the dance of the ink riddled fingers

to the lonely

Posted in 52 pickup, pin the tail on the love, thought spills by enisea on 19/06/2012

I hate(d) being lonely when I was/am lonely.  It was the enemy that had chained me up and locked me away periodically through the second half of my life and made me swear to rescue others. So I chose many of my friends on the basis that they were lonely and I could help them, because lonely people only need company when they’re lonely, don’t they?  Stupid thought.  I knew what I was doing was unsustainable, but my ambition to eradicate loneliness bit off more than I could chew…  I accumulated too many lonely friends.  I know they were too many because I would not be able to fight loneliness from all of them most of the time.  Loneliness needs company and understanding – but not just in the dire moments – in all moments (so I thought), so I was a short-term friend.  I would ferociously defend them for week, sometimes months, the lucky ones got me for a year.  And then I would find more lonely people to befriend and feel compelled to love. It’s as though friends needed to qualify for my active friendship by being in a terrible place.  It’s horrible isn’t it?  Turns out fighting loneliness was a losing battle and I watched some friends slip further because I had unfortunately reinforced the stupid lie that they were not worth remaining with.  I’d think of most friends and usually let loose a guilty sigh over them, hoping they were better, many times – knowing they were not.  Loneliness was a greedy, relentless beast – grinning cruelly at me – because it could not have me so it would have those I loved, and knew it could torture me through them.

I have diagnosed myself with an addiction to the lonely.  I cannot help myself, I wish to love the lonely people for at least a little while.  Perhaps I wasn’t aware how selfish I was being, wanting to rescue one lonely person at a time, to be someone else’s hero, to be held in high regard!  And then slowly taper away in frequency, because everyone who knew me even a little, knew me as being perpetually busy.  I over-committed and under-delivered with most things and then felt guilty 55% of the time because everything I did and everyone I knew deserved better.

The kind ones say they understand, they forgive me for forgetting them.  Others see me as a popularity chaser (since many of my popular friends were rather lonely).

Looking back at my own battle with loneliness, sure there were a few golden friends who hoisted me up from hard, sad and depressing places, but they weren’t my salvation from my fear of being unwanted… it wasn’t them – they didn’t save me… so why I thought I could be another’s salvation is beyond me!  I conquered my loneliness by the revelation that I really wasn’t alone, I wasn’t unloved, I wasn’t unvalued and I was worth somebody else’s all.  And I know you’ll probably roll your eyes at this: but my cure for loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness was realising that Jesus Christ had conquered it all before me.  That because He was with me, would never leave nor forsake me – would love me more than I knew was possible and wasn’t confined to the selfish instinct of every other human being in my life – well, I had the capacity to hope, and therefore the capacity to help.  It was He who consistently beat at my defensive walls, rebutted my perception that I wasn’t beautiful, calmed my paranoia, gently dealt with my insecurities and built me into a slightly more resilient person.  It wasn’t every other person with a lovely smile, a kind word or beautiful company.  It was love at it’s best. Because His love endured the harshest loneliness to ensure I wouldn’t be lonely – so to insist on being lonely sort of spits right at Him.

I suppose I just wanted to apologise to all of my friends for neglecting them – and they know who they are (well, all of you).  And yes, I tried to be there when you needed but I wasn’t there enough and I’m sorry, I’m genuinely sorry.  My disclaimer is that as much as I could be there for you, it would never be enough and I could never defend you effectively enough from loneliness – though I tried (though pathetically).  Honest to goodness, I say this with as much of my heart as I can.  There’s only one love that will ever complete you.  Unfortunately, without Him  you will never escape loneliness.  Everyone knows love should be perfect, and there is only one perfect love.  Fortunately, perfect love drives out all fear (of being alone, of being rejected, of not being missed); and even more fortunately – Love is incredibly delighted about you.

Take it from me, I love you (though not enough) and He loves you (enough not to give up, ever).

To the lonely, you are loved.

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