How are you?
No, really. Are you good?
Rarely does the exchange go that far. Sometimes, on a rare occasion it does. That's when you really get into it.
I have a friend who has many "friends". Rather, she is a friend to many. At times she has been a friend to so many that she just can't handle the weight of everyone else's problems and it almost swallows her up.
The problem is, you can't carry that kind of weight. We aren't supposed to.
We are told to carry one another's burdens. But, I don't think Jesus meant that we are to carry all the burdens of everyone around us.
I used to try. I used to be the dumping ground. I would hear everyone else's problems and encourage them or try to help find a solution.
Problem was...no one was really doing that for me. Then, I began to realize something. I wasn't being honest. I wasn't trusting them.
I still struggle with that. I struggle with being completely vulnerable and answering the question "How are you doing?" with openness.
I usually wait to see if they ask it again. Maybe it's my litmus test. I guess I've been let down too many times when I shared too much too soon or too often.
But, you'll never have an authentic relationship if you can't answer the question "how are you?" with complete honesty the first time.