Robert and I were watching a movie the other day, and at the end of it there was an interesting statement. It said: “The opposite of addition isn’t sobriety, it’s connection.” This made me think a bit.
There’s also an old African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
1 Thes. 5:11 tells us to build each other up and to encourage one another. Ecc. 4:9-12 states that two are better than one — one can lift up the other if they fall, and together, two can defend an enemy better than someone all by themself. Being connected increases strength and endurance.
True connection happens when there’s openness and vulnerability. Exposing our weaknesses to other people makes us susceptible to the possibility of being judged or even rejected, and not many of us like to admit when we have a problem or are struggling with something. It causes us to feel naked and unprotected, or shamed in some way.
So connecting with others isn’t always easy — at least it isn’t for me.
I never liked sharing my feelings. I’d been made fun of doing so one time in elementary school so I shut them down. The humiliation and pain wasn’t worth it, I had thought. Yet, having received healing over this and aiming to live in the Father’s love today, I know that it doesn’t matter what anyone says about me, my Father God loves me unequivocally.
I don’t have to be ashamed of my past, my faults, or my struggles because there’s nothing I can do to make God love me any more or less than He already does. So if the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty, loves me unquestionably and unconditionally, then I can choose to freely share and be open to others. I don’t need to worry about rejection or judgement, I know I’m already accepted and loved.
And this true love from the Father is what enables me connect with others. Because He protects me, covers me, and cares for me, I can share my failures and shortcomings honestly without fear. This, in turn, bonds me together with others in the same situation.
I can’t say I am totally comfortable with being exposed now, but it’s much better than it used to be. And I, for sure, don’t go telling just anybody anything about me — wisdom is always needed for whom to share things with. But if you want to “go far,” and have growth in your life, I recommend you do it together with someone. Make some connections. We need each other.