To really understand a person, you have to get through to their heart. The journey to know someone that closely can't be traveled by just anyone. It takes friendship—even love—to go that distance.
Everyone wants to be understood, but oftentimes we aren't patient enough with ourselves and others to allow understanding to be reached. Asking the right questions and taking time to listen, to really listen, are steps in the right direction. Peeling back layers of guardedness caused by human suffering takes the most patience and love because there is an awkwardness that makes communication a challenge once people allow themselves to be vulnerable. Empathy and deep compassion become essential once underlying layers become exposed.
I have a love/hate relationship with peeling layers off and allowing my raw self to be exposed to judgment. I love it when I can see someone realizing who I am inside, but that feeling is chased by a dread of rejection. Hurt keeps me from opening up to the people I would like to most.
I hope that I learn how to balance out these two feelings because it would be a dream to get all these layers off.