The fear of being alone. It’s something that has plagued many others as well as me. Searching for connections with people is a deep rooted human desire. We all need that connection. Sometimes we search long and hard for true connections and bonds.
Searching for a connection with someone, for some, feeds an unhealthy addiction to social media. It can lead to moments of depression and isolation for others.
My own searching evolved as I began to understand the object I was seeking. At first I thought that I was searching for a bond with someone. I thought I was searching for someone who ‘got’ me.
But during that journey I began to discover that I was looking in the wrong direction. Instead of looking for someone out there that was like me, I needed to look inward. I began searching for me.
The hardest thing I had to do in recent memory was come to terms with who I had become. In searching for me, I saw things I didn’t like. I was finding fault in everyone but myself. It’s easy to shine a light on someone else’s faults. We hate when others see our faults.
I became very good at hiding my own faults and even became more vocal at pointing out others’ faults to better direct attention away from my own.
So I began admitting my faults. Let them out into the open. In the darkness, they grew in strength and had power over me. My own faults were holding me captive, causing me to become even more severe with my own faults. I was also becoming more isolated and more alone.
Even today it is hard to admit my faults and sins. I’m getting used to it.
My biggest fault and the hardest to admit? I had become arrogant. Like, really arrogant. I was insecure and to hide my insecurities, I was (and still am to a degree) too argumentative. I had to prove someone was wrong when talking with them. If I could keep the attention away from myself, no one would notice my insecurity. No one would notice I was a scared, tiny soul, who was desperate for a deep connection with someone.
In searching for me, I found who I was and I didn’t like it one bit.
As I realized I was pushing people away to hide my own secrets, I understood why I wasn’t finding any deep connections with others. I was unable to build these bonds with others not because all those people were flawed or because they were not like me. I was unable to build these bonds because I had built a wall around myself.
People are different. They are also the same. Classic contradiction, sure. But think about it. We have so many different personalities, we have so many different ways of expression our thoughts, but deep down, we all want someone to see us and like us. We all have that desire to have that unbreakable bond.
A year ago, I felt that emptiness more than ever before. That became a driving factor for me to go on an ultimate search for someone ‘like me.’ Amazingly, I found them.
But it wasn’t until I put the pieces of the puzzle together that I realized that the unbreakable bond I found with them wasn’t simply because they were ‘like me’ but because in building our friendship, I realized I had let my guard down. I wasn’t looking for faults anymore.
Instead of looking for faults, I was looking for bonds. I was now searching for connections and I was finding them.
What I missed all along was, in hindsight, right there for me to see the entire time. All people are flawed. But while we are flawed, there was someone who reached down to save us from us. To give us a new life.
When Christ came down to the earth, it was God, entering into his own creation so that he could wipe away our flaws and ugly desires we hold onto so tightly. He gives a new heart that lets us desire him more than our own self-interest. It’s a beautiful gift we don’t deserve but is given to us.
It’s like adoption. I was adopted when I was two days old and given a new family. I didn’t do anything to deserve it. It was given to me. I was brought into a new, loving family just as Christ came to earth to suffer for us and die for us so we didn’t have to. So he could adopt us into his family.
And this is how I try to see everyone now. I want to adopt them into my family. Treat everyone I meet as if they were my brother or sister. Love them unconditionally and open my heart to them. It’s a stark contrast to what I was before. And I’m still far from doing this as often as I should. I still have those ugly thoughts more often than I like.
So I constantly confess my sins and keep them at the front of my mind so I can ask him to forgive me. It’s a powerful reminder, too, of my imperfections and fallen nature and allows me to be forgiving of others and welcome them into my life with true love.
I’m far from perfect. I don’t try to adopt people into my life as a brother or sister as often as I should. But I’m trying. And the more I do, the more connections I am building with people. The deeper those connections are.
We are all connected. We really don’t have to go looking for those unbreakable bonds. They are there, ready to be uncovered. Understanding this has allowed me to find some incredible and unbreakable bonds with others. And I look forward to many more.
Hi. I'm Scott Sullivan, a slave of Christ and husband to my awesome wife Angie. I'm an artist and writer,
living in the beautiful countryside of Lancaster, Pa.