Monday, July 4, 2011
Ever since I was a small girl, being alone seemed like a punishment. When I misbehaved, my parents sent me to my room, where I would be forced to spend time by myself until I couldn't stand it anymore and agreed to behave. They weren't being mean, they just knew that I would get tired of being alone and would shape up quickly. It always worked because I got bored and wanted to be with people. I love people - watching people, sitting with people, talking with people, laughing with people. Loving people, I've discovered, is a gift, a strength. However, like all other strengths, loving people can also be a weakness. I got to the point where I believed that if I was by myself, something was wrong with me. I wasn't loved or accepted, people didn't like me, I didn't have any friends. Lately, I've come to realize that this is the farthest thing from the truth. Being alone isn't a curse or something that has to be forced due to unpopularity. Spending time by oneself can be freeing, enjoyable, and exciting. This past weekend, I've found myself wanting to be alone, going to coffee shops, the mall, and even a wedding by myself. Surprisingly enough, I had a delightful time. I wasn't alone because I didn't have friends or because I am a reject. I was alone because I could be, because I wanted to spend time with Jesus without being interrupted, because I am free to be who I want to be, because for the first time in my life, I enjoy just being me. I'm not at the point where I go to dinner by myself or take myself dancing, but I'm getting there. And I'm loving the journey.