There is a quote that has resonated with me over the years. It is, “Alone we die. Connected we live.” (Dr. Richard Dobbins)
I’ve lived this first hand and yet, being alone, or being in isolation, is a comfortable place to live when the pain is too much. Yet, we live in this place, hoping to deny what we feel. In the end, we die.
While at a recent speaking engagement, I shared my story one more time and I was reminded of how isolation plays a big part in how we respond to the pain we experience.
We all want to escape the pain of this life. When I have felt rejected, misunderstood, or just simply bad about myself, I resort to isolation.
I’m familiar with the trick of isolation. For me, I soothed myself by staying busy.
Being busy was a way to escape.
Being busy made me feel like I can make it through the day.
Being busy gave me a sense of fulfillment and confidence.
Being busy denied my pain and healing.
I experienced the nonstop busyness that was a result of my deep grief, despair, and depression.
After our sweet Angie died, talking about it was not an option for me. I had no one to counsel me through the trauma and grief. Silence became my response and staying busy seemed to be the right thing to do.
I discovered being busy kept me from feeling the loss. The problem was that as soon as I stopped, my feelings of grief were still there.
I would stay busy to numb my pain.
It took me seven years before I finally stopped long enough to go to a counselor. I stopped long enough to feel the pain that I had nearly forgotten.
I had stayed so busy that I had no memory about the details of Angie’s life, accident or her funeral. It took three sessions before the counselor could get me to say a word. I was locked up tight and thought I would never remember the accident.
When my counselor finally unlocked my feelings I couldn’t stop crying and my memory began working for me. After that session, I felt the pain of it all and didn’t know if I would survive.
This time I decided to wait it out and not busy myself. I sat with my feelings. It was like I was at her funeral for a solid seven days.
So much was revealed to me in that week and I began to connect with my pain. Remember, “what is not revealed, cannot be healed.”
After one week I began to embrace my memories. I began to feel and experience the memories again.
My husband says, “Our emotions are not meant to be judged. They’re meant to be experienced.”
I felt alive and I wanted to connect with my husband and our two daughters. I also felt more connected to my sweet Angie living in Heaven.
I began the very long journey of inner healing (there are no shortcuts) without the need to busy myself when the painful memories surfaced.
A lot of time has passed since my first visit to the counselor and God has walked with me every step of the way. Time and God truly have been my best friends.
When we live in isolation, we slowly die to all that is good. We can’t deal and we can’t heal.
If you feel isolated, find the courage within yourself to connect with someone that is trustworthy. Step out of isolation and begin walking with someone who can help you come alive. Find a professional counselor who will listen to your pain and give you new information that you need for a better way to live.
It’s up to you to take the first step out of your isolation.
You’ll LOVE your freedom.
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