parts that can never fully reach inside to the places that matter.
We say the things we want to be true with the hope that saying it will make it so.
We listen hard, hoping to hear something familiar and comforting.
We hope to find another whose heart pings at just the right frequency, with just the right tone to match our own.
We stay, when all we want is to leave.
We leave, when all we want is more.
We want, deeply and with an ache too great to describe or conceal.
We fear, and this always shuts down our hearts.
But I think we should try, even in the face of all the evidence that we will fail.
We will fail each other.
We fail ourselves.
But in trying to make that real connection with another, we come closer to what really matters.
Our challenge is to not become hard.
We must not let this sometimes-necessary crusty carapace set so firmly that it holds us back.
Fear is stagnation.
Fear is silence.
Fear eats us from within.
Fear is a thousand deaths.
We must choose love over fear every single time, even knowing it may come to nothing.
Because, what option do we have?