Being Fully Human Tip # 5: Let Someone In
A few weeks ago, I was volunteering at a large conference in downtown Toronto on spirituality. When in line for morning tea, the girl next to me and I ended up striking up a conversation. The water for the tea wasn’t ready yet, so we both had time to spare.
We found out that we had much in common, and after only a few questions, I got the sense that we would really get along well. Before even getting that far into conversation, we were laughing at each other’s jokes, being vulnerable and sharing personal stories, and nodding often at what the other person was saying.
After a 20 minute conversation spanning the entire morning tea break, we went back to our separate respective seats as the next session began.
Over the course of the day, we met to speak again at lunch, and even attended one of the afternoon workshops together.
At the end of the day, I ran into her again and decided to ask her for her contact information.
That is when things changed.
When I emailed her the next day saying how great it was to meet her, and that it would be cool to hang out again, she said that she doesn’t think we should hang out because she has a boyfriend.
I found this to be a natural reaction on her part, but it got me thinking about how scared we often are to let people into our lives. I wondered whether she had been hurt by too many people in the past to let anyone else new in. Or perhaps, she really was just content with her friends group and didn’t have the time or interest in growing it.
Her email was a stark contrast to how well we got along during the conference and the vibe I was getting from her. I also found it surprising that she said she didn’t feel comfortable hanging out because she had a boyfriend.
What happened to the days when people could just talk, hang out, and get to know each other without any preconceptions of ulterior motives?
Reflecting on this experience, I realize that every time I am approached by someone or am asked for advice, I have a choice to let them in or not. I can easily make excuses, pretend not to care, or find ways to stay in my comfort zone. Or I can identify my limiting thoughts, not let the past prevent me from giving new people a chance, and open up to new possibilities and learning.
So whether it is a someone new you meet while traveling, someone seeking your mentorship, or a person standing outside your circle of friends at a house party, there are numerous people waiting to enter into your life and influence it.
It might be for the better or for the worse, but the more you let people in, the more you are letting people in to see who you truly are. In honouring yourself, you are giving others the ability to be comfortable to do the same and share themselves fully with you.
By letting someone in, you might learn, love, laugh, give, grow, smile, share, and have many more beautiful life experiences you could not have fathomed.
So this week, who can you let into your life?
Take a chance on someone, give yourself permission, and know that there is always something to learn from each person and experience.