Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Celebrating Independence

To All The Lonely People

Another holiday has arrived. Holidays; when loneliness stings the most. After 43 years of literally having more friends than I wanted, I now make Casey Anthony look like Miss Popularity. If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, I am sure you have difficulty with relationships as well. Up until my medication was switched a month or so ago, I was socially fulfilled. But I went off antidepressants and realized I needed to make some changes in my life. I did, and I am… and while I have no regrets, the loneliness is stifling. But before you stop reading, thinking this is too bleak of an entry to continue reading, let me continue on an optimistic tone.

Like much of life, it helps to focus on the positive. I couldn’t do this without my faith. In fact, I have tried to start a blog with less of a Christian base… I can’t do it because I can’t imagine living without Christ. If you are not Christian and read my blog, thank you. My prayer is you will see the difference Christ can make in one’s life. But back to the positive things about being alone… and even lonely.

  1. You are free to do what you want, when you want. A married mom pointed this out to me – I have no husband in whom to report, no children to consider before myself, etc.  I could’ve married, have been engaged, thought I was pregnant, etc… but I wanted more for my life. Never have I regretted not choosing marriage and/or children because I have different goals and dreams. At the same time, I can’t feel sorry for myself because I have no children on Mother’s Day or husband on Valentine’s Day. We pick our choices; we live with the consequences.
  2. You are only accountable to God. This is similar to the prior entry, except on a more practical level. I’m not a planner – I do things on the spur of the moment. When others are involved, living this way and./or canceling plans with someone at the last moment is just rude. I make my own schedule, which is pretty convenient as a writer.
  3. You experience life in a fuller sense. Without the distraction of having to attend to the social needs of those around you, you actually get to engage your senses. I went to the Chicago Museum of Art several years ago and spend 45 minutes staring at the first painting! I was so entranced by the strokes and colors and wonders of what Monet was thinking, feeling, and portraying, I literally forgot where I was. That isn’t permissible when entertaining company.
  4. God loves you… alone. Yes, God created us for fellowship. God ordered in the early pages of His Word to be fruitful and multiply. Yet He understands when we are frustrated with the world and long to be alone. In fact, His Word tells us “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.” (Psalm 146:3). He wants us to trust in HIM, the ONLY perfect One who can meet all our needs without fault.
  5. Finally, unlike people, God ALWAYS understands. We are imperfect people who are mean, ungrateful, selfish, vile, etc. That is why relationships are so hard- two or more imperfect people together are bound to encounter disharmony at some point! When we are alone, we can be true to ourselves. This is silly yet true: I have been friends with a guy who has been a nonconforming loner like me. That mere fact created a kindred spirit between us. He recently joined Facebook and, selfishly, I feel our bond has been broken, at least ripped. I see him evolving into a social person, (more to this but will refrain from discriminating details) and I already feel it altering our friendship. I have few friends on Facebook because I do not accept friend requests from people I do not like and trust. BECAUSE I AM A NONCOMFORMIST, I never ‘just go with the flow’… a.k.a. I need to work on being a better Christian because I say what I feel and I try to stand up for justice. In other words, while I pride myself in being true to myself, iI am a hypocrite; my friend is the loving Christian Jesus commands us to be. But while others judge me and condemn me, God understands my sinfulness. He knows I am working on trying to be more like Jesus.

So on this Independence Day holiday, if you are alone, CELEBRATE!! And the great thing about being alone, is YOU CAN CELEBRATE HOWEVER YOU’D LIKE!

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