One of the biggest lies you will ever hear is “Mom, these aren’t my cigarettes. I’m holding them for a friend”–to paraphrase Claude Hamilton.
Another is this: no one understands you.
Have you ever just known that no one ‘got you’? Have you ever been sure that if people knew the real you, they’d never accept you? I’d venture that we all have, and I’ve come to believe it’s a lie.
We are not alone.
I’m the only writer in my family. They find my imagination and my humour and my obsession with social media to be rather off the wall. Don’t get me wrong–I love my family to death. But sometimes I find this frustrating, because I can’t talk about what is important to me. I thought I was completely unique–perhaps even a wacko–until I found entire communities of others just like me. It was sort of a homecoming. “You mean you’ll take me seriously if I ask ‘do clones have souls?’ You mean we can have whole conversations about punctuation?”
I had an addiction that was eating away at my insides. I was ashamed, and didn’t want anyone to know. I wanted to deal with it myself, but I couldn’t. When I finally confessed it to friends, they said “Uh huh. I know what you mean,” and gave me grace and encouragement. Just having it the open took away its power.
It’s a humbling thing to realize that your eccentricities and your dirty secrets are actually not uncommon. What? I’m not special?
Well, yes, you are.
But the belief that we are the odd one out may actually make things worse. It drives us away from those who could help us, and who may actually understand what we’re going through. We get all turtled up in ourselves and don’t see that hands are reaching out.
Its actually a great strategy. I don’t know if you believe in the devil, but if you were the devil and wanted to destroy God’s creatures, what better way then to drive them all apart? Feeding them the lie that ‘no one understands’ is a great place to start.
There may be a scenario where we actually are alone, and in that situation, it is helpful to have a solid grounding in faith. My own faith is in Jesus Christ, and he is always with me. Sometimes it just requires me to pull my head out of my troubles and look up at him. Because he came to earth as a human being, he can empathize with the failings of our mortal selves.
My brothers and sisters, the weirdos, you are not alone. Your oddities and your secrets do not have to isolate you. Keep looking. We will find each other eventually.