The issue weighing heaviest on my mind this week is the consuming feeling of being socially excluded. The feelings are a barrier to the creative flow of my mind. I don’t want these feelings to corrupt me and to be an infection in my soul, but I seek to find purpose and meaning in them.
I was born an introvert, but have morphed into an extrovert. I use to be recharged from solitude, and find I’m now drawn toward gaining energy through meaningful, social interactions. It’s easier to be alone, as there isn’t any planning required, so I now have to put effort into planning to be social. If I passively wait until the weekend to make plans, my invitations for hanging out are met with people’s busy schedules which hold no room for last minute additions.
Facing a weekend void of social activity is depressing. Negative thoughts of rejection swirl around in my mind and I want to hide, yet hiding from the outside compounds the problem. What message could God be sending by allowing my loneliness? What lesson could God be communicating when I experience the pain of feeling like a misfit? For now, the ability to empathize and the desire to connect with others who share this pain are my answers.
A life that is lacking creates a passion for change. It’s an opportunity that would likely be otherwise overlooked if my life held the satisfaction and security of an abundance of friends. I can choose to find my strength from God, and use that strength to show God’s love to others who are also seeking connection. Maybe I’m being prepared for a life where I need an extraordinary ability of living without the approval of others, or even with the opposition of others. Choosing to have this perspective brings meaning into a time of hurt.
My practical application for implementing this week’s habit of being social: have weekend social plans made by the middle of the week prior, and allow a few weeks in advance of making plans for a bigger event.
Do you find it easy to fit in and make friends? If not, what have you done about it? If so, are you able to recognize people who feel socially awkward and do you attempt to include them?