Yesterday I met with a friend who recently returned from about 3 months of solo traveling in Southeast Asia. As we sat down together for the first time since before she left, I asked her, “Who do I have the pleasure of dining with today?”
I knew that the person across from me was not the same person I knew from before. She had gone through her own trials and transformations, dissolved and rebuilt parts of herself. (On a concrete level, within three months many of the cells in her body were literally new…)
She smiled, and started to share with me who she is now.
She embodied a new level of confidence, a grounded assertiveness, trusting herself in a deeper way than before.
Later that evening I wondered to myself, “Why don’t we allow everyone in our lives to show up newly each time we meet them? To discover who they’ve become since the last time we saw them? Why do we assume they’re the same person, who will predictably act the same way, and remain as we “know” them to be? And doesn’t that trap them into being the same…?”
Once, it would have been easy to assume that my boyfriend, my best friends, or my parents would be the same people day in and day out.
Now, I show up to most interactions with that question subconsciously in mind: “Who do I have the pleasure of spending time with today?” (*and yes, I still sometimes assume they’ll be exactly the same people as they were yesterday…*)
It may seem obvious to rediscover who someone is after we haven’t seen them in months or years… like meeting an old friend from high school and having the thought, “Wow, I wonder what they’re like nowadays!” automatically cross your mind.
A subtler trick though is to allow ourselves to continuously rediscover who the people we see everyday of our lives are.
It gets fun pretty fast. And what I’ve noticed is that people enjoy the space that opens up when they realize you don’t expect them to be a certain way…
If you’re really feeling bold, try applying this mindset to yourself. Allow yourself to find out who YOU really are, each day, newly. Play around with creating yourself as someone new, each day. Perhaps you’ll choose to emphasize playfulness, or curiosity, or unstoppable action, or generosity that particular day…and something new the next day.
My invitation to you is to try this out. And if you want, let me know how it goes for you. Do you notice a difference in the quality of your conversations or depth of connection with the people around you? Do you notice a difference when you allow yourself to discover who you are each new day?
I’m curious. Let me know in the comments below 🙂