(Me on a camping trip this year)
It’s easy to put ourselves on a lone island when we are hurt, letting our wounded-ness be all we can see. Wanting to curl up and withdraw from the world when we feel rejected, or ashamed, or misunderstood, etc. At least this is our nature. Unfortunately for Ted and I both. We have a tendency to pour in, give our all to people and it’s hard for us to live on the surface levels so we share our not-so-pretty stuff too. More often than not we wind up being left on the outside, seem to be forgotten, unnoticed, no longer invited. Feeling rejected. Feeling like we’ve failed, or let others down. (I’m sure a lot of that is actually our own assumptions too) Sometimes we let it get to us, and start to feel shame about who we are – that we are too broken or too much or not enough. As I’ve shared bits and pieces of our journey, I’ve realized A LOT of people relate.
I recently walked through my own season where I suddenly avoided the people whom I knew would care about how we were doing. The ones who cared to go beyond the “oh, we are good!” facades. Literally ignoring texts, calls, etc. and it made me realize… Truth is: while we long to be a safe place – a place we long for – we also make people hella uncomfortable. Because being “safe” tends to cause people to be vulnerable and to tap into areas that trigger pain, maybe grief, maybe areas they’d (me too) rather avoid.
It’s a fine line. And man I’ve misread that line at times and crossed it when others don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want everyone to run from us. But what I have found is that the ones who really need this come.
And perhaps our seasons of struggle with loneliness is actually the most beautiful gift we have to offer another soul struggling with these things as well. I had a dream recently that I offered a broken purse to a girl overseas. There was more to it but what I realized is we actually have something to offer even when we feel quite broken, or not completely whole ourselves. Perhaps relating to others in real ways in our/their state of joy or pain can actually be the most healing movement to propel us forward