Imagine walking along and you see something that is jetting out of the ground. It is subtle and you could have easily missed it. It is dirty and blends in with the surroundings. Here you have a choice. Do you continue on or do you examine what it is? This is going to take getting dirty. Sitting in the dirt and scraping away the layers. Do you have time for that? Is that something you really want to do? But when you do actually get in the dirt and take the time to really dig and discover then you end of finding something that is so beautiful. You discover that it is not just a dirty edge of a rock but a giant geode. Full of color and bright. Complicated and stunning.
I have found that people are that way. Everybody walks around carrying different things. Things that you could not tell from the surface. Whether they are things from their past or situations they are currently in. The surface may be so dirty or so uninteresting that they are overlooked. Someone's outward behavior may even be offensive or repulsive. And out of our own fear or lack of understanding we walk away before we truly understand. We give up too soon. I wonder how often I have missed out on someone because I did not understand or take the time to do so.
No body does anything for no reason. We are always expressing ourselves even when we are trying not to. We all have our motivations whether they stem from fear or hurt or even self protection. All of our experiences affect the way we see the world and how we interpret the messages around us. We cake layer upon layer to cope and to hide and to not be seen. And it takes time to even understand why we do what we do.
To understand people we need to take time. Lots of time. Time to sit with them and truly understand where they are coming from and why they do what they do. And I am confident that under every layer of dust and grime there is a treasure. Something beautiful and complex that has been hidden over time. If we stop at the surface we will miss out on the beauty.
But first we have to be willing to dig within ourselves. To uncover the lies we have believed. To get past the coping mechanisms we have adopted. To understand our own griefs and wounds. To dive into our own pain because that is where healing begins. This is not an easy task and requires dedication and bravery. And yet someone who understands their pain will not be afraid to work along side others as they face their own pain. We have to dig so that we can dig deep with others. We have to be willing to sit in the dirt with others and not give up at the tip of the surface. That is where the beauty is and freedom is found.
-written by Lauren Stuck