|Groben Church, Brandenburg, Germany (photo by Lienhard Schulz, German language Wikipedia).|
In the last couple of weeks I’ve had opportunities to view the world through other people’s eyes on a couple of occasions. The first came when a friend of mine that I have come to know through our children really opened up to me about some personal struggles she was having. We’ve been friends for several years because of our children’s relationship, but this was different. She shared with me on a deeper level and really showed me a vulnerable side that you don’t ordinarily see with casual friendships. My eyes were really opened to a more full view of who she was. I was grateful that she trusted me enough to be so real with me and I think this experience touched me so much because this is a person that I have always admired and viewed as “having it all together.” The experience brought us into a closer friendship.
The second experience came when I was looking through my teenage son’s phone to see what he had been up to. One of the rules that my husband and I established with my son when we got the phone for him was that we had access to it at all times. As I was reading some of the conversations he had shared with his friends, I became more aware of some of the relationships he has in his life with his peers. Again, I saw more of who he was. This gave me a view into his world that I don’t see on a regular basis. While I didn’t find anything earth-shattering, there were definitely conversations that warranted some advice from Mom. The resulting talk was initially uncomfortable for him, but allowed our relationship to grow as he saw a side of Mom that was understanding of what he is experiencing.
These two experiences did something for me that was completely unexpected. They reminded me how self-involved I am, which in a way is a natural thing. After all seeing the world through our own eyes is usually the only view we have. I think we tend to be really wrapped up into our own lives, opinions, worries, etc... Being allowed “in” to someone else’s world in a very intimate way was a wake up call for me.
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