I have a metaphor for friendships that I especially like. It deals with water, my favorite element. I like to think of friendships and love relationships in terms of how deep I can dive into them.
With some people I can dive way down deep into their consciousness. They sing to me, “Come on in, the water’s fine!”
They provide plenty of room for me to swim around amid their thoughts and feelings. They reflect with me, share with me, emote with me. In the best cases, there are no secrets.
With other people you really have to watch yourself. Don’t dive in without looking for boulders, jagged edges, and other hidden obstacles. These people are aloof, evasive, defensive, argumentative, judgmental. This is what I call the shallow end of the pool. I can rarely merge with who they truly are. They are not big on self-revelation and personal growth.
Much of our society is taught to stay in the shallow end of the pool. Don’t dive too deep or you’ll split your head open when you hit bottom. Don’t get too intimate, too probing, too personal. To me conversations while dressed in Hazmat suits are about as exciting as watching a convention of gnats (which I grant you under certain lighting conditions can be intriguing, too.)
I am a deep pool kind of guy. It probably stems from being a creative writer who always needs to think multidimensionally about my characters’ external behavior and their internal world. It also stems from my college education, much of which clued me into looking for the hidden meaning beneath the surface of the obvious.
Deep pool friendships in Earth School are very rare, and I am so grateful when they manifest. The deeper the pool, the less the censorship, the less the hiding, the less the packaged personality and schtick.
Come on in, the water’s fine.