Open your heart to know & be known

What it Means to KNOW Someone (3+7)

 Love’s manifesto has the subtitle To be seen, to be known, and to be loved into wholeness. This is the craving in the heart of every human being whether they will admit it or not.

We already talked about the being seen part.

What it means, why we want it, and what it will do for us.

And we talked about the inversion of being seen, the hiding.

The shame that lies to us telling us that what we want, what we crave, indeed what we need is not available for us for whatever fill in the blank reason it comes up with.

And if you didn’t read it, or need to be reminded – you ARE worthy of love.

You DO deserve to be seen, to be known and to be loved into wholeness.

You DO deserve to be seen, to be known and to be loved into wholeness. Click To Tweet

So now let’s take a look at the known part.


What is knowing?

Knowing – true knowing is extensive.


Because human beings are amazing complex creations.

Just take a minute, and look at your hand.

Move your fingers and take note of how it feels to move them.

When was the last time you actually thought about how it felt to move them? For most people, it’s been quite a while. Maybe even since they discovered them as a baby.

We take it for granted that they move. We don’t think about what it takes. We just expect them to do what we want because we learned how to use them unless they break.

And what about those things called fingerprints? No one has the same ones as you. How can billions of people all differ?

And that is just looking at the body. We are so much more than a body.

The Bible says God has set eternity in our hearts.

Think about that word – eternity.

I can’t fathom it. It’s too big for me.


If every human has eternity inside of them – that is a lot to know.


How can we hope to ever be known?


There are levels and kinds of knowing.



What it means to KNOW – we find 3 levels.

Level 1 – identify, recognize, and distinguish.

This is superficial, like seeing with your eyeballs.

Level 2 – understand, comprehend, and grasp.

This implies some interaction, involvement. There has to be communication that could be misunderstood, not comprehended or grasped.

Level 3 – experience, go through and live through.

 This is a much deeper involvement, a coming alongside and doing something together, a sharing.

Add 7 depths of knowing

1 – Stranger – Someone you have never met nor talked to. You might see them on a plane, in a store or at work. You might even have thoughts of what you think you know about them because humans do that – we draw conclusions from what we see.

Do you know them? Absolutely not! You see with your eyeballs. You are at level 1 of the definition of know and there is no danger of betrayal.

2 – Acquaintance – Someone you have met, maybe more than once. You might even work together or be in some group together. You share small talk or things you deem to be public knowledge. There is no risk. Maybe exchange a few compliments to be friendly.

Do you know them? You might be able to recognize them and know who they are, their name, what city they live in or perhaps some other information about them, but nothing of substance. You are still at level 1 of the definition of know and the danger of betrayal is nonexistent. We have a lot of acquaintances.

3 – Casual Friend – Someone you’ve taken a step past acquaintance with. You’ve developed some form of relationship. Perhaps going to lunch together outside of work, or taking a class together. You chat about superficial likes and dislikes.

Do you know them? There is a level of familiarity here. You have progressed to level 2 of the definition of know. At this point, betrayal is possible but easy to dismiss because there is a lack of knowing. The shallowness protects you. We may have many casual friends.

4 – Online friends – Someone who is an acquaintance or casual friend depending on how often there is interaction. Perhaps you share Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest. You share interests and maybe chit chat here and there.

Do you know them? There is the same familiarity of the casual friend but this relationship stays at level 2 of the definition of know without an in-person meeting. Even if you step outside the casualness and share something deeper (like in a support group) the lack of human face to face contact creates space. Betrayal and separation can happen too easily due to that space. Still we may have many online friends.

5 – Good or Close Friend – Someone you have shared time and/or experiences with either on a more regular basis or a deeper basis. This is someone you feel you can trust. Someone who has been there when others have not. Someone who has heard things others have no right to hear. You may even be able to anticipate each other’s response to things.

Do you know them? Yes, a level of knowing has formed. You have progressed to level 3 of the definition of know. It is in this level that betrayal is a valid risk because risk has been given in exchange for the level of being known. Many people have good or close friends.

6 – BFF – Someone you have made yourself vulnerable to and emerged trusted friends. The secrets that have been shared are safe. You have worked through conflict successfully. You are aware of each other’s preferences and might even finish each other’s sentences.

Do you know them? Yes, this is a more mature level of knowing. There is a spiritual connection of some sort. There is love. This is beyond level 3 of the definition of know. In this level, the cost of betrayal could be traumatic. Less people have this type of friend.

7 – Committed This is the rarest and deepest level of being known. This is where you trust your whole self because it has been declared or proven safe. When this level is in action this quote is true: Love says: I’ve seen the ugly parts of you, and I’m staying. – Matt Chandler

There was a time when the declaration of commitment in itself was enough. But we live in a day when people have violated this trust. Betrayal at this level is sometimes impossible to overcome.

This Committed kind of relationship is what we all crave. Click To Tweet

This seventh kind of relationship is what we all crave.

The deep committed knowing.

The deep acceptance, as is, flaws and all.

The safety and security.

We need to do the emotional math.

3 levels + 7 depths of knowing = How to know & be known.

But is it that simple?

Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

3 levels + 7 depths of knowing = How to know & be known. Click To Tweet

So what keeps us from it?

Fear and choice.

Fear of that betrayal. We inherently feel its possibility with every vulnerable act.

We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.
Frank Crane

Is there hope of knowing someone or being known if we are afraid?

Yes – Love is greater than fear.

We can choose love.

Love is greater than fear - choose love. Click To Tweet

The LOVE unveiled in the manifesto. The LOVE I talk about in my book.

Next week we will talk more about that LOVE and what it can do for us.

What kinds of relationships do you have? How well do you feel known?

Please share in the comments.


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2 thoughts on “What it Means to KNOW Someone (3+7)

  1. Another great post Danielle! I love the way you talked about how complex we humans are, and the analogy about moving your hand and what a complex operation it is was excellent! Keep up the good work. I believe you are going to help a lot of people.

    1. Thank you Michael. It’s true we forget how complicated things truly are once they become habit or simple to us. I’m always amazed watching a baby discover their hands.

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