Why We Need People
Introversion is my default. Yet, I have this need for people — which isn’t altogether surprising. It’s how God designed us: we need people. My favorite places to feel connected to humanity are:
- corporate worship (please come to church with me)
- field trips to locations that have impacted culture
- art museums
- musicals that feature overcomers
- live sporting events
- the Olympics
- the Symphony
- a U2 concert
- even a unplanned visit to a drum circle on a beach
These places connected me to God’s kids — people that He has called me to help, support, and encourage. People that God uses to dispel the notion that I am alone. I am only ostracized when I choose to allow myself to feel that way. It’s easy to allow ourselves to feel alone.
But we aren’t alone.
The Paradox of Depression
The paradox of depression, from my experience, is that you have no desire for human interaction – yet this is the most non-toxic cure (assuming you choose a life giving set of friends).
It is when we separate ourselves from human connection that we feel such intense loneliness and miss out on the opportunity to truly be known. To have joy and to share it with others is the most vulnerable emotion we can offer to the world or allow others to see in us, according to Brené Brown.
Joy is when we truly act like a little child. And so many adults feel this ridiculous need to be prim and proper, satisfied with decorum and following self-created rules that feel like a starched shirt.
I don’t iron. Thus, I don’t appreciate a starched shirt. But I love the novel. I adore the whimsical. I seek the adventure, the mess, the hard questions. I loathe the self-created rules and seek the life God intended for us filled with wellness, purpose and abundance.
I choose joy. I choose to act like a child. I choose to need people and invite them to experience childlike joy with me.
Do Not Neglect Meeting Together
When people come together, something magical happens. As much as I LOVE to be alone, this is not always the best course of action for me.
I wanted to hide before the CONTREAT started. It was hard work and required a lot of adulting. But I wager there was an element of fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of CONNECTING.
Because when you connect, you care. When you connect, you become known. When you connect, you experience joy. When you connect, you realize that all these people that are only a circle face on Facebook become wacky people in your life that you can’t live without.
They make you brave in the wilderness when you must stand up for what you believe. They inspire you to accomplish challenging things. They become your cheerleaders. They hold you accountable.
And that is scary. But necessary to belong.
Show up for collective moments of joy and pain so we can can actually bear witness to inextricable human connection. — Brené Brown
Find Humans Regularly
Attending two U2 concerts was surreal.
Serving as a missionary in India opened my eyes to the plight of millions.
Cheering for our high school Alma matter at a football game with our kids felt like a full circle moment.
Driving across country to the Young Living Convention, with our kids, demonstrated to our family how large America is.
Walking through an art museum, where we saw paintings that were hundreds of years old, allowed our family to become storytellers together as we peaked over the shoulders of greatness.
Don’t even get me started on the value of seeing The Greatest Showman as a family. Music is truly one of the most powerful human connectors.
Don’t Wait For Others To Invite You
You create the party. You find humanity.
As a family we often create what Emile Durkheim calls, collective effervescence.
This is where you experience a “sensation of sacredness” that happens as you are a part of something bigger than yourselves. You essentially shift from self to the group.
I think this is hard to explain, but you know if you have experienced collective effervescence, right? It’s what makes you return to that moment in your storytelling, your dreams, and your highlight reel.
It’s time to cling to your family, find a bosom friend, invest in community and create collective effervescence from within through a shared movie, song and dance, fun food, meaning conversation, or game.
I want to hear about it. Because it doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert. We need people. Go find them.
(See what else is on my booklist!)