Behind the Scenes
A Sixty-Word SZEN Story:
Alice’s husband had become increasingly despondent since the merger. He had been let go after many years of loyal service. Alice was getting worried he may not find work and that income from her small store would not suffice. It preyed on her mind, but as she opened for business every day, it didn’t stop her big smile and hello.
Here are to all of the people like Alice that hide their fear or pain and manage to keep a smile facing forward. I think it is difficult to mask our feelings and yet many of us do. And why we do often is because we don’t want to burden others with our problems or maybe afraid of what others may think. The easy way to avoid a painful discussion is to project a positive attitude, smile and move on. And that process tends to work pretty well. That said, there could be a lot going on with many people in our lives and strangers too that we can’t see or know or fix, but it’s there and it hurts.
The folks that can hide their problems have found ways to suppress their feelings so that they don’t seep out through a conversation or simple eye contact. It doesn’t mean we can’t help if we knew. So how can we discern when there is more to the story than what is apparent? How do we see behind the scenes? And why, if at all, should we try?
To answer the “why should we try” question first, let’s assume for this discussion, we have a relationship of some kind and we care. If we do, then there are lots of ways to see beyond the obvious if we look carefully and listen.
Here are some ideas:
– Ask questions. A moment to hear how the weekend went or how they are feeling can net some insights.
– Let it go. If you think someone really needs help but is reluctant to share, it may be that you’re not the person they need, so don’t push it.
– Open up. The best way to get a good meaningful conversation going is to share something that is meaningful to us. By being vulnerable, we invite vulnerability.
Getting behind the scenes is getting deeper into relationship and that’s where miracles can happen, not just for those that need us, but for those we need.
Szenippet: We can’t know for sure what’s going on in another’s life, but there are often signs directed right at us. Be alert.