I have avoided a simple truth in life for a very long time. Hours of concentrated effort have been used to explain my argument and defend my false belief. It remains the truth however and so I have had to come to a place where I deny it no longer. I need people. There it is. Oh how I have fought this one! I have even had some of my well meaning 'Christian terrorist' friends back me up with their mantra of "God is all you need"... but it's still true. I need people. When I isolate myself (one of my personal favorite defense mechanisms) it does not take long before the shadow of loneliness spreads over my life like the "nothing" in The Never Ending Story. I feel it seep into my bones until my heart literally begins to grow cold from the lack of companionship and camaraderie. It is a hard thing for me to know this about myself. I prefer positions like independent, strong, self soothing (I HATE that one actually... what an oxymoron of a concept), stand alone and fighter. Saying I need other people feels like admitting I am weak, pathetic and needy. The joke is on me though because when I allow myself to openly need others to talk to, spend time with and share life with I find myself feeling strong, independent and capable. When I isolate myself I become weak, pathetic and needy... oops.
God created me to need other people. If I do not talk through a problem or situation with someone else it is very easy for me to get "stuck" in it and overwhelmed. I find joy and fulfillment in spending time with people and hearing their stories. Making people laugh (ok, and sometimes cry... mostly in a good way) is like a natural high for me. The times that I hide and keep to myself feel like punishment and I tend to act like someone who is being punished. I start to lash out and wound the people around me which just creates a vicious cycle and I end up even more alone. I have been thinking a lot about this today as I watch a friend struggling with this same thing I don't think she knows it yet but well... isn't it always easier to see it in someone else? It doesn't hurt that our pastor covered the whole "first take the plank out of your own eye and then you will be able to see to help your brother take the speck out of his" scripture last Sunday. It forced me look at myself and realize I am doing it again right now. I have been avoiding people and keeping my thoughts and feelings all bottled up inside and it's no wonder that I feel like I am ready to blow my lid every other minute. Looks like it's time to make a concentrated effort to reconnect. It's like the song says "I'm not as good as I'm gonna be but I'm better than I used to be".