Just what exactly do you want from me? I'm rather sensitive to double-speak, folks talking out of two sides of their mouths, and contrasting messages. Faith seems to be full of them, these messages. It's left me suspicious, critical and quick to discover and pounce on the holes in someone else's faith walk. It's not a happy place to be in, but too many of us have said things only to do other stuff; some of us don't really care how we act, as long as we have some kind of spiritual talk in there somewhere.
Not everyone's like this. But the gift of cynicism means slowly losing the ability to trust who is authentic and who is not. Thank you, God, for such a gift. I'm living it in all of its glorious hell right now.
"Just when all those around me were assuring me they loved me, cared for me, appreciated me, yes even admired me, I experienced myself as a useless, unloved, and despicable person. "
You caught my attention.
I sat up straight and started listening.
It couldn't be.
I was only filtering your darkness through my own in some desparate attempt to connect with you. We humans have a bad habit of doing that. I relaxed a bit and read on. Sure, I want to follow you this year; but I know I can't apply your every life experience or teaching to my own walk, nor can I become you. I'll lose myself. I'll dishour you. More than that, I'll be spitting in God's eye. And while I'm sure God's big enough to handle my mistakes of losing myself here and there, spitting's not a practice I at all wish to turn into a habit.
"Among my many friends, one had been able to touch me in a way I had never been touched before… But this deeply satisfying friendship became that road to my anguish, because I soon discovered that the enormous space that had been opened for me could not be filled by the one who had opened it. I became possessive, needy, dependent, and when the friendship finally had to be interrupted, I fell apart. I felt abandoned, rejected, and betrayed. Indeed, the extremes touched each other. Intellectually I knew that no human friendship could fulfill the deepest longing of my heart. I knew that only God could give me what I desired. I knew that I had been set on a road where nobody could walk with me but Jesus. But all this knowledge didn't help me in my pain."
Unlike you, I have never had 'many friends'. But I do have an odd capacity for singling out certain individuals who seem to open that door to the entire chasm of the wrongful world that is all of who I don't want the world to see. Even up to a few years ago, I would latch on. I would smother.
I tried loving. In a way, I truly did, but it only increased the rejection, the shame of the scope of my need, and highlighted the peculiar way others seemed to be able to handle friendships with maturity. The whole monster was far out of my control, but I had no way of telling others this. I masked it as "faithfulness", "enduring love", "loyalty". All else was betrayal.
I needed love so specific, so detailed to who I was, that the deeper I dug into those special others, the greater the disappointment, the rejection and the realization that I was only doing others harm.
Henri, if God said it's not good for us to be alone, why can't others fill these chasms inside of us? (for certainly, I'm not the only pathetic soul of said quality around the world having trod these coals)
Henri, when touch is needed — pure, holy, sacred, and long — where is Jesus? Where is He? Where'd He go?
No seriously, brother, where the hell is He???!
The mind-messing only gets better. Here I'd thought I'd found a kindred spirit in you: one who understood that dissonance of loneliness amidst loving people, of despising yourself within a community of good souls, and the complete lack of control when your soul gets even a drip of relief in the form of friendship.
I think not.
We both know better.
I delved into your spiritual imperatives that you wrote yourself each day you walked the road to healing from this dark time.
"Do not tell everyone your story. You will only end up feeling more rejected… The more you expect from people's response to your experience of abandonment, the more you will feel exposed to ridicule."
What the hell, Henri!?
What are you asking of us? Of me? Of the world?
We are to share… we are to commune… we are to connect.
But we are not to speak our stories?
Where am I drifting off? What am I not understanding.
Yes, I understand the danger here in posting these thoughts on a personal blog. I've found it difficult to keep a blog about human trafficking without it becoming deeply personal, spiritual, communal and connecting. I'm not a journalist. These are people's lives I'm invested in… my own life, and how it affects the freedom of others. How can I NOT tell… things?
Am I telling too much?
Am I telling to little?
Am I just plain cracked, and need to realize it's time to pack it in?
Your advice is to "cling to the promise", those promises of God that I will never be alone or abandoned. Remember that cynicism I told you about? It's rearing it's masky face right now… with deep intention. Why should I believe you? I know you came out on the other side, but… which side? Who did you come out as?
What did you give up to claim "cling to the promises"? What did you have to change in order for love to make sense or… fufilling?
Forgive me, but this week it seems that you and I are all too familiar to each other. Yet in other ways we're vastly different. I need a breather. I'm not giving up. I asked for these tough times. But I do need space to gasp and gulp, and catch my lungs up to this messy explosion.
Until next week,