Thursday, January 12, 2012

A mess at best.

The last few months have left me feeling very alone. And not the endearing kind of alone where you get a lot done and feel refreshed and rejuvenated and rested, ready to take on the world.

No, I've felt the real kind of alone. The ugly kind.

The way you'd feel if you moved to another state and no one called you, sent you letters, messaged you on Facebook, re-tweeted you, gave you a hug, said something nice to you, or even recognized your existence.

Yeah, I felt that kind of alone. isolated. empty. sad. depressed. unhinged. angry. fearful. All those sweet characteristics that make people come flocking towards you.

And it has been really hard. Because the more I have felt these things, the more I needed people. But people who are colorful, vibrant, confident, and steadfast don't want to be around lonely, sulking, sad people like me. And I felt like the more I reached out, the more distant people became.

So I just. stopped. trying. Like, really stopped trying. Stopped texting, calling, messaging, etc. Because I just couldn't do it anymore. I was too empty to reach out again.

Until one day I had a conversation with a friend, and found out she'd been feeling the exact same way. But if she's hurting, and I'm hurting, we both end up in our own dark corners cowering away from the world. Both of us alone. But so desperately in need of a friend. So with one conversation about her feelings of loneliness, a flicker of light came on in my brain. The thought had never occurred to me that other people might be hurting too. That there might be someone who needs me to come sit in their dark corner with them and give them a hand to hold. Maybe they can't get to me for the same reason I can't get to them.

So thus began the journey of getting out of my pit, so I could go find someone else stuck in their own pit and pull them out. Or at least tell them they'll be okay. And that everyone loves them. And that they can take their time. And that we'll be here when they're ready. And that no one really has it together. And that real love is messy, and it's okay.

I like to think of the anology of the redwoods. Redwoods are huge, but they have shallow roots, but roots that stretch out wide underneath the ground and interlock with the other redwoods' roots. So it's in the inter-locking that give the redwood trees their height. Not deep solitary thick roots like you'd imagine.

So my focus has now shifted. To interlocked roots. To authentic relationships that aren't afraid to get messy, because love can be both beautiful and brutal. It's tough as nails. It's honest. It's real. I want to make more time for people than I think I can manage, just in case things do get messy. Because sometimes it takes people time to open up and truly share what's going on inside them. And you can never plan for it. Vulnerability is rarely conjured up in one 47 minute sitting. And sometimes I have to be the first one to get gut-level honest, and that's okay.

I want to invest in the things that other people love. Even if it's not my thing. Them loving it should be enough for me to join them in it. I want to remind people why they're loved. Why they're different and valuable. I want to ask more questions and be a better listener. I want to be sacrificial and understanding, full of grace and empowerment.

Thanks Jessica for showing me that some of the best lovers of people sometimes look like the worst time managers. Because time restraints only hinder true love from happening. And Jessica, you never let time get in the way of your emotional availability. And I love that about you.


Kathleen said...

Yessssssss! Preach it sister. Love this post. Love the realness. Love the love. Love YOU!

Lauren said...

Great post. You are inspiring.