Drop the Ball
I learn some of the best life lessons from my dog. Our goldendoodle, Nash, has an obsession with this squishy ball that we found at the pet store. I'm not exaggerating when I say that he will literally drop this ball at our feet or next to us on the couch every waking moment of the day. However, even though he wants nothing more than for us to throw his toy, he will often give it to one of us and immediately snatch it up the second we reach to throw it. As he stands there, wagging his tail expectantly, as if we are going to lunge to grab this ball away from him, I always think about how funny it is that he can't just give it up. He wants us to engage and play with him, but we can't if he won't stop hoarding the ball.
We often long for connectivity in the same way - we want nothing more than to feel the joy of sharing an experience with the people around us. Yet, we are so unwilling to give anything of ourselves to make the connection happen. We taunt the system, get close to figuratively "dropping the ball" at someone else's feet, and then snatch the opportunity away just as they get too close.
We are so wary of letting go of the things closest to us, that we often forget that we have to give to get when it comes to relationships. Nash doesn't have any fun playing by himself, any more than we enjoy a life without connection. The hardest part of engaging in authentic communication is dropping the ball, laying it all at someone's feet, and giving them the turn to respond. But, 99% of the time, the other person will take the bait if you are being vulnerable.
Don't let your fear of opening up limit your opportunities to interact.