I’ve been kinda lonely lately. I’m a weird mix of introverted-ness and busy-ness, really. But if I were to be honest, lonely has turned into bad self talk. As I’ve meandered my way though the last couple of weeks, I’ve discovered that it is more than “not being with friends”. Lonely is dangerous.
It’s like a dark alley where all of my insecurities hang out. There lives all the little lies masked by social media images. All of my “not-enoughs” and “left-outs” creep out from the shadows with unfollows, unlikes and unanswered texts. Those lying thugs get promoted to gang lord status when BFF photos float by without my face framed inside.
These lies living in the dark of Lonely Ally really just want to convince me that I’m not enough to be a part. They tell me I’m replaceable and not that important, that I’m unworthy of the light. These lies tell me I’m not real.
Lisa-Jo describes this hole as “that greedy, desperate black hole hungry for affirmation, acceptance, love and validation down in our guts…” She goes on to say, it “will never be satisfied by what humans dole out in small, limited portions of approval. That universe-sized hole needs a universe-sized being to fill it up. It needs a God.”
Seriously you guys, I’ve emptied an entire highlighter in the first half of this book. Reading those words was like turning on the search lights from a host of cop cars. Every inch of that dark lonely alleyway was illuminated.
We look so much to others, well at least I do, to confirm and affirm. As if the love of others can make us whole, make us real. But I like how Skin Horse replies to that universal question in the children’s book “Velveteen Rabbit”.
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you.” He then describes that as you are loved for a long long time, “REALLY loved, not just played with,” you become real.
Love makes you real. And not conditional love but a Holy all-consuming, overwhelming love. As it wraps around you day after day, year after year, you become you. You become real.
There’s only one source for real love, whole love. Only one.
I forget this far too often. Lisa-Jo calls it “God-Amnesia”. It usually surfaces when I’ve started hoarding my love, selfishly holding back. Afraid that if I let go and share love I won’t have enough to stay whole, to stay real. I forget that Holy love is an endless supply, like an ancient stream.
“We want control because we’ve been wounded by trust. We like manipulation because it looks a lot like love, and it comes with the guarantee that we get what we want out of friendship.”*
But love is cyclical, not linear. “Love is that thing we’re supposed to give away without any strings attached.” * As I anchor to the source of whole love, knowing that I am real in that place, the lies are captured and imprisoned. Then and only then am I free to give love.
“Does it hurt?” Asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.”
“And so time went on, and the little Rabbit was very happy — so happy that he never noticed how his beautiful velveteen fur was getting shabbier and shabbier.”
*Lisa-Jo Baker in Never Unfriended.
This post is part of a series about the book Never Unfriended. Comment below or join me in conversation on Facebook to get your name entered in a drawing to win a copy! This book hits bookstores nation wide on April 4th, but if you preorder on Amazon right now- you get TONS of awesome goodies PLUS the book is on sale (and you save $30 dollars- yes, I said THIRTY) – go right now!