I had a dream last night and I’m not sure what it was about. It was one of those with too much action. Maybe with guns? One of those where you wake up feeling alert, but totally unrested. The first thing on my mind was the frailty of life, for myself and those I love. The next was about how I haven’t been making people a priority. That I should stop pretending that I exist in isolation and make some plans to see my folks in the months to come. Excuse my tangential thoughts in the morning.
In dating there’s the concept of power belonging to the person who cares less. Of course it’s unhealthy but I think we often do tend to respond in that way in an attempt to regain some sort of control over our feelings (I don’t think it works too well, or works only transiently at best). But I wonder if we sometimes apply the same thinking in interacting with people in general.
It’s good and healthy to be able to enjoy daily life alone. I think while I was on rural rotation last year someone said to me that it was a blessing not to mind the quietness and solitude that can drive some people crazy. But we can get a twisted satisfaction from being independent, and not needing others. We can look at couples or big groups of friends on the street and think, I don’t need that. We can take comfort in our work, study, hobbies, or whatever it may be, that is independent from the mess of interpersonal relationships. Being in a new place and not knowing many people, the thought even crossed my mind about how much more time I can have for other things if I limit my interactions with people to church and fellowship once a week.
But I think there’s a certain desire for power and pride in self sufficiency involved, that’s no healthier and not any less idolatrous than say, being completely needy in a relationship. In some convoluted way, the dream reminded me that I am connected to people and like everyone else, am not above loving and wanting to be loved. Besides, are we loving our neighbours if we decide that time spent socially is time not well spent? If we disconnect ourselves from people or just interact with them on a superficial and whatever-is-minimally-required basis? No song to end the post today, but a bit of high school poetry:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. – John Donne