Me Too

I think that sometimes the most powerful words you can ever say or hear from a friend are, “Me too.”

It means that you’re not alone in your struggle. In your fear. In your doubt.

It means that at least one person knows what you’re going through and you’re not the freakish weirdo out of the whole human race who has your particular issue.

It means that two are more of you are gathered together and that’s where God really shows up.

When I heard a speaker say that he fears when people find out what he’s really like, they will abandon him, I said in my heart, “Me too.” He had named my fear almost verbatim the way I would have named it.

That was comforting. To know that a well-known speaker has the same fear I do was good to know, but that another human being shares that phobia meant the world to me.

So remember you’re not alone in your struggle. You are not a freak of nature. Others are walking the same road that you are, even though you may feel like the only one.

There’s a website called nomorevoices.com where you can name what the voices are telling you. The only response will be, “Me too.”

So remember when you’re in the depth of your struggles that you are not alone. Others are in the same place you are.

And most of all, God knows.

 

Why I Am a Fan of Henri Nouwen

solitude

“In solitude we can slowly unmask the illusion of our possessiveness and discover in the center of our own self that we are not what we can conquer, but what is given to us. In solitude we can listen to the voice of him who spoke to us before we could speak a word, who healed us before we could make any gesture to help, who set us free long before we could free others, and who loved us long before we could give love to anyone. It is in this solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts. In solitude we discover that our life is not a possession to be defended, but a gift to be shared. It’s there we recognize that the healing words we speak are not just our own, but are given to us; that the love we can express is part of a greater love; and that the new life we bring forth is not a property to cling to, but a gift to be received” (Henri J.M. Nouwen).

Henri Nouwen wrote that every single person ever born deals with aloneness, because every single one of us is unique and no one else will ever have our exact problems and issues and hang-ups and phobias.

He said we can either see our aloneness as a wound and thus turn it into loneliness or view it as a gift, where it becomes solitude. In solitude is where we can learn to be still and quiet and know that in truth, we are never really alone. God is with us.

Solitude makes us better people, better neighbors, better friends, better spouses, better lovers, and better disciples. We’re not clinging to each other out of a desparate need to not be lonely, but because we are finally comfortable with who we are in the times when we are alone with no noise to drown out our own thoughts.

That is my own wording of what I’ve been reading in The Only Necessary Thing, a compilation of Nouwen’s thoughts on living a prayerful life. Seriously, if you don’t read another one of my blogs, but read one of his books, I will be supremely happy. He’s that good.

That’s all for tonight. Let me know what you are reading that touches you deeply at the soul level. Maybe it’s a book that will do the same for me. And may the God of the earthquake and the God of the thunder also be the God of your silence and the God of your solitude. Amen.