I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in, I'll never meet the ground. Crash through the surface where they can't hurt us, we're far from the shallow now.
-- "Shallow" written by Lady Gaga, Andrew Wyatt Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson
Yes! Crash through the the surface. Swim far from the shallow. The shallow sucks.
Why, then, do we live most of our lives in its perceived safety? Actually, the shallow is dangerous. Dive into this and see what happens! You will meet the ground -- and the sand and rocks.
Shallow, surface-level conversations, for example, are mind-numbing, leaving us dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Socrates said an unexamined life isn't worth living, but it's hard to have an examined life when all you talk about is weather and sports. Shallow relationships can be lonelier than no relationships.
Shallow living, focusing only on daily minutia leaves us wondering, What's there, deep down, that we're failing to explore?
Well, maybe not. People wallowing in the "safety" of the shallows don't do a lot of wondering. Still, it must at least cross their mind that there's got to be more to life than eating, sleeping and working to ensure that there's a place to eat and sleep. They just don't talk about it. For puzzling reasons, we fear deep talks.
Why the Deep is Better
Truth is, the supposedly scary deep is safer than the shallow. Dive in here and you definitely won't meet the ground.
Instead, you'll be immersed in the richness of possibility. Frightening at first, the deep is where the wonder is. The deep is what we remember because, despite our initial trepidation, the deep ends up being satisfying and fulfilling.
It's not easy to enter the deep. I struggle with it. Our survival instincts tell us to avoid the unknown, and the deep is uncharted and mysterious. But deep conversations and the deep relationships they foster are the essence of life.
Near the end of my mother's life, she entered a hospice where she would live out her last 20 days. During that treasured time, we did talk about weather and sports. But not much. We spent most of our time far from the shallow, talking deeply about
-- what it takes to live a good life
-- hopes and fears about the afterlife
-- Mom's aspirations for us after she's gone
-- the peace that follows suffering
-- the simple pleasures that make us happy
-- aging - the good and the bad
Mama and me in happier times
The urgency rendered by mortality shoves us far from the shallow. Yet, why wait to be confronted by something as brutal as impending death to crash through the surface and talk about what matters most?
How can we boost or mental health?
"Shallow" lyrics video -- thank you to Epic Lyrics