Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Problem with Isolation

It began with a Season of Busy. There was exhaustion and errands and doing the bare minimum, just to survive, and barely holding it all together.  But, it was okay -- I knew it was only for a season and that I would be back to being a person and a friend and a part of my community.

It started with a letting-go of always needing to explain myself... always needing to come out on top... always needing to be right.  It was an acknowledgement that sometimes explaining myself just made it worse, and couldn't I just be content with what I could and couldn't change? I think it was healthy.

But then, there was the week where everything that came out of my mouth got twisted by other people to mean something that I hadn't intended. And some of that I probably deserved... I am not always as pure in intent as my ego convinces me that I am. --  But some of it was not.

I began to defend myself... explain myself...  and I just took a breath and I thought, "Is this really so important?"... and I just let it be.

The problem with that was that I let it be publicly... but I internalized the hurt that came with the misunderstanding. I felt wounded -- and instead of dealing with it, I sucked it inside and let it fester.

The truth was that I was tired of feeling like people were just looking for something to argue with me about... and so I did what I always do.

I tightened up my edges. If I didn't say anything, then no one could find anything to find fault with. I couldn't get wounded.

So I pulled inward. Inward and inward and inward. The problem is that once you start pulling inward, it can be hard to stop.  So, you just keep retreating and retreating.

It stops people from finding fault with the things you say or do, yes.  But once you retreat as far as you can go, you begin to realize that you have completely isolated yourself.

And completely isolating yourself is very lonely.

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