The irony of today’s post (and my life) is this: I do not like to people.
People (verb): The act of conversing with human beings.
For the most part, I stick to myself. I like the idea of living low key. I enjoy being uncharted and I am extremely guilty of hiding in my bedroom when guests come over. Ouch.
I will not be the person who speaks to you first in the room. I probably won’t message you first either even though we’ve crossed over to that friend/texting zone. And I’m not shy but I am a quiet person (until we’ve gotten to know each other).
I don’t open up to people easily (if ever) and I usually enter a new room thinking, ‘I did not come here to make friends’. But, despite the fact that you’re judging me right now, I’ll have you know that I always leave with many. I pride myself on being a great friend rooted in loyalty, love and support. And I am an awesome communicator. I have a smile that can light up any room (or so I’ve been told) and I can get along with just about anyone (thanks for that extra sprinkle of a good sense of humor Lord.)
I just don’t like to people. Because, let’s be honest, people can really drain you.
However, while listening to an online sermon recently, a young pastor said something and it really shook me. He said, while reading the bible he came across the first time that God said something was not good. Imagine, God – who can do no wrong – actually said that something was not good. And no I’m not talking about any specific sin here. I’m talking before the first sin was even committed.
Let me help you paint this picture.
Disclaimer: The fastest bible story summary ever told. Here it goes lol.
In Genesis 1:3, God said, “let there be light…” and we all know how the story goes. He created light and said, “It is good.” In Genesis 1:10, God makes water and land then said, “it is good.” Then He goes on in Genesis 1:18 to make a differentiation between day and night, by creating the sun and the moon, then He said, “it is good”. He made all the animals (those for the land and those for the sea) and later on we learnt that Man got to name all of these animals. However, in Genesis 2:18, after man was created it says, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him”
Now imagine after having six (6) days of everything being perfectly created, God says that the only thing that is not right is the fact that the Man He created is alone.
“My point is, God wants relationships for us.” And these were the exact words from the pastor that shook me, because for such a long time I perfected the art of avoiding people. I wear my introvert badge ever so proudly. I’m yet to meet someone sweeter than my solitude. And being around too many people really triggers my anxiety.
Yet, I came to realize that despite my daily and constant effort to live a life that is pleasing to God, even He was against my ‘sticking to myself’ plan. And so I felt the need to talk about the importance of having people in your life today.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a loner by definition. Though I grew up as an only child, I was raised in a very large family. My family reunion count could be the population size of a small island, and I’ve had the pleasure of gaining many friends in my almost three decades on earth thus far.
However, over the past couple of years, I’ve grown to keep a small circle only and I am extremely inconspicuous with my actions/whereabouts (I think I got that from my dad.) But does that mean that this is the life I should be living? Can I achieve all that I desire and be complete without ‘needing anyone’? And the simple truth to this question is NO and neither can you.
WE ALL NEED PEOPLE.
Yeah, Yeah, I can hear you now, sounding as silly as I once did, “I don’t need nobody.” But sooner or later you’ll realize that that’s a lie that hurt and disappointment has led us to believe is true.
I’ve come to understand this so well because I too had set up a life that kept a great distance from others. I believed that once I kept my guard up no one would be able to hurt me. But, I had to learn the hard way that the biggest trick of the enemy is isolation.
It is not a good idea for you to set up a life that is guarded, gated and by yourself, a life that isolates you from everyone because this is where the enemy comes to attack. You see when you are isolated in your thoughts; in your relationships; and even in your activities, that’s when the enemy makes room to become your best friend.
It is in this place of isolation, with no one to advise you otherwise, that the devil tries to whisper negative thoughts, play back all of your problems and convinces you of who you are – which in actuality, is not who you were created to be. The enemy will say things like “You’re not good enough; No one likes you; You can’t achieve this or that because of what you’ve been through or all the bad that you think you’ve done, and You’ll always be alone.”
And the more isolated we become from others, the more lies we’ll make ourselves believe, accept and allow to grow in our hearts. But, if we have others around us, they can help steer us to the truth. They can help us to become the best version of ourselves.
Now, I’m not saying that the only way to succeed is to have support, or that you’ll need to become Ms. Congeniality. Of course not! However, what I am trying to convey here is this, when isolated, we can be easily tricked into believing that we can do every thing on our own.
But, no matter how rich or successful you can get without a lot of people around, remaining alone is not what you truly desire.
I get it. You weren’t always like this. You left your emotions on your sleeves and you’ve poured your heart out to others, treated them better than they deserved and they still turned around and hurt you. Because of this, you don’t want history to repeat itself so you stick to yourself.
Know this: God is a redeemer, which means that despite your past, He still wants you to have a best friend – even though the last one betrayed your trust. God still wants you to find a pastor and church to be your safe place even though the last three used you or your money. God also wants you to have a significant other and to get married one day, even though every last one who you’ve opened up your heart to has left you high and dry.
Despite the fact that your mother left you when you were young or you’ve felt cheated your entire life because your parents passed away way too early, you are still called to have your own family one day and a big one at that.
Whatever was broken, messed up and jacked up in your life that led you to believe you “don’t need anybody” and live in isolation, can and will be redeemed once you believe it.
Don’t allow the hardships that life has dished out to you thus far leave you bitter. Don’t allow a past relationship to make your heart turn cold. Growing up a loner at school doesn’t mean you can’t now spread your grown wings and become a social butterfly.
Let’s try this exercise together. Repeat after me:
GOD WANTS RELATIONSHIP FOR ME. (x2)
I WILL NOT ALWAYS LIVE ALONE. (x2)
I WILL LOVE AND BE LOVED AGAIN. (x2)
I WAS NOT BORN TO KEEP MY GIFTS TO MYSELF. (x2)
I WAS NOT BORN TO BE ALONE. (x2)
I sincerely believe, like me, there are some people who needed to hear this today, and having repeated it out loud this can become your healing too.
On the other hand, some of you may be reading this, and it doesn’t quite apply to you, so it reads kind of funny. Well, to you I say, take a look around, because there may be others who could use a friend like you. In fact, when you’ve finished reading this I encourage you to go check on that friend that everyone thinks is the “strong friend”. Reach out to the people who always seem to be there for everyone else, swamped in friendships – stretching themselves so thin to help others (and their problems) yet little do you know that they feel so lonely on the inside.
Take it from someone who’s been betrayed by the best of friends, scared by strangers and disappointed by loved ones, I too need people.
So my advice to everyone reading is, no matter who you are and despite the fact that all the versions of love that you’ve experienced thus far has left you with scars, keep your heart open. Even though you’ve felt misunderstood or like a loner your entire life, make room for maybe just one person, to become your person.
Get some people around (quality over quantity) that will genuinely push you to succeed. Find ‘your people’ who can hold you accountable, tell you the truth and you’ll still be friends with them afterwards. Those are the people you need in your life. It doesn’t matter what, up until this moment, you were led to believe, you are worthy of having your people, the kind of people who gets you, the real you. Not the version of you that has been filtered for social media, or the version of yourself that you’ve settled for all along. We all need people, because we all want and deserve to be loved.
It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship you’re after, whether it’s a romantic one, a best friend, a parental figure that you never had growing up or a mentor to guide you along your path, there’s someone for everyone. So please, I beg of you, leave your heart open because remember…
WE ALL NEED PEOPLE.