By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

During the country’s coronavirus quarantine, we learned how to be more creative in ways we connect with each other. We discovered the quality of time spent with each other was more important than the quantity. Many of us participated in virtual birthday celebrations, weddings, and we even were introduced to new additions to our families via the internet.  

God created the sun, moon, stars, animals, and said they were all “good” but when he created man he said, “it is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) We were created to commune with each other. Our first community is our family. In our family community, we learn to love, serve, forgive, mourn, and rejoice with another person. We also learn to trust. Trust in relationships leads to security and safety. And then, we are comfortable being transparent and vulnerable. 

We have feelings/thoughts/emotions that we keep hidden. Unless we feel comfortable, or someone is curious, we may never bring them to the surface. Having a safe relationship allows the space to reveal those things below the iceberg. There are also feelings/thoughts/emotions,  that are blind to us, but are clearly visible by those around us. When we feel safe in our relationships, we are more open to receive those unknown things from others.

What happens when we do not have a “safe space?”  What happens when we are alone with our thoughts?  What happens when we suffer in silence?  We self-isolate.  We can do this physically and emotionally.  When we self-isolate physically we avoid connection.  We allow fear, shame, embarrassment, self-consciousness, and awkwardness to keep us hidden.  We do not want others to see what is going on inside.  When we isolate emotionally, we do not avoid connection, but we live as if we are in a masquerade-wearing masks to cover up the feelings/thoughts/emotions that are growing within.  

In John Lynch’s book, The Cure, he describes two rooms: The room of good intentions and the room of grace.  In the room of good intentions, we live in a charade.  We wear masks to conceal our true selves.  We “self-manage” our pain.  In the room of grace, we feel safe and free to uncover ourselves and we understand we all have “sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” (Romans 3:23) We all have “mess.”   In the room of grace, we are empathetic, loving, and compassionate towards each other. 

We all need to experience a “room of grace:” a place where we are at ease, a place where we are not judged by our “good intentions,”  a place where we feel accepted,  a place where we are comfortable removing our masks.  The longer we self-isolate the less likely we will connect with others. 

There are times when we need to be alone. We all need to have a solitary place to think, process, and reflect. But we do not want to shun others.

It is not good for us to have a lifestyle of solitude. Are you ready to take the next step?

Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

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