We all partake with small talk. That wading in the shallows to meet and greet and be sweet with acquaintances, neighbours and by-passers. Then there is family. The ones with whom we go deep. The ones with whom we share our deepest thoughts, concerns and grandest joys. The ones who we draw a tight circle around in order to at times protect them or to receive promises from them.
At times, I have been the recipient of the most compelling inspiration from a stranger on the street. This person is rarely even remotely aware of my present circumstances yet they speak a truth to my heart that I can not deny. They say something with a depth that makes my head reel, my heart skip a beat and my mind race. Perhaps coincidence and only happenstance or maybe there is a real divine intervention taking place. The universe convicting me.
Familiarity is the space of comfort we often find a certain amount of peace and genuine rest. Things are easy when kept simple and clear and clean cut. Yet, in times of turmoil remaining calm may require that we go deep. It is a turning of the soil as though to prepare the ground to receive a new planting. We are the masters of our garden and we can and do reap the sow we seed. So, to what depths are we willing to go to ensure proper growth of a sustainable enjoyable life?
Inevitably life evolves around us with or without our awareness. Awareness has it’s own price to pay as it does involve our active participation, or in the least our honest observation. The most elementary of anthropologists will tell you that objectivity is a fragile thing and that our mere presence has an impact on outcome. We can deny our entanglement and reject this reality, while we incriminate others. That has effect, which causes affect, which in tern takes effect, to cause more affect…etc.
Let me give you a living example. A 27 year old daughter talking non stop about a 49 year old man she has recently met may indeed be an indication of attraction, genuine full blown desire or mere infatuation. Our parental influence will indeed have an impact on the course of action of this new friendship. We are not in anyway beyond culpability one way or another. So…
Do we wade in the shallows or get in real deep? Do we back off and let this evolve to it’s natural course and have nothing to say about our daughter’s direction? Do we kibosh the whole relationship or suggest that friendship without intimacy is the only option? You may be asking why we think we even have a say. Our daughter at 27 is developmentally handicapped and lives at home with us, requiring pretty much 24 hour care. This gentleman is someone she met at activities for the disabled, yet he lives semi- independently at his own home where she wants to go visit him.
Yeah… problematic to say the least. My darling husband continuously makes the mistake of asking “what do you want, wife?” and I finally clearly answered “I want a non disabled daughter to make these decisions for herself and not have to be involved. Can you make that happen?” Like what I want should even remotely be the focus. I did say darling husband, it’s just a redirect or a proposition that we should even remotely consider our wants above our daughters when it comes to her life. Like that is even remotely appropriate. Yeah… shallows.
In a way I envy people who can live in the shallows and not go too deep. These are the kinds of questions we pose in our life on a daily basis. Given the size and structure of our family, we contend with these realities of love and war on an ongoing basis and we do not take our influence lightly. We’ve seen how a simple shift in perception and delivery of care can majorly alter the status quo for the better. We don’t want to miss out on life opportunities or deny our family members their largest dreams and desires which swim deep.