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I think that maybe it was a revelation of some sort. I don’t know where those tears came from, or why they seemed so bittersweet, but they cut through me. I was just getting ready to lift weights – a very manly and not-so-weepy activity, I think you will agree.

I was watching Forrest Gump. I’m almost embarrassed to admit to that, though I don’t know why. But I remember I was watching it. It was the scene where Forrest turns to Jenny and says, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.” And then he walks out.

I burst into tears. My tears turned into deep aching moans. I curled up on the floor, grabbing at air and gasping for breath. My stomach ached. I stripped off my weightlifting gloves and cradled myself. I cried out to God, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t, I can’t. I just can’t do this anymore. God I am so lonely, please, God, I am so lonely and I can’t do this anymore.”

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I’m a little bit like Forrest. Not in the exact same ways, of course: he’s awkward because he’s mentally slower than most people. I’m awkward because I’m shy and depressed. But that could just have easily been my sentence, coming out of my mouth. “I may not be a confident man, but I know what love is.” And I know what it’s like not to have it.

That’s the arrow that pierced me on that day. I realized, in a roundabout way, how much I missed feeling loved. Feeling like I am really okay – not just okay, but that I am worth something! That my life deserves to be celebrated! That I’m not merely presentable and ‘not-a-jerk’, but that I could ever be someone who is truly and deeply loved by someone else. I miss that. I may never have felt that, and yet I know what it is to be loved.

I think everyone does. I think we all have an innate capacity for love. I do not think I have ever heard of someone really, authentically saying, “Stop! I cannot handle so much love!” Sometimes we might say something similar if we feel threatened or scared of a new relationship, but we don’t mean it in the same way at those times.

There is not, I think, a person on this earth who has ever been loved too much. Who has a life that has been celebrated too much. Whose story has been heard too many times. Who has too much worth. I believe something very radical in our pessimistic age: that we are all innately good. Everyone. Everywhere. We get shoved into closets of despair, we learn how to be insecure and hateful from our parents, from other people, from society. We learn what it is to fear and to shut ourselves off. It’s a very important part of growing up. I do not think a person can survive in our society without shutting many doors to parts of themselves.

So, what I want to say – that is, what I am getting at, is that I felt that day such a deep longing. And I consider it a blessing to have felt that. We are told that God wants of us a “broken heart and a contrite spirit”, which is to say, that God is not interested in helping those who do not need Your help. Or rather, when we are fooled into thinking we do not need Your help, we tend not to get it.

I consider that moment a blessing, not because it changed my life, but because it softened my heart. I realized in that moment how lonely I really was. I tend to cover this up as best as I can. Even depression can be a numbing experience: our loneliness is so deep that we withdraw and become somnolent, weary, sarcastic. We stop opening ourselves up because, when we did it before, it hurt too much. Well, it hurt this time too, and I let it hurt, and I am glad. Because I realized that I am not alone.

I know that someone reading this feels lonely right now. In fact, they probably don’t even realize how lonely they do feel. Maybe their loneliness is lying underneath the veneer of a busy work life, or an unhealthy romantic relationship, or an addiction. We all do these very human things because, understandably, it really just hurts too much to face up to that.

So what I wanted to say is that you aren’t alone. I know that you may feel alone, and you may be carrying around a lot of loneliness inside of you. But you aren’t the only one. And I believe that your life, too deserves to be celebrated. I think that you, like everyone else, deserve more love than you could possibly imagine. I pray that your cup runneth over with love, with belonging, and with peace.

- Chris
 

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that is really a good passage from the frogamino scriptures a.ka. beautiful job man
 

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wow...

you got me crying!!!!

how so much can we all relete!

debs
 

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Very tender and very heartfelt, Chris. Thank you.

This feeling is what our weary old world is missing.
 

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But please don't forget that God loves us , and that we can feel his love...
 
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