Reading time: two minutes. Summertime is all about new adventures; exploring unknown territory and seeing new sights. Adventure is following where our curiosity leads us for new discoveries and surprises. I’m going to suggest an adventure a little closer to home: how about exploring the heart and mind of someone you know well? Intellectual wellbeing is not just head learning from books and studies. It can also be discovering something new about those closest to us. We’re all experiencing new things in new ways as life goes by. Maybe summertime would be a good time to ask, “How are you doing? What’s new?” in a way that shows you really mean it. How about experimenting with an idea like this one… First off, pick the someone you want to reconnect with on a little deeper level. I naturally think of your marriage partner, but this exercise might work with a friend, a child, a parent, a neighbor, anyone you’re curious about. Here’s how it might work (or use your own ideas!) Set a plan together to give some thought to the following four questions with a date and time set aside to get together and share your thoughts. Then over a few days or a week’s time, consider how you would answer each of the following:
- What’s your greatest fear these days? What’s been keeping you awake at night? Is there something that jumps right to the front of your mind when you wake up in the morning? Have you gone through a significant change in your life that leaves you questioning something about the future? What’s scary in your life these days? How might you share it in a way that feels comfortable to you with someone you love?
- What’s your biggest dream lately? Is it a hoped for future that you’ve had on your heart for a long, long time that is as yet unfulfilled? Is it something that you’ve only started dreaming about recently? Would you feel safe sharing your dream?
- What’s your greatest regret? This one is delicate, but sharing this with one another might serve to draw you closer together. Sometimes sharing in a safe context of trust and love can bring healing to a wound from the past that has lingered for a long time.
- What’s your greatest joy? What (or who) makes you smile just to think of it/them? Who or what is at the top of you “Thank You God” list every day?