When my sister and I were young our family lived in rural Ohio.  Next door to us lived a family with a pony that  we often visited to talk to, brush and feed.  Almost daily we asked our parents for a pony of our own.  One day our parents sat us down and asked us a loaded question.  Would you rather have a pony or a baby brother? 
That was a no-brainer-a pony!  But alas, it was too late, my parents were counting on a different answer.  Baby brother (good guess on their part) was already in the making.
When Steve arrived we were thrilled, and we did realize that was a much better choice.   We thought everything he did was cute and funny, laughing at him.  He grew up quick-witted and funny and he still has us in stitches.  When the 3 of us get together there is banter and hilarity. 
As a small boy we taught Steve to play hide and seek.  At first, like all children he didn’t quite get it.  He would run off hiding while one of us counted.  “Here I come, ready or not!”  As we started wandering through the house we would yell out, “hmm, I wonder where he is…”  And inevitably he would answer “I’m hiding in the closet.”  Pure vulnerability and honesty. 
Of course we have all outgrown that game.  Or have we?
We still often hide, our true feelings, our failures, our fears, our dreams, our disappointments.  And we want someone to find us.  But often the reality is that no one is coming looking for us.  Often because they don’t know the rules of the game.  They don’t know we want to be found.  But we all want to be known, to be understood. Often we get wrapped up in our own fears and needs and insecurities around relationships and we don’t consider that others have those same fears.
As a culture we are in an epidemic of loneliness.  Our basic need for community, for  emotional intimacy is tragically wanting. 
What can I do, what can you do?  Gradually and intentionally, weighing the safety of the person we are connecting with, come out of hiding.  All relationships are a risk.  We might get hurt.  But being alone and lonely hurts. 
Show up.  Others need who you are. 
Be proactive-put yourself out there and invite relationships. 
Be kind, be trustworthy, hold other’s hearts carefully.  Everyone is hurting on some level.  We need each other.
This is one of the areas that I support clients through in our life coaching sessions.  As adults we have navigated many relationships.  We carry the memory of them with us, the good, the bad and the ugly. They can color present and future relationships.  Often it is a matter of recognizing our own assumptions and false narratives.  From there come insights on how to move past obstacles to developing closeness.  
Would you like to explore coaching in this area?  Let's chat, you can register for a complimentary consutation here.


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