Give me Ikea trips in solitude.
Give me single movie dates.
Give me isolated tables in coffee shops.
Give me a quiet office.
These are the scenarios which I prefer. I am an outgoing introvert. I can do social, but I like alone.
However, as I'm getting older I'm finding how impossible it is to sustain the isolation. I just keep meeting really great people. People who stick with me and listen to me and care about why I like to be alone. There is joy in sharing and understanding. Joy that cannot be experienced in the solitude. Joy surpassed. But the deeper these people seep into my life the less sure of myself I am. Not in my security, but in my sufficiency.
Affirmation is a funny concept. It says we share with people not just what we like about them, but we share in what ways it attaches us to them. Affirmation is the explanation of lingering. True affirmation burrows and plants relationships with deep roots.
It makes sense, when friendships dissolve, the most grief is experienced not when remembering experiences, but words. I look back on many friendships in my life and I can't remember where we were or why we were having that given conversation, but I remember exact phrasing of words that fed my soul. I tear up remembering the warmth of verbal affection, often times greater than any hug I could have received.
Affirmation comes through noticing. It comes through stepping deeply into a moment to hear not just the sentence uttered but the soul-well that it drew from.
And maybe that's what it is. Maybe sharing genuine words with one another is drawing deeply from each others wells. Satisfying deep parchment for relationship. Sipping the wine of our Father and celebrating complexity of selves. Communion. And in all reality, this communion can turn bitter. It comes at a price. Hence why sufficiency is questioned. If Jesus is not the one filling my own well, I will always be drawing from other people to fill myself and it will leak, diluted and stale. I am only as sufficient as my dependence on the One who knows how to fill me. And He knows because He created me.
I don't know why this has struck me so deeply 3 pm on a Tuesday, but somehow it has. The sweet memories of Chicago on my mind from this weekend and a friendship that so simply depicts this communion, the growing depth, that can come when I choose to be squirmy and uncomfortable and leave my solitude for bits of time. Don't get me wrong, solitude is good, but maybe, just maybe, I don't need so much as I thought.