“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” -C.S.Lewis
Anna used to be outgoing and friendly. She was bubbly and almost always had a smile on her face. Nothing about her seemed fake or hidden, and she had lots of friends. That was before she got married. Not too many years into her marriage, the smile began to fade, and her relationships became more shallow. She couldn’t remember exactly when she’d lost her joy. It seemed to have been taken away one little piece at a time with each dismissive comment, sarcastic put-down, and angry outburst. Now, three kids and 15 years into this marriage, she only feels numb, lost, and completely alone.
When you are in the middle of emotional chaos, it’s natural to either tell anyone who’ll listen or retreat into isolation, depending upon whether you tend toward extroversion or introversion. Neither of those options are truly helpful. Telling anyone and everyone leaves you vulnerable to their disdain, misunderstanding and secondary harm. Isolating leaves you totally alone and even less able see hope.
There is another option, one that resonates with your soul the moment you see it happening. It’s that instant connection that comes with finding someone who has been there. No matter if you consider yourself the extrovert or the introvert, the moment you run across someone else who has experienced what you’ve seen, felt, and wrestled with in your mind, you know it. Empathy is very different than sympathy.
When you get the chance to link arms with others who really understand your path, it helps carry your burden. If you are like Anna, even just a small taste of that empathy can make a huge difference in your ability to regain your sense of self and find healing. You need confidants and advisors to help you process life and see your blind spots. If you don’t know where to begin looking for those kinds of connections within your own community, we invite you to join ours! Contact us here, call our Client Care Team at 206.219.0145, or click on these links to learn more about our Men’s Intensives and Women’s Intensives. We would love to help!
“Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. IT is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves