Today was a rare day in my life. I had absolutely nowhere to go and no commitments to keep. Which should be a good thing. A relaxing day of well deserved rest. Except it isn’t. It is days like these that I realize why I over commit myself the way I do.
It is true that I am a people pleaser, but the bigger reason I get involved in so much is because I hate being alone. Which is how I find myself often. All alone. So I volunteer for any and everything in the hopes of finding some company.
Now, to be honest, I haven’t been completely by myself today. There is always the eleven year old son to keep me company. But no adult company. I live a pretty solitary existence.
In general I believe that I am a fairly social creature, and believe that I am a funny person. I try to get along well with others. Yet somehow those special friendships that I see on tv and read about and observe around me seem to elude me.
I have also observed that sometimes the company one keeps comes from within their own families. I also seem to have missed the boat on that as well. Not sure if it is the difference in age between myself and my siblings on my mother’s side, or my distance and separate childhood from my father’s family, but I am not finding the human connections that I am seeking with kinfolk.
In my desperation to achieve the semblence of friendships I have very often allowed myself to be used by others. I have put up with their criticisms of everything that makes me be me and tried to change myself to conform to what they thought I should be, all in the pursuit of having some company. Being condemned in company has to be better than condemning myself alone, right?
Scenes of cozy card games and coffee dates dance in my head. Visions of girls nights out at the movies and book discussions prance through my mind. However I guess that just isn’t in the cards for me.
Periods of the blues have plagued me over the years. I wonder what it is about me that makes people stay away. What is wrong with me? There has to be something about me that keeps people at bay.
So I turn to prayer and motivational books trying to find my purpose in life. I read things that tell me if I find my identity in God then I will never be alone. Another school of thought tells me that if I can just learn to enjoy my own company I will never be alone.
Honestly? I want to be a positive person. I truly believe that God has a plan for each of us. I am just not certain that he wants us to walk alone all the time.
This post seems to contain the word “I” an awful lot. Does that mean that I am too focused on myself? How do I shift that focus to use it for something good and glorifying to God?
I don’t know what it does or doesn’t mean, but I do know that something has to change. To start with, I need to scale back my commitments. My pursuit of fellowship by any means necessary is leaving me exhausted and broken.
Secondly, I am going to have to find a way to cheerfully cope with the fact that people do not seek out my company. I need to accept the fact that the only telephone calls I receive are from the church prayer hotline, my husband, and my mother.
Thirdly, I need to improve my outlook on life. It is never easy. Some days the struggles and disappointments overwhelm me. I need to learn, really truly learn, how to let go and let God handle things in those moments. I try to fix everything that is wrong and end up crumbling under the weight of trying to constantly go it alone.
Today I am sending up prayers to my Father in heaven for his love, guidance, and protection. Surely all of this whirling around in my head, the feelings of insecurity and of being alone, are well placed darts being hurled at me by Satan. His aim is flawless. He hits his mark each and every time.
Loving God, please take my hand and surround me in your love today. Help me to release my internal struggles and pains to you. Teach me to lean on you more and my own understanding less. Amen.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30, NRSV)