Just before Thanksgiving and the holidays many singles take action to be more connected. Of course opportunities multiply for making new friends at large family gatherings, children’s school events, work parties, gallery openings, concerts, public celebrations on pedestrian malls, busy restaurants and shops, or church celebrations. Society encourages you to pair up and not be alone. Some think being single is pitiful; feelings of shame sprout up.
Where else does shame surface? One of the most common challenges of dating is presenting yourself, your story, without giving “too much information.” To launch out, you create a more favorable persona, at least a briefer history, unless you want to appear as a victim or worse a narcissist. Subconscious shame about your identity, past mistakes, weaknesses or flaws is covered up with a performance, a false self. Perhaps your challenge would be to show integrity; to speak or be silent; to listen well or be vulnerable.
Say that secretly you are an introvert, spiritually dry, or an on-fire Christian. What if the solitude of a personal retreat is your heart’s desire when your children leave for the ex’s? Instead of putting on a false self – successful one, joker, people pleaser, party animal, or super parent – what if you dive deeper into renewing your relationship with God? Can you be true to who you are? Being intentional with your alone time for a few days may be too much for some. Maybe spending eight hours of rest; equipped with a journal, a Bible and a book such as Madame Guyon’s Experiencing the Depths of Jesus or Chris Webb’s The Fire of the Word could be the start of something beautiful.
I want to leave you in a place of reflection; with the hope of true love. God’s love is true, genuine and faithful. He is love. Ultimately his love is the foundation for all relationships that are worthwhile. He promises to be found by those that are asking, seeking, and knocking, remember that. May your Thanksgiving be full of the palpable sense of his good and protective presence, his acts of loving care for you this past year.