PC: Cameron Julie Photography
I started this post over a week ago, but it’s a hard thing for me to talk about so I stopped. As it would be, God is asking me to show up again and be true. Vulnerability is so so hard for this girl.
Loneliness is something I experience all the time. It is not the same as being alone. As the mother of four children, who has her hands in multiple pots, I am not alone as much as I would like to be. Lonliness is different. It can be felt (I feel it is the strongest) when I am in a group of people. Among friends and family. I am quiet. I don’t always have a lot to say, but I am listening… I listen to not only words, but body language, facial expressions, energy. My world is a symphony of silent sounds.
The truth is I just don’t “belong”.
Even among friends, family, coworkers…the feeling remains. This isn’t a poor me story either. It’s just true. As we have deep discussions I am probably not going to pour my life story to you…most people don’t know much about me besides the obvious surface stuff and my faith…the depths of my story, some dark things are pushed away and hidden.
I think a lot of us float on the surface of life. Small talk, maybe some deeper stories to a few special individuals, our trust circle. We have abundant Facebook friends and text a few day-to-day, but our relationships lack any true depth. We don’t often have phone conversations anymore (growing up in the 80-90’s I had my ear to the phone most days at home) and can see the consequences. As technology connects us more we become less connected. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for it, but like any other convenience in life it can become something we abuse. With overuse it can cause feelings of isolation, anxiety, and even depression.
It’s so easy to fake it on social media. Filter our lives to appear flawless.
It’s amazing how one scroll through social media can leave me feeling like I deserve an F for the day in the subjects of motherhood, spouse, homemaker, employee, etc. Not to mention how everyone looks so put together and my messy bun is leftovers from yesterday because it’s been so chaotic that I didn’t have time to wash my hair or even brush it yet.
I’m tired of faking it…pretending everything is perfect, being lonely, unconnected. The biggest fear in my loneliness is not that I don’t belong, but that I am UNSEEN. Who sees me? Do You? The answer is NO. No one sees me because I am too afraid of being seen, but yet all I want is someone to really SEE me, acknowledge me. Sounds like a sad, vicious cycle doesn’t it? I think I can hear the violin playing.
Even if we could change how do we become more connected? Where do I start?
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9
It starts with sharing. Sharing your dreams, thoughts, and the hard stuff to a few elite we deem trustworthy. Sharing the stories of abuse, betrayal, forgiveness, grief…whatever causes us to numb ourselves with our addictions to try to forget even for just a night. What is causing us to do the things we do? That’s what we need to share. Sharing brings relief not only to you, but also those that you can connect with. We were never meant to do this alone.
Easier said than done, right?
Sharing it all means you are exposed and vulnerable. If someone rejects the you with the good happy parts and only a little bit of the surface hardships, they will surely reject the sad, ugly, and heartbreaking stuff–or worse yet they may laugh at your dreams, goals, and aspirations. In our eyes rejection often seems like the worst case scenario. I challenge that. The worse case scenerio is we avoid stepping into the courage of being vulnerable and allowing ourselves to truly be seen, thus living a superficial life that is rooted in isolation, fear, and shame.
But first we must accept who we are.
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
Yes, we MUST accept who we are. The good, the bad, the ugly–you have come so far. I am certain you can look back and be proud of the things that you have gone through to make it to the other side. They have woven you into the uniquely special person you are. Without the heartbreak and life lessons–the brokeness…the light wouldn’t have got into the deep parts of your heart and soul. They have allowed God to shape you into the person you are today.
I am aware that during the mountains and valleys it may seem like the journey is so long and hard, but we need to remember that we are not alone. We all go through our own struggles both internal and external. Lets share those with one another. Share our fears but also share our dreams. If we can’t accept who we are and the journey we are on we can’t let others join in. You have to be true to you. Love you. Because He loves you. Listen to who He says you are:
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)
You have been chosen. Show up, be seen…with every moment GO ALL IN!
Start with connection. Connect to God. Connect with yourself. Connect with others.
Connection vs. Busyness
I blame busyness all the time, but honestly it is a poor excuse. Be deliberate with forming relationships. Cultivate more time connecting with others. Real connections, not fake ones. Face to face. We need to act with urgency. Do this NOW. We are longing for a reason…there may be someone who needs to hear what you have to say. We belong to one another.
Make it a goal to reach out to one person today. Call them. Even better…schedule a coffee date or a time to be in the presence of one another and allow yourself to be YOU. You need this–and the world needs you.
Until I am compelled to share again,
Take care and God Bless,
“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.”―