Who are you?
Are you the person everyone thinks you are? Are any of us? I've had occasion recently to reflect on that question. I believe all of us have two lives, the outer life we move about in everyday...the one the world sees...and the inner life we live in our heads. Our inner lives consist of our hopes and dreams, our fantasies, our fears and insecurities, our true opinions and beliefs about the world around us.
Finding the courage to share our inner life is hard. It requires trust. We know if we give a piece of our inner life away we become vulnerable. We give that person ammunition to hurt us.
In the world of my novel, my hero and heroine can each walk in the other's dreams. They each hear the other's thoughts even across long distances. Of course, this isn't an original idea in paranormal romance, and there's a reason it shows up as often as it does. The idea of having a true soul mate is powerful. It's the driving force behind all romance. Yeah, the sexy alpha males are fun, as is the chase and the overcoming of obstacles, but the real fantasy is finding that one person to whom you can reveal your inner life. All of it. Every wonderful, horrible, embarrassing truth. To know and to be known.
If you have a relationship like that, then you are well and truly blessed. Whether it's your significant other or a trusted friend, a person who accepts the pieces of your heart and soul without judgment is a treasure. The longer you live, the more you appreciate it. Sometimes in youth we are cavalier in giving those pieces away, and we are inevitably hurt. We learn to be cautious.
When a friend trusts you with a piece of themselves, guard it with your life. Don't carelessly toss it out as grist for the gossip mill. If you do, then your relationships will quickly become nothing but a glossy veneer. I can't imagine anything more lonely.