My dad has told me on many occasions that it takes at least 90 days to really start to see who a person is. As a divorced woman, having been single now for about 6 years, I lean on my father’s wisdom about men because I honestly sometimes just don’t know who men really are! :-) It has taken me 43 years, much heartache and pain, as well as some really good lovin’ to realize that people generally send their “representative” to meet you before you ever meet who they really are. I was essentially raised by my father (my mother worked days when I was a little girl and my father worked nights and took care of me during the day), who is a very genuine hearted person through and through. What you see with him is always what you get. He taught me to express who I am without fear and to be authentically ME. Thus, what you see when you first meet me is, in essence, who I am. As you get to know me, what you saw the first time tends to grow to the 10th power and beyond. :-)
I think one of the big problems in fostering and forging relationships is that by the time the REAL person presents himself/herself, we’ve already fallen for their “representative”! When we begin to see shadows of the true heart of a person, it would do us well to believe what we see. The “representative” will only be able to speak on behalf of the authentic heart of a person for so long. Inevitably, out of the abundance of one’s heart will the mouth eventually speak. Ultimately, what a person says and what they do will either align or collide. Either way, we must give others an opportunity to REVEAL who they really are before jumping ALL in. For those who are “free spirits” like myself and who are always looking for and believing there’s good in everyone, we must be ever careful to walk in discernment and not live in bliss, but rather truth.
Remember, not everyone will feel free to share the authenticity of themselves with you right off the bat, and that’s okay. However, it helps you to give others space and time to reveal themselves, which also affords you opportunity to make a WISE decision about with whom you choose to forge relationships. If you’re new to a relationship or if you’re uncertain about what you see in the other person or maybe you see “shadows” of someone else behind their representative, ask them this:
IS THIS THE REAL YOU???