I struggle a great deal with loneliness. There are some people in my life who know this, but it’s not common knowledge. I started struggling with this on a very deep level in high school. It has caused me so much pain throughout the years. There have been many sleepless nights/mornings like this one that I could not stop thinking… that I could not shake the loneliness and feelings of not belonging or being loved.
Loneliness makes us feel alone and abandoned in our endeavors and leaves us in a spiral of consuming thoughts. Loneliness tells us that we’re worth only so much — that even those that love us can only possibly love a certain amount. Loneliness can feel infinite, it can feel impossibly overwhelming, and in moments of desolation, it can feel like it’ll never leave us. – Andre Bohrer
My birthday was five days ago (please don’t send me messages wishing me happy birthday). I hardly did anything to celebrate it. I didn’t make a big deal about it. I didn’t even respond to the “happy birthday!” posts on my Facebook wall – many of them superficial and random. I cringed inside anytime wished me a happy birthday. Why? It’s complicated to explain, but I will try.
I used to really enjoy celebrating my birthday. I used to enjoy people taking the time to plan some kind of event, receiving meaningful gifts, having a good time, and knowing (and feeling) that these people were celebrating my life because they loved me.
That changed at some point through the years.
I dread my birthday now. I can’t stand the superficial birthday wishes from people who could care less about what’s going on in my life and how I’m truly feeling. I don’t like the idea of having a whole day to celebrate my life. What is there to celebrate anyways?
This is where it gets even more personal. I read that post by Andre a long time ago where he was answering someone’s question about this same thing. I resonated so much with what he was feeling that I sent him a long message. He wrote something that day that helped me pinpoint one major reason why I don’t like celebrating my birthday.
I don’t show myself enough love, (which translates into), I don’t think I’m worth the love.
This one sentence wrecked me. The reality of this statement brought me to tears and self-reflection. Allow me to quickly expound on this. I enjoy celebrating my friends’ birthdays. I enjoy planning events for them, getting them gifts, and having a good time with them. I will go out of my way to make sure someone else knows they are loved and appreciated most of the time. I tell my close friends (probably too much) how much I truly appreciate them. I want people to know how amazing they are and that their life is truly worth celebrating!
But not mine. I don’t think people should waste their time and efforts into celebrating my life, because I don’t believe I’m worth celebrating. It’s extremely hard for me to love myself much of the time, so it is hard for me to accept other people’s love. And, most of the time, even when I do accept someone else’s love, it’s hard for me to believe it’s genuine (I’ll write on that soon enough) because of past experiences.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
This is something that is a continual work in progress. Each year it seems to be harder, but each year I learn more about myself. It’s hard to admit these things, but I can’t truly deal with them without getting it out in the open. This is the real me.
My name is Rod, and this is a blog about my journey through life.
This blog has been in existence for quite a while, but I have not been consistently active in sharing here. I am here to revive my blog yet again. I have lost inspiration over the years to share my journey with you, but I have recently been inspired to begin again. For my readers who have been with me for quite a while – thank you so much for reading and interacting with me along this journey; I hope you will continue to do so. For new readers who are just starting – welcome to my blog!
Why do I continue to write here despite quitting time after time? This quote by Anne Lamott explains exactly why I continue to write:
Good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. […] Hope, as Chesterton said, is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate. Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong.
This is why I share my journey; it helps me makes sense of my own life while being inspired by the journey of others that I connect with.
After all is said and done and my journey has ended, I hope that I would be known as a guy who made an impact on the lives of those I knew – one by one.
A short documentary about the impact that the words and actions of a father have on his children.
For more information, visit TheFatherEffect.com.
Interact: How has the absence of a father affected your life? What are some negative/positive things that have come from that? If your father was/is present in your life, how has that affected you?
From their website: “We exist to love at-risk children by providing a Christian adult of character and vision to become their role models and companions. We match Christian adults with youth from the community who are lacking a father/mother (or sometimes both) and are in need of a positive role model.”
This subject really hits me hard because I didn’t grow up with a dad and what little interaction I’ve had with him has been pretty bad. But as I was studying for a sermon I preached, I found statistics about fatherless homes. As I read with tear-filled eyes, I praised the Lord that I didn’t fall into these stats, but it broke my heart knowing that so many more in my situation did. Here are just a few that I used in the sermon:
- 63% of youth suicides come from fatherless homes
- 90% of homeless come from fatherless homes
- 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
- Youth from fatherless homes are more likely to use drugs, drink, and engage in sexual activities.
- Individuals from fatherless homes are more likely to have a marriage end in divorce.
- The number of single mothers has tripled since 1960.
- 24 million kids (34% of children) in America are fatherless.
There is a need for fathers–for Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, God-fearing, God-following, humble, loving fathers.
Click here to continue reading the rest of the post.
This post is a part of SOZO Community’s Advent Blog Series that walks through each of the traditional candles of the advent wreath as preparation for the celebration of Emmanuel, God with us and His triumphant return. This is the fourth candle of the Advent wreath, the Love Candle. To read more about this series and the season of Advent, click here.
To read, go to: The Advent Blog Series – The Love Candle
Written by Rod Pitts (myself) on Sunday, December 23, 2012