There are times when I just want to hide away from the world because I feel like no one understands. No one understands the pain i’ve been through, the hurt I feel, and the loneliness i’ve experienced.
Then there are other times when I want the world to see. See it all so people can finally understand.
I’ve questioned these thoughts many times. “Why does it hurt me so much that people don’t understand me? Why does it cause me so much pain?”
I’ve realized it’s because I feel lonely when I can’t connect with people on a deeper level. But how can I connect with new individuals on a soul level without going into all of my past experiences (specifically my near-death experience and my constant struggle with my autoimmune disease)?
If I do talk on my past it brings up so much pain and leaves me feeling completely drained and the chains around my heart get slightly tighter. But then if I don’t talk about my past experiences I feel like the relationship is just on a surface level. I don’t feel that connection I’m searching for.
I think this is a problem not just in my life, but in our society. We feel so disconnected from each other that many people are struggling with loneliness. You may have hundreds of friends but how many really know who you are? Not who you were when you met in high school but who’ve you become over the years. How many do you share your life with? How many have seen you cry?
We are so used to showing people our life on the surface level through social media that I think we have transferred that over into our “real life”.
I will admit I am a pretty deep person naturally. And I’m not saying I need you to go to third base in our first conversation and spill all of your deepest fears in order for me to feel a deeper connection but can we talk about something other that just your Instagram follower count or how you got super drunk last weekend?
Over the past year i’ve been trying to figure out how to overcome these feelings. How can I be at peace with the past and live a happy present connecting with people on a deeper level to create meaningful relationships?
I don’t have an answer that is the end-all-be-all but what I have figured out is that it takes patience to build new meaningful relationships. You can’t tell your entire life story to someone the first time you meet and not feel emotionally drained but you also can’t just keep it on a coffee meeting surface level unless you just want it to be that and nothing more.
I’ve been hurt from the friends I once felt were like my sisters, and it’s not because they don’t care about me but it’s because I want it to be like it used to be. I want us to be that close but the reality is, we are all living different lives. We have different schedules and responsibilities now.
What i’ve realized is the reason i’m feeling hurt by these friends is because i’m searching for the past to be my present. Since they were there with me through some of the hardest times in my life, and now they’re not, I feel abandoned kind of. I feel like they will be the only ones who “get it” so I close myself off to new friends and this has left me feeling more empty than ever before.
Those thoughts, that new friends can’t understand, is completely untrue. That is a mere projection which is prohibiting me from creating new meaningful relationships. I need to let go of this. My friends from the past were there for me then because that’s the chapter of my life when I needed them the most. We’ve changed since then. I’ve changed.
I am learning to accept this change. I am learning to be okay with people not fully understanding the experiences i’ve been through because let’s face it, I won’t ever completely understand the experiences they’ve been through.
We all have a different story and we can share that story with others but we also need to make sure we are creating new stories in the present with the people who come into our lives. Meaningful relationships can manifest without the other person knowing exactly what you’ve been through because that’s the past and the past does not exist, nor does the future, only the present.
So the next time I meet someone new i’m going to focus on creating a meaningful connection through the present moment. It takes courage to let down the guard you’ve held up for so long and allow new people to come into your life
It takes strength to survive but it takes courage to truly live. [TWEET IT]
We need to take time to remove ourselves from the online world which we get sucked into and create real relationships that bring us back into the present. That may mean you need to venture out and make new friends or work on being the leader in your group of friends to begin conversations about topics that dig a little deeper.
Let’s talk about our dreams and goals or about the last song you heard that made you feel so much you cried… and why did you cry? What about your opinion on global warming or a far-off idea you have on how the world can feel more connected to nature?
Life is a journey with an unknown destination and just like the traveler, you’re going to meet people along the way. They may be in your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. AND- that’s okay.
Just don’t miss the opportunity to get to know someone because you’re too concerned with what’s happening on social media or too afraid to share experiences that go deep. You will gain far more in one meaningful conversation than you will from 100 surface level conversations. Quality vs. quantity.
So let me ask you, what’s your your deepest darkest fear? 😉