"But Lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it." - Tanya Davis
This post is dedicated to a dear friend of mine who is currently going through a valley in her life - and to anyone else who might feel the same way. Please know that what I'm writing today comes from my heart. It is not going to apply to everyone, maybe. It might not even make sense to most- but it is, however, a lesson that I have learned from my own personal experience. May it be an encouragement to those who feel they're in the same boat today.
I'm sure we've all heard it before, one way or another. But few people ever truly realize its real meaning. Especially since we live in a time wherein we try to subconsciously compete with each other on who has the most interesting news feed on our social media accounts. It's hard to remain still when we're trying to outdo each other in 'likes' or 'sharable' content, whether we like to admit it or not.
But it is possible to revel in the stillness, and I am living proof of that. Many will tell you otherwise. Like how I was first convinced that to get my mind off the issue, I had to fill my hours and days with things that were more "worthwhile". So I made sure I rarely stayed at home so I wouldn't have time to sulk about it. I went out and reconnected with friends whom I haven't touched base with in a long time, traveled the country, went to a few auditions here and there and did my best to stay BUSY. Because to me, busy was good. Busy meant I didn't have time to think about the hurt. Being busy was my attempt to show everyone that, "hey! I am a strong independent woman who has her stuff together." Busy drowned out the lonely in me.
And there's nothing wrong with being busy. But while being busy may cover up the momentary trouble, it doesn't heal the wound. Whenever all the fuss died down, I always found myself back at square one: alone. Hurt. Unable to sleep. Tossing and turning and anxious about what kind of feeling the new day was gonna bring. I was constantly asking myself "when am I gonna ever get out of this rut?".
I had to learn the hard way what the wisdom the advice that was given to me (albeit unsolicited) held.. As days went by I began realizing that while strengthening bonds and rebuilding friendships was okay, I learned that it is only in the quiet and lonely moments where your strength of character is tested and built. The problem with constantly battling with loneliness with being busy, you see, was that you never learn to find courage in being yourself. You don't get to sort through the emotions because you never give yourself room to even think about it or feel it. This especially held true for me when the activities died down at the end of the day and all my friends had gone home and all I was left with were my thoughts. The hurt always found a way to settle back in again, making me crave for even more activity. It was a vicious cycle, really. And after a couple of weeks I decided I just didn't want to be there any more.
As i'm writing this with my friend in mind, I can't help but laugh at the irony, because I just realized that I still probably haven't learned my lesson. It's been over half a year now since I moved to America and I've been coping with trying to live and thrive in a different country without my family. It doesn't help either that my brother and I have completely different shifts for work (he does nights or overnights most of the time, while I work during the morning or mid-day), so we never get to see each other or rarely do we even get to sit down and share a meal. And it's been tough, I'll admit. It feels like living alone for the most part, and it could really get me down at times. Lately I've been so prone to thinking, "I'm here again; heto na naman, Tayong dalawa na lang ulit, Lord" - constantly craving for companionship and activity in my life.
|Half a year away from home is a long time, you know.|
I catch myself every time I do this because I realize that thinking this way reveals my lack of trust in Jesus. More importantly, my statement meant that His companionship was not ENOUGH for me when it should be. I was reminded again of this truth when I came across the book of Isaiah in my quiet time this week:
"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.." - Isaiah 30:15
Loving the silence has taught me to re-shift my focus. Like a camera switching from background to foreground, being still allows you to see only what's important. And what is important now is definitely not filling whatever void you might [think you] have. What matters now is that you understand what it means to REMAIN IN HIM, gaze at Him and be content in Him. I pray that whatever kind of "lonely" you're going through today, that you may find Rest and ultimately your security in the only One who can give it to you. #sorrynotsorry for the long post. I guess all i'm trying to say is that you shouldn't be afraid of being just by yourself sometimes. Or being alone with Jesus, rather. Press on and do not fear the silence, dear heart. Life's not over just yet. :)