is there a reason we’re not honest when someone asks how we’re doing?  is there something inside of us that keeps us from simply being real, and telling that person exactly what is going on?

we live our lives so connected, so intertwined with others, and yet so insulated and separate from any sort of real relationship.  we twitter, blog, facebook, myspace, text and bluetooth each other more so now than any time in history.  yet, when we’re faced with someone who asks that question, we freeze… and more often than not, we ofter a pat answer.  dishonest, insincere….

now i realize that if you’re walking by that coworker you met two days ago and they ask how you’re doing, it’s probably not the best time to tell them about having to rub aunt edna’s corns or that your dog had an accident that weekend.  i realize that there are times when a smile and an “im good, thank you.  how are you?” is just what is needed.

but i also know that we dont share.  we dont honestly tell people what is going on in life.

maybe it’s because when we ask someone how they are doing, we honestly dont want to know.  we dont want to know about their struggles, challenges, fears, failures, battles and tears.  we dont want to know what’s going on beneath the surface.

we as a people have determined that life is better lived in the shallow end of the pool.  we prefer the scene, to see and be seen.  we prefer the temporal pleasantries of discussing the weather and our dogs, than more eternal subjects like pain, struggle, heartbreak and passion.

what would happen if someone made that choice, that choice to say farewell to the shoreline.  to push off the beach, find the deep waters and dive?  what would that person look like?  how would they live their life if they determined that how people saw them, didnt matter?  that playing in the shallow end wasnt enough?

the bible speaks of rivers of water flowing inside of us.  inside us.  rivers.  not streams, creeks, brooks or tributaries.

rivers.  inside of us.

thats what i want to see.  when i meet someone, i want to be the type of person who isnt scared of looking into the deep places inside of who they are.  i want to be someone who can see the heartache, the pain, the uglieness that exists inside of us all, and still love that person.

there is so much more to life that we chose to miss out on, when we chose to only see the shallow end.

i realize, that sometimes, we just need to hide.  we simply need someone, someplace to go where we are safe.  i realize that not every person out there will be open and honest about who they are, their challenges and fears.  there will be many times where i wont be honest.  where i’ll tell someone who is honestly asking how i am, that i’m fine…. i’ll offer a smile and pleasantries and ask how they are.

i may not be the type of person who can push off the shoreline and never look back.  but im going to go deeper.  someone once said you wont leave where you are, until you decide where you want to be.  i may not know where i want to end up, but i know there is an amazing world i want to see.  and i’ve got a second chance to do so.

for second chances, and for the rivers that exist in each one of us, i am thankful.

Stavesacre – Rivers Underneath