I said goodbye to extended family today as they headed back to their respective homes. It’s been a different kind of adjustment for me living on my own since my youngest got married in May. I like my solitude and I like that my apartment stays like I want it. I need my time alone and then sometimes I don’t want it at all. Sometimes I miss family or friends. At the same time that I waited today for some time by myself to “recover” mentally from the work week, I also did not want to say goodbye to those that were here for 24 hours.
I think about the idea of community and wonder if living alone is what God really intended for some. And even if we do live alone, we need to be really involved in relationships with others. We need to be alive and connected. We need to have an inner circle of people with whom we can share our deepest thoughts and feelings – a place where we don’t have to worry whether our thoughts and feelings are necessarily right or not. We just need a place to go and sit and laugh and cry and sit some more. A place where we are known and can be heard and understood. The temptation is to isolate when we need to connect.
Remember the Cheers theme song?
Sometimes you wanna go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
We tend to stay apart when feeling lonely, sort of in the way we stay home if we think we’re getting a cold. Relationship is life and we desperately need it.
I am thankful for the relationships in my life in which I can be real. I am even more thankful for my God who knows my name and He always understands me – even when I don’t understand myself. He’s always glad I paused to be with Him. And He is glad when I stop to be with others. So make time for others. Make time for God. He’s the one that started relationship in the first place.
(originally published Oct. 31, 09)