I have a confession to make, and it isn't just to my friends or my family or my spouse.
My confession is this: I need you.
I need each of you to be who you truly are. Not who you wish you were, or who you settle for being, or the facade you present to the world in defense of the real person inside. Be the self you are and are becoming, like a fetus in the womb, like a child learning to walk, like kissing someone for the first time.
The more we grow in knowledge, experiencing the universe through all our senses, the bigger and more wondrous we realize it is. I once assumed that the more I grew to know God (who contains even the universe) the better I would learn to love, listen to and serve other people. Now I see that the opposite is true. The more I listen to you, the more I see and know and love you, the more deeply I know God, who is infinitely beyond what any of us can comprehend. Each of you, in your journey, your questions and your beauty, becomes a window through which I glimpse a little more of the creativity and love of God.
I need you to affirm for me the ways in which we are alike. I need to see bits of myself in you, that I may recognize my beauties and my flaws. Fellow introverts, you encourage me to approach the world from my strengths; but I also need you to help me figure out how we can interact lovingly with those wacky extroverts. Women, I need you so that I can recognize my lack of romanticism, my love of friendship, my sensual self and my sexual self as things that all can belong to womanhood. God-seekers, let us speak of divine love and mystery; let us rage against the dying of the light, and rejoice when we glimpse it anew. Huggy people, come here right now; seriously, where have you been all my life? All of you are my anchors, allowing me to hold fast to who I truly am.
I need you to affirm me, too, in every way that we are not alike. It's a relief to meet a fellow introvert, but it is magical to have that part of myself seen and taken into account by an extrovert. We may never understand how it is possible to experience life in such different ways, but when you notice and approve a part of me which is no part of you, I feel my heart begin to open up. I need you, men, to recognize my femininity. I need my LGBTQ friends to see my straightness. I need you, doubters and non-believers, to be witnesses to my faith. I need my wounded sisters, my Pinky Pie party girls, my optimistic daredevils, my celibate friends and those with many children.
I need you to be who you truly are, nothing more, nothing less.
And I need you to see who I truly am.