Vincent Van Gogh
It's really kind of funny...at least I think it is. Until fairly recently, two years ago maybe, I was still quite the loner and homebody. I did not make friends easily and struggled when in social situations. I was just not comfortable making small talk or chit chatting at a dinner party. Especially SOBER....
That fear of making new acquaintances has slowly but surely lessened as I continue to grow into my new skin. Today, I played a round of golf with a guy that I had only met very briefly for a handshake at church awhile back. He called a week ago to see if I might like to play and so we did this morning at 9a.
That kind of thing would have been terrifying to me in the past. I wouldn't have know what to do or say for an hour and a half alone with another person I hardly knew. Today I enjoy it and we had good time though neither one of us played very well. It didn't matter.
The longer I live, now that I've been sober and have experienced a pretty intense spiritual experience, the more interested in other people I've become. It really means a lot to me to get to know my fellow man, sounds corny I realize but it's so true! I am just really interested in getting to know folks and establish new relationships. I've said before that relationships have taken a whole new intensity and meaning for me and they have. I feel compelled to reach out to other people, whether they are struggling or not. I feel like it is what I am supposed to do...
Whether that motivation to reach out is coming from God or not, I don't really know but it just seems like I need to be involved with people so I've listened to that subtle nudging and gone ahead and done some things that I wouldn't have done in the past. Like play golf with a guy I barely know or volunteer for a few hours a week at a local nursing home.
Frankly, I haven't really been that surprised to discover that far from being a hassle, uncomfortable or inconvenient...doing these things have actually been a real joy. The pleasure and benefit it seems is all mine and I truly wonder why I didn't think of doing something like it a long, long time ago.
It really has been a natural part of a new way of approaching and living life. Regular readers are pretty used to reading me write about service to others and this is just another form of doing just that. I could not understand the concept of getting back something by giving it away. In other words when you focus on doing for others, even though you are giving of yourself, it really doesn't seem like it. Iknow I sound like some freaking Do-Gooder but honestly, there is just something special about not thinking about me all the time. I got really sick of me, me, me all the time. It's refreshing and frankly gives one a strange sense of freedom and independence to serve others. Weird eh, finding that there actually is true freedom in serving others...Jeez, I never knew!