Over the past week I was able to experience silence and aloneness for the first time in a long time. It’s been building up to this point for about two months now, like I could see it coming. Being alone and in silence can teach you a lot about yourself. It can break you down and build you up at the same time.
I’ve always felt alone, or at least somewhat different or misunderstood than my peers. I never genuinely felt like I was a part of any group I was ever with, whether a team in sports or a team at work or various organizations I’ve been a part of.
I’m a team player, I love to see people smiling and winning. I’d never consciously hurt anyone. Nonetheless, I’ve never been one to have gobs of people wanting to have fireside chats with me, probably the one thing I love doing the most.
I love talking to people and finding out about them. I love listening to what makes people tick. I love watching people get animated when they are allowed to express themselves freely without any sense of judgement being cast on them.
My talent? Getting people to talk and open up.
But I’m starting to think that’s not the world we live in anymore. Sometimes I feel like a relic of the past, an individual who wants to know their neighbors, have block parties and engage with those around themselves.
So I haven’t felt lonely, just alone.
David Vs. Goliath Was Only The Beginning
There’s a story I was reading today, about a guy who came from nothing and somehow handled a big job that no one else could handle, almost like he was born for it. He never really got along with his family, as his brothers were constantly terrorizing him, but he did all of his duties consistently and honorably until the opportunity for him to shine presented himself.
Even after being promoted to a position where he couldn’t even get to see his family because he was so busy, there were consistent times when he was working and his life was put on the line. Somehow he made it out every single time. There wasn’t a task he couldn’t handle.
Eventually he had to leave the job because his boss had it out for him, and he ended up alone and by himself. The guy just couldn’t catch a break. His original boss actually was so angry with him that he really tried to have him killed, mainly because of jealousy that people were singing his praises instead of the boss.
In that period of being alone, others like him were gathered to him. They sought him out as someone who could lead them, someone they respected after all he had been through. Through the threats, constant disrespect, trials and tribulations, this man eventually was made king. That man was King David.
The importance of the cave that David was hiding out in was significant to me this week.
A Time To Grow
A lot of times in life we somehow lose people close to us, friends, family, jobs, and significant others only to end up where we were before all of those things: alone and afraid that no one likes us or cares.
The best things in life happen when we are alone. We get to find out who we are, what’s in our minds, and what we want to do with our lives.
A lot of times there is so much static and interference that we confuse what we want for what others want. We think the job we have is satisfying. We think the people we hang with are the greatest ever, when really our life is actually being siphoned off.
Being alone is a chance to recharge and think for yourself. It’s a time to pick yourself up and dust yourself off.
It’s a time of growth. It’s the seed before sprouting, the winter time of death right before spring, the rain before the sunshine.
Every cycle has its purpose, and if you’re alone now, that’s okay, in time people will surround you again. And when they do, you’ll be the one providing them with hope and inspiration.
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