What is it about the solitary life that comes so close to convincing us that it’s what we want…when something deeper inside tells us our pants are on fire?
And once we’ve figured out the answer to that question, here’s another one we need to answer: what made isolation so comfortable, or necessary, in the first place that the thought of truly connecting with others now seems so terrifying?
It’s the answer to that question that makes my heart practically pound right out of my chest as I ask it… proving that just because I’m the one posing the question doesn’t necessarily mean I know the answer… for myself. All I know is that it’s a question we all need to answer in order to get honest with ourselves.
And an honest confession for me right now, is that the lie I use to convince myself that I prefer solitude over authentic connection is the fact that I’m an introvert. And the reason it works so well to “confess” this is that it’s partially true. How convenient….
Don’t we just love using half-truths to cover our lies? I am an introvert, which means that time alone is necessary for me in order to recharge and refresh, BUT… what about the relational part of me that aches for deep connection and intimacy? What questions do I need to ask that part of myself? And how deep do I need to dig to find the answers?
That’s the part of us I wrote about last week. The part that avoids pain at all cost. And… in case you haven’t noticed, this journal isn’t just about us. It’s about you, too. It’s why we write it, and why we hope you’re reading it…. So you can relate to us, we can relate to you… and together, we can learn to truly live, instead of go through the motions of whatever it is we call “life.”
We’re in this together… and just because we’re the “lucky” ones who get to live at the ACTS House doesn’t mean that you can’t share in the bounty of what we’re learning here. It’s the reason God brought us here. So we could learn what we need to know, then share it with those who need to know it, too. Our healing is for your healing…. and yours is for those you love and care about.
God never isolates… and His healing work is never for one person alone. It’s always for so much more than that, so… just a few more questions before I sign off that we hope you’ll take time to ponder and answer for yourselves.
- What lies ring in your head, trying to convince you to avoid pain and truth at all cost?
- What makes connecting with others so terrifying for you?
- What is so painful, or scary, in your life that it motivates you to choose isolation as a “viable” option for your life, rather than dig deep enough to find the only truly viable answers?
These are the kinds of questions we’re used to at the ACTS House (no matter how disconcerting they may be…), and the purpose is to help us notice what lies beneath our endless efforts to avoid the answers to the questions that really matter.
I’d like to leave you with a favorite quote that I pray will move you to deeper realms of honesty, the way it does for me. It’s a bit haunting, so prepare yourself… and let it inspire you, instead. However hindered it may be, true life beats beneath our convenient lies and ‘avoid-at-all-cost’ vows, refusing to be still, and calling us to live a life beyond our wildest dreams.
Nothing can really haunt us except what we have the beginning of, the capacity for, however hindered, in ourselves. The ideal life is in our blood, and never will be still. We feel the thing we ought to be beating beneath the thing we are. ~ Phillips Brooks