During a recent visit with a friend, she apologized after our conversation took a turn she described as “going deep.” Surprised by her apology, I brushed it off, telling her that deep conversations are the kind that nourish me. And I wasn’t saying it just for her benefit. I have been aware for some time that conversations that skim across the surface of a person just aren’t fulfilling to me. When I consider all of the experiences I have on any given day and how few people with whom I share my deepest thoughts and feelings, the opportunity to do so is a gift to me. Being able to share with another person aspects of oneself previously unknown, deepens relationships and our emotional connections.

While I understand there is a time and place for all kinds of interactions, I believe that taking the risk to share deeply meaningful thoughts and experiences is one of the most satisfying parts of life. Moments when I felt disconnected and alone were times when I have been isolated and withdrawn, or remained silent when I had something to say. Of course, I can justify my avoidance of taking this risk by saying, “It just wasn’t the right time,” or, “The other person isn’t someone I trust,” or, “They’re just not interested.”

And I know this is not the truth. It takes courage and mindfulness to show up in the moment with another person. While we may not always feel like we have the time or energy for the conversation, we are better for it. To see and be seen, makes life feel worthwhile. Even with differences in opinion and diverse perspectives, there is some common ground upon which we can walk together. These opportunities often appear in unexpected places. I, for one, want to pay attention when the moment occurs and practice taking a deep dive. Do you want to join me?