Friday, March 30, 2012

Faithful Friday

Did you know the feeling of loneliness can be self deprecating? Let me explain:

With me, loneliness is not a loner emotion-it brings lots of awful friends to all its parties. The kind of friends that show up uninvited wearing muddy shoes through your clean house. The kind that you may find making out in the only bathroom, and refuse to vacate when the facility needs to be utilized (correctly). The kind of friends that are not concerned by how there destructive behavior effects others, or worse, use their behavior for the sole purpose of creating turmoil for someone else.

Yes, loneliness likes to throw wild parties inside of me…but the worst part of the event is when more guests show up: Gulliver Guilt, Whit Worthlessness, Pit T Part-e, Debbie Doubt, and Sally Selfish (occasionally along with a handful more).

Once Loneliness starts decorating, Pit T Part-e shows up with confetti and tosses in all the hard to reach places-behind the couch, carpeted corners of rooms, under sofa know, the hardest places to clean. Long after the party, Pit's confetti will keep reappearing inconveniently.

After Pit usually comes Gulliver Guilt and Sally Selfishness. Gulliver brings a chocolatey dessert, which looks appetizing, and never fails to become the center of attention. However, Gulliver eats said dessert with just his hands (no dish, silverware, etc) and uses every other surface at the party as a napkin…thus leaving his ugly mark wherever you look.

Sally likes to bring gifts for the host (which in this instance is me) when she attends any type of soirée. All gifts arrive wrapped perfectly with shiny or bright paper and puffy bows-and she brings several at a time showing them to anyone with eyes, but never plans on giving the gifts away. She takes all the gifts back home with herself and puts them in her front room so she can look at them often (mostly to remind herself how awesome she is). Then she writes notes to me stating how awesome her gifts are and how much I would have appreciated her efforts. Sometimes multiple notes are delivered for days and days after the party is over-reminding me how important Sally is compared to anyone or any thing else-some might even get lost in the mail only to arrive days, weeks, or months after the event.

Debbie Doubt occasionally brings something to the party, but no one ever really knows. Debbie is never sure what she can offer, so she usually doesn't try. When she does try, she finds herself too embarrassed about her choice and throws whatever-it-was away even before entering the premises. She then won't let herself enjoy the gathering because she is constantly worrying about the others liking what she brought, other items she could have brought, or if she should have even attended the party in the first place. She longs for my attention, but refuses to contact me directly for more than a few seconds at a time-which is very distracting and takes me way off my agenda. These thoughts turn into blinders-like for horses-which make Debbie then ignore the party completely. She'll pace with worry back and forth in front of the door, wearing a whole in the rug that will stand as a constant reminder and be hard to repair.

Whit Worthlessness…well, he actually never comes to a party. He doesn't feel like he 'fits in' with the crowd, or that his clothing is as cool as everyone else. But Whit is a lonely person and needs social interaction to keep trudging through each day…so he calls me on the phone during the party. Whit can talk for hours upon hours about absolutely nothing and can pull puppy-dog-eyes over the phone (which is quite a trick indeed). Those attributes combined means I end up talking on the phone (more like holding the phone up to my ear while rolling my eyes) most the entire party-missing out on the comings and goings of the event (and chocolate desserts)-all the while being emotionally drained by the entrancing stare (remember the puppy-dog-eyes) that won't allow me to hang up the phone-no matter how many prayers are sent heavenward on the subject.

After a Loneliness hosted soirée, I am a complete and utter mess. I'm left to my own devices: scrubbing chocolate-smeared walls, vacuuming confetti-filled sofas, tossing notes scribbled on gift receipts (for expensive gifts I never received), and taking out the trash (which included the rug in by my front door).

After cursing Loneliness (under my breath of course) for using me to indulge in irresponsible behavior, I realize that he couldn't have thrown such a crazy event if I had not let him in to my house (mind) in the first place. That also means, by linear thought, that the other guests would not have shown up-making extra work for me-if I had nipped the party idea in the butt before any plans had manifested.

Do you see how Loneliness is self deprecating? A big pit that is impossibly hard to climb out of without any external help? Can you relate-or am I the only one ( please say I'm not the ONLY one)?

I struggle to cancel many Loneliness parties-which show up on my calendar sometimes on a weekly basis, if not more frequently. I love party planning, really I do, but these types of parties are actually no fun at all. It can get ridiculous! I cannot send all the guests away on my own-once the invitation has been sent…and I don't really have to…I can ask for help.

Did you know that we are never truly alone-in thought, physical experiences, emotional roller coasters, or even in any other trap we may find ourselves in? Our Savior has experienced it all, and can relate to your circumstances perfectly-all we have to do is ask Him to help us, and our burdens will be come light…not nonexistent, but more bearable. This is something that I struggle to remember- I know it to be true, but I let all the other party guests take up my time and energy instead of performing my Heavenly Father's will. Satan uses these awful party guests to weaken one's defenses and bring us down in a self deprecating way. I know But I know that I matter to God, and that alone can give me the strength I need to move forward.

I still expect to work on canceling my Loneliness parties in the future (most likely for a long time to come), but I'm determined to keep trying…wish me luck ;)

And to leave you with a few pictures:

The Southern Institute

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