I have never done good with the idea of getting close to people, places or things. I’m sure there is some underlying root cause we could dig into, but that’s not the point.
The point is this: I have pushed friends away. I have refused to get pets. I’m leery to like a place too much. Why? Because it can all be stripped away. And if/when it is, we’re left with a hole that could of been avoided if we wouldn’t have been vulnerable in the first place.
I experience this most in relationships. Except the pet thing. That’s real. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get a dog because when it dies, I’ll be devastated.
Anyway. Today I was sitting at work and this fear came up again. Every aspect of my life is surrounded by people older than me. And though this isn’t the only way people could be stripped away, it’s practical.
My family. My church. My coworkers. Everyday I choose to be closer to them is another chip I throw onto the table. Soon the cards will be flipped and I’ll lose it all.
Here’s the problem with this kind of thinking: we’re social beings. We were quite literally created to be united. Which requires us to be vulnerable. To be willing to be shattered. And that’s where the interesting thought came in.
We always joke that when we die we’ll just be replaced. Or we say we’ll never be able to replace so-and-so.
Honesty hour: it’s kind of true. When we pass, our family, friends, jobs, etc. will replace us. With other people. With work. With addictions. The thing is, these are only artificial. The hole still exists.
Now think of us or even just you, as a link in a chain. Cliche? Probably a little. Bear with me.
We’re individual links. When I lose someone close (whether by death or other cause) I’m temporarily separated from the rest of the links. But slowly, we attract other links. Always. Every time. Now those new links, they don’t fit quite like the last. They may be more shiny or dull. But they serve a purpose of keeping us connected.
How do we attract the new links? Through the old link. Perhaps the new connection knew the old. Or the pain you feel, the loneliness, the anger, it attracted the one who feels similar. Bonded by emotion.
That’s the beauty of how we were created. We can never truly be disconnected or replaced. We’re glued together by circumstance, emotion, pain. Every interaction matters. Every expression of vulnerability is necessary. It may look like a risk. But perhaps it should be considered more of an investment.
From Her Fortress
PS – no, this is not me talking myself into getting a dog…but funny how it went that way.