v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
v.tr.1. To affect with great wonder; astonish.
I was talking to a good friend one day recently who'd been doing some soul-searching. Some life changes had caused him an urgent evolution whether he wanted it or not. A relationship had crumbled and though he stood strong in the aftermath of it all, there were still some questions. He was now "doing the work."
And so. In that process he ran across a question that he shared with me. A simple enough question that had been presented to him as he tried to understand not just a failed marriage but also himself. I love being connected to people while they're "doing the work" and having people connected to me while I'm doing the same. Their questions become your questions. So, in turn, their exploration gives you permission to do the same.
"Who do you think is amazing?"
And no. This wasn't meant in the "Michelle Obama" or "Diane Sawyer" kind of way. This question was being posed specifically about people in his immediate life. And, even more immediate, the person with whom he'd just separated.
"Do you or did you think that person is or was amazing?"
"Amazing?" He let out this nervous chuckle that I can tell mimicked the one he'd had when first presented that query.
The corner of his mouth turned upward. He told me that he said while they had a lot of fun and were very much attracted to one another, "amazing" seemed like a word too strong for what he felt. That's when the next question came.
"Do you know anyone that you think is amazing?"
"Amazing?" he echoed again.
And he pondered to think it through. It turns out that he did know some people that he'd deem amazing. A few close friends, mostly. His father. A teacher from many moons ago with whom he remained connected. But his partner? Or any former one for that matter? Not so much.
"Why aren't you seeking a mate that you find amazing?"
"Is that a necessity?" he countered.
"To me, it is."
And then he shared with me that, while doing this work with this therapist, that he had an epiphany. That maybe, just maybe, it should be. A necessity, that is, to fill your most intimate pieces of life with people that you could readily define as "amazing."
I listened to all of this and stuck post-it notes all over my head and heart while I did. I wanted to let this marinate and I wanted us to unpack it together. And we did.
"I would ask if you think Harry is amazing," he said, "but I know the answer to that."
I sat still and twisted my mouth. My eyes were fixed upon his because I knew that answer, too. Without even much thought, I know that answer. I do.
"See?" he said. "Of course, you think that."
"I do," I responded quietly. Because we both knew it was true. "But. . .what even does that mean? Like how would you even define it? I'm not sure I set out to find someone that I thought was amazing. I think I was just fortunate."
"Well. I would say that it means you deeply respect the person. And admire enough about them that being in their presence makes you want to do better and be better."
I liked that definition. And, when it comes to Harry, all of it was true.
"Do you think you're amazing?" I asked.
That's what I finally asked him. I could tell he wanted to think that through before answering. "You know what? Now I do."
"As opposed to before. Now I do."
"So what does all of this even mean?"
"I guess it just means that now I want the same. I want relationships with people I find . . . . amazing."
"Dang. That's deep."
"I know, right? Like. . .I'm not saying everyone has to be. But those who get the lion's share of my time and heart? They should be."
I nodded my head. "Like, it's a necessity now."
"A necessity now."
We sat for a few moments in silence. This was heavy so we needed to let ease down slowly. I broke the silence first.
"You know what?"
"What's that, Kim?"
"I think you're amazing."
"You know what, my friend? I think you're pretty damn amazing, too."
This early morning I'm reflecting on this simple question. Who do you think is amazing? I'm meditating on that conversation and wondering whether or not I'm filling my world with those relationships. To me, amazing people challenge me to be better. Some part of me wants to be more like something I see in them. Which nudges me forward.
Are amazing people perfect? Absolutely not. But they are authentic, I think. They're constantly trying to "do the work" -- in whatever way is meaningful to them. That permits imperfections and insecurities. Like the ones I know the amazing people connected to me deal with ever single day.
I guess I'm just thinking. I want to fill my life with amazing people. I really do. I want to raise children that see themselves as amazing and whose energy gives off the same. And especially, I want to see myself that way. As amazing.
Funny thing about amazing. When you inventory your life to think of whom you feel fits such a descriptor, you know in the snap of a finger. In fact, you find the word escaping your lips before you even have a chance to over-analyze it.
Kind of like how I feel when I read anything my friend Elizabeth has written. Or when I imagine my sister Deanna. Or when I'd see the BHE in the throws of coaching football. All of it. . .just. . .amazing.
So I guess the questions I'm thinking I'm inviting you to ask of yourselves:
Who do you think is amazing?
Are you in a relationship with a person that you find amazing?
Are your closest companions those you'd describe in such a way? Is that even a necessity to you? Why or why not?
And especially, do you think you're amazing?Do you?
I guess that last one is the million dollar question, isn't it?
You know? Some days I think that, for me, the answer to the last question is yes. And other days I doubt and disappoint myself enough to feel not too amazing at all. And I know it's poisonous when I do, but still. I'm human.
Here is one thing I know for sure: I want to fill my life with amazing people. I want to learn to see the amazing in ordinary things and work to bring out the amazing in others. And in all of this, I want to see myself as amazing--consistently, I do. And I'm trying. I am.
I think I'm going to stick all of that on a few post-it notes, too. Hope you'll do the same.
Now playing on my mental iPod. . . .