My dad has a difficult time speaking the same language as me. This has lead to many arguments and frustrations as a son, longing for a deeper connection with my father. His gifts are simply in other areas and I’m learning to see that he says, “I love you” in different ways than I hear it. That’s all fine and dandy, but I want to be known. A few friends of mine really know me and when I have a good or bad day, they immediately know the context. For me, it’s one of the most important things in a friendship.
In the past week or so, people I would call friends have told stories to groups of people that I had not known previously. I mean, these are somewhat personal, but not secretive things that, as a friend, I should have known. But I didn’t find these things out on my own. I didn’t offer to these other people what I myself treasure. What else have I missed out on because I didn’t take the time to ask the right questions? Why would I have been so content to maintain such a shallow friendship?
One person talked about their fears of losing anything or anyone they pursued because of lossed dreams in the past. Soccer scholarships destroyed and dreams of fashion design taken. Another person had recently lost 100 lbs. with good ole fashion diet and excersize. Not only did I not ask, but I couldn’t tell! Because I forgot what a joy it is to get to know people, I fear that I have missed out on numerous conversations and the depth of frienship.
Because of this realization, I’m going to make an effort to start asking questions — listening to people’s heart and learning to experience life with them. Perhaps the key to a good relationship with my dad lies in my ability to, like a friend, get to know him.