Big groups make me feel lonely. There are faces and voices and hugs and hand squeezes and tiny brownies and coffee cups and communion. Lots of it. It’s lovely. It’s just enough to make you long to really know and to be known. Suddenly, you know you’re not alone, and you want to feel certain about your place in the beautiful human tribe around you. Where do I fit in here?
A big group around you suggests, “You might have a place here…” But then doesn’t tell you what it is. There are too many. There is not enough time. There is a schedule. Everything is a skim over the surface. A bevy of moving bodies, swirling in and out like tide eddies. And I feel my “Other-ness” keenly. We are not one. We are all so many individuals. We are all a bit isolated in our own skin. What a muddle!
I know this most personal of experiences in my own head is common to many people. The Lonely Hearts Club has full membership. And yet somehow we still struggle to find our places.
Longing to be known and understood is probably what makes us the strangest of the animals. We could have just been a herd, or a flock, or a school. But no! We had to complicate things. We had to be wistful. We had to be lonely. We had to fumble for meaning. We had to be wonderers and wanderers and weirdos.
So we stand in crowded rooms and feel desperately alone.
I feel most at home behind a book, while writing, or wrapped deeply in a one-on-one conversation. Or when you give me a specific task. Like painting your kitchen! (Thanks Sarah.)
Perhaps there are clues hidden in our natural inclinations about how to be rooted and grounded in a sense of place and purpose? Perhaps what feels like home to us really is home? Can we discern our truest place in the world by looking at the satisfactions and safety zones of our own hearts? Should we be focusing on faithfulness to our natural strengths and inner patterns? Or should we be stretching ourselves to new lengths and breadths? Either way, somehow this only seems to orient us to ourselves. There is something else needed to orient us in our communities. And I haven’t found it yet.
I feel utterly disoriented at the moment. Homeless in my own skin and uncertain of where to turn. Things seem too big and too small. People seem too many and too few. If someone would love me and need me and want to be my friend, I could respond well. They could press me into a shape. I could conform. I could know my place.
This is the definition of co-dependency isn’t it?
Everything is confusing. I don’t know where to put my hands.
Sunday Mornings are A Lot