Absence and Presence
The problem for me is that I want to invest in friends and I want them to feel like I want to be with them, want to talk with them, want to invest in them. But verbal communication is not easy for me and never has been. I like to give words of encouragement, and I like to listen. But I rarely feel anything good from chatter back and forth, a full dialogue. I am contemplative and analytical so most dialogue that I enjoy happens inside my mind, arguing and talking with myself. I rarely feel like I need "talk things out" with someone to come to decisions or conclusions. I like to just do things myself and help myself. I don't often feel like I need help or assistance. I don't find many reasons for me to initiate dialogue with other people and it is incredibly frustrating for me.
When I am thinking about doing something or just coming to conclusions I will try expressing it to friends because I want to be engaged with them. Friends should be engaged in each other. But then when they start to question me on my thoughts, why I am doing something, or choosing something, I just feel completely unable to explain anything that I have thought through. It makes me frustrated, and it makes them unable to understand me and what I am trying to say. I continually feel defeated by words, by my inability to verbally express myself. Self expression for me is much more show through "doing", by what is experiential, visual, kinesthetic, abstract, poetic, and not so much through solid forms of communication such as the most common one, talking.
Needless to say, today I feel totally exhausted by humans, by verbal communication. I don't feel like I actually clearly communicate verbally. I have tried and tried to verbally communicate with so many people this week that I feel completely drained and empty of words. For most other people, especially extroverts, I am sure they would feel fantastic after having so much opportunity to talk and be with people. But for me, I just feel dead tired and empty and frustrated. I don't like to cry, and I haven't cried in a really really long time, but last night I actually started crying because I wanted to be alone. Don't most people cry because they are lonely? I cried because I wanted peace and I wanted to be alone.
In the midst of crying, I found myself saying, I just want to be with Jesus. I just want to be with God. I just want to be in what is experiential and not verbal. I was really shocked at hearing myself say that out loud as I cried. I crave being alone and feeling still, a quiet peace. And I want to be stubborn and feel strong and independent, that my strength is solely in me and only me. But I suddenly realized last night that, through all of the experiences I have had in my life, good and absolutely awful, I recognize that God has been communicating with me in and through those experiences. People always talk about "listening" to God or "talking" with God. And I just don't think those words are all that fitting. Being with God, communicating with God is not verbal. Its not I speak something then he speaks in the form of verbal communication back to me. When have I ever heard God's voice like I hear my sisters talking to me?
"listen" "talk" "voice" "speak" are all words that are trying to express how to communicate with God, but they are just human words. They are words that humans use when talking about how to communicate most commonly with each other. They are so unsatisfactory for the abstracted beauty of God. Perhaps God does communicate with some people in the form of words. But I deeply feel a personal connection to God, and that was not achieved through verbal communication. I feel God, I experience God, I look back on my life and recognize his presence in specific events, in moments, in past emotions, in the vibrations of a space, I feel God and I have felt God. Even these words don't express the goings on of experience. "Feel" isn't good enough. "Think" isn't good enough. Presence and Experience are close, but no words can express this spiritual thing that goes on inside of me, and that I believe goes on inside of everyone, whether they recognize it or not.
Mystery. A mystical power. The intensity of stillness. Peace.
These are the ideas that I attempt to put into words that I am ruminating on today.
I want to be alone today. I don't want any humans, even the sweetest most loving and understanding ones. I just want God. I just want to experience him and contemplate presence, being, and experience. I have a lot of friends who are agnostic and atheist, and they don't understand why I would want to be Christian. They just see all of the really judgmental mean people that call themselves Christians and then see me unintentionally associating myself with them simply because I call myself Christian. I am not Christian because of those judgmental people. What I have in common with them is not the fact that I am mean. What I do have in common with them in being Christian is that I believe in God and I seek to experience Him, though it may even be in a completely different route than they. It makes me sad to know that people I respect could think less of me because I say I am Christian, but I hope that in their confusion, they can understand I am Christian because of God, because of my experience with Him, because I feel that my being is a part of His and I believe that all beings are connected to him.
I cannot escape him. I am not Christian to fit in with people. If I wanted to fit in with people, I wouldn't be Christian. I am not a Christian because my motivation is to gain humans' respect. I am Christian because God is present, and I cannot deny what feels true to me. Being Christian is not easy. Seeking God is not easy. But His presence is more beautiful to me than anything else. Saying "he" or "her" in reference to God isn't good enough. Nothing is good enough. But still, I sense God, I sense His love, acceptance, and understanding. God in his spiritual presence is more beautiful than all things. It is continually beautiful, even when all in the physical sense is sad, hard, and ugly. I get sad, overwhelmed and tired because of humans. But I cannot ever be truly depressed again because that suffering is momentary. God is great and beyond the sadness that naturally occurs because of human things. I seek God, therefore I will always find joy.
Today, I am alone with God. I will feel renewed. I will be creative and working on art and illustration and other things that I love to make, but in it all, while my hands move, and my mouth stays still, I will be with God. I am working on things for my Etsy shop today, Valentines day items, necklaces and cards, and while I work I want to be contemplating the deepest sense of love. I am donating all the profits from my Valentines items to Haiti relief. Today is about contemplation and peace. My prayers will be about love, Haiti, peace, thanksgiving, calm, quietness and simply and intentionally just being.
I hope you all have a beautiful and quiet day. I hope you experience God, even if you don't believe He is real. I hope you spend your day in love and compassion for all beings. I hope you are well and have peace. I want you to know that, even if I don't know you, and/or if I do personally know you, I am sorry I cannot verbally communicate with you well, and probably never will. But I do care about you, and I want what is best for you. I want you to experience the deepest love there is to experience. I want you to be at peace.