I think we are all wired to go deep. This could be learning to be the very best in your career or seeking answers to really tough questions. I am wired that way. I want to know more, understand better and dig below the surface.
It frustrates me that we can be so superficial in our relationships. I have been involved with two men’s groups recently where one of the primary goals is to go deep. This is unique and unusual for most male relationships. Men are notorious for skimming the surface. It keeps you clean and it’s safe. “Did you see the game last night?” “How is your boy doing at school?” “I shot an 84 on Saturday” This is the kind of stuff that would be the depth of typical male conversation.
While sharing in these groups, I have witnessed something that is really amazing. When one of the brave guys shares a really deep and painful story from their past, there was generally someone in the group that could really relate to the story in a very personal way and there was an instantaneous connection that occured between the men. This connection was actually visable and palpable. Often times there would be a jerk of the head and deep eye contact between the two men. You could actually see and feel the wires being connected.
The common feeling we tend to have is that no one understands our wounds or the pain that we have experienced in our life events. We feel isolated and alone in our pain and this shuts us down and encourages us to attempt to bury these events in our memory. The fact is that no matter how sensational the event and the pain, you are not alone. There is someone who has experienced a similar situation and often that person is much closer to you than you think.
I have watched this repeated over and over again. The feeling that you are alone in your circumstances is a lie straight from the pit of hell. These wounds from your past are an anchor to your growth and influence. You must rid yourself of this anchor once and for all. In many cases it is about forgiveness. You have to forgive the wrongdoer to finally move on. The Bible says that God forgives our sins as far as the east is from the west and remembers them no more. This is the model for perfect forgiveness.
In order for this connection to take place you must provide a safe environment of trust and confidentiality. The person who is sharing must feel that he is in a safe place. However, regardless of the level of safety, you still have to be willing to risk. I witnessed amazing bravery by men who have shared deep and painful secrets from their past. And with men, bravery feeds off bravery. If you are trying to get men to share, it generally takes one brave soul to get it started. Are you brave enough to share things in your past or things you struggle with in order to help others deal with their past? Can you drop your guard as a leader, push your pride out of the way and share purely for the sake of others?
The connection won’t take place unless you are willing to go deep and take the risk. If you are tired of the surface relationships, then maybe it’s time to take for you to go for it! Ask the uncomfortable questions, go deeper. Once you risk and the connection is made you will have a friend that is bonded to you in a very special way. You will be willing to continue to share with them and work through things that are troubling you. You cannot continue to go it alone. Try it with someone you trust. Going deep provides the pathway for growth and healing!