I’m an introvert. Surprising for some. For those closest to my heart—they’re smiling. I have a habit of withdrawing from humanity. Necessary at times to restore my soul. The quiet awakens my spirit.
I need to be alone.
It’s easy for me to leave the world and curl into a little introverted ball. Safety lies in the silence. My mind has an opportunity to settle. To breathe. To relax. Solitude stills the fast beating of my heart.
Stress. It pounds me to a pulp, and I want to shut the world out. Facing the chaos and the blaring, glaring noise shrinks my spirit. I get lost.
So I’m the girl relishing the prospect of meandering flea markets or visiting movie theaters alone. Arriving home at the end of the day with “Momma, Momma, Momma” on repeat without the shuffle leaves me guilty of yearning silence. To collect my thoughts. To come down from the day of pouring into teenage hearts and minds.
I’m drained. The spark is gone.
At times I’m arrogant enough to believe I don’t even need people. They take time, energy, effort. And I’m selfish.
I’m incredibly selfish.
While I do need space in my life for solitude, when I shut myself off from the rest of humanity, from my husband, from my children, I’m only thinking of, well, me. While I know others believe differently, I should never be my first priority.
I need to be alone. But not all the time. Because God did not create me for a solitary existence. No. His love is expressed through the relationships we have with others. I need people. People need each other.
When I choose solitude that extends beyond my need to regroup, I miss opportunities for beauty. There is a richness, a deep fountain of joy in the human connection. Our souls yearn for the touching of our souls, one to the other.
For all the pain relationships can bring, healing exists too. Our spouses, our children, our friends. Each brings incredible significance and meaning to who I am. Yes. Each helps to define my life—shape it, mold it, craft it.
Because this, this is the lesson. The more inward I turn, the less treasure I find.
Only in pursuing others, knowing others, loving others do I begin to really see the beauty of me—of being human.
I find myself, not from within but from without. My identity is discovered in the way I love people. My well of strength is shored up by the hands I hold. The mark I leave on the world only matters if I’m part of the world—part of its community.
A single drop of water cannot quench the thirsty, parched soil. It can do nothing alone—lost and insignificant. The land remains dry and unchanged. But the collective rains drench with nourishing waters. The land turns green and rivers flow.
To be a part of life means I must join the lovely, the people. Just as I must press into the Father, so I must lean into people. Learn to exhale within the connecting. Learn to breathe in their presence. Learn to be part of their community.
Life means nothing if not shared. It is but a wisp of a moment.