I love this picture of “layers”. It speaks of the many layers we have as human beings and how we present different layers of ourselves or different views of ourselves to various groups of people with whom we identify.
So, if I look at my own situation, I have at least the following groups of people with whom I interact: social group, work group, writer’s group, Ironman group, mentors, Bible college students, Seminary community, family, church. Each one of these groups has members that cross over into one or more of the other groups. So, for instance, today I met Val for coffee. She is in my Seminary community and she is also in my social group of friends.
Tomorrow, I will see Rebecca, who is in the group of Bible college students I see and is also in my social group of friends. I will also see several people in the Ironman group who may be in my group of mentors and/or church.
Every one of these groups “sees” a different view of me. Some people believe that we can be completely seen in all contexts, but that is nonsense. Jesus had his most intimate human relationships with three disciples – no more. His next level of intimacy was with the other nine disciples. And so forth. Each progressively bigger group had a different view of Jesus.
I just read a book by Danny Silk, Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication and Boundaries, that does a great job discussing boundary issues, which reminds me of the image above. (Notice how there are boundaries and crossovers with each of the different layers.) I highly recommend it. Yesterday it was $2.32 on Amazon – not sure how much it is now. But it is a great book and well worth a read.
Ciao for now!