becoming human

While I was on vacation I began reading this amazing book by Jean Vanier called, “Becoming Human” Right away the book hits on a heavy topic, loneliness.  It is a deep topic because feeling alone in the world leads to so much.  Feeling alone brings up feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, sadness and even suicide in a lot of cases.  The first few chapters of this book resonated with me so much because I have been there.

Back in college I had a lot of friends.  I traveled with them and I even had a fairly stable girlfriend.  However, I look back on that portion of life with the clarity that it was one of the loneliest times that I experienced.  I remember driving to school one day wondering how someone with such great friends and a girlfriend could feel the loneliness that I felt. I even prayed during this time and I never felt so alone.

I’ve realized a few things now about the loneliness I felt back in the days of college.  It wasn’t my friends, they loved me and they were there for me, it wasn’t the girlfriend, it wasn’t God leaving me or forsaking me, it was me.  I had a very difficult time loving myself. By not loving myself I created a wall that the love of others could not penetrate.  The barriers I built were too big to feel the love that others showered me with.  Until I was okay with me, I could not really begin to see a way out of feeling alone.

I don’t feel alone now; in fact it has been about six years since I’ve really felt this way.   The change came when I really had the comprehension that God was glorified in my brokenness. The change came when I realized that Jesus died, rose again and went to the father so that we can have something much greater, His Spirit.  I realized that the feeling of being alone must be false; something in me was tricking my conscience into believing that I was alone in this world.   The reality was that I have self-worth and value precisely because I am human.  My value is derived from something much deeper than friends and family, although they are amazing.  My value is derived from being created.  My value comes from the breath of life flowing through my nostrils.  My value doesn’t come necessarily from knowing God, but being known by Him.

I am a firm believer that anyone can overcome loneliness.  Feeling alone is a terrible feeling.  For me it was having an understanding that I was loved and known by my creator.  This understanding enabled me to love myself; these two things broke down the walls that were caging loneliness in my heart.  I feel more alive and more human now than those days.

If this is you, if your battling with the feeling that you are all alone in this world.  Know that you are loved.  Know that the only one, who can love perfectly, loves you.  Ask God to break down those walls that keep you trapped by loneliness.

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