Screw everyone and do whatever the hell you want, because in the end, you’re the only one that matters.
I found that phrase as someone’s twitter bio a few weeks ago, and I sat and looked at it for a while. The more time I spend with people, the less time I want to spend with them. It makes me sad how easily people get upset and frustrated at strangers. Or how friends are so quick to give up each other. It makes me despair that anything lasts.
A few weeks ago, I started to feel especially down about my friendships. It seemed that everyone needed something from me. Advice, someone to vent to, someone who would empathize with them. I was torn between feeling thankful that my friends thought to come to me, and feeling like I was someone who they just “needed”. It seemed that when their issue was done with, I was disposable for the day, and they didn’t think to ask how I was.
I decided to stop talking to people for a while. I took a sick day and stayed in bed all day, watching my phone bring in notifications from at least five friends who needed my help, and I ignored them. The response was funny. I got multiple texts in a row from some people, asking if I was okay. Or asking if something had happened to my phone, or if I was somewhere with bad cell reception. I ignored those too. If they only needed me when it benefited them, why did I need to give them anything?
I kept it up for two days. Honestly, it’s tiring being the good friend who keeps conversations going, asks hard questions, and drops everything when someone is in need. It became something of an idol for me. I always wanted to be available if someone needed me. Most idols start out as good things, and I definitely had good intentions. But it became too much and made me resent what I had originally loved; loving on others.
I found that twitter bio in the middle of this few-week-long funk of mine. And I realized how backwards my thinking was. Here I was considering myself a therapist that people vented to left. I was seeing myself as a victim, someone who didn’t get what she deserved.
Here’s the thing. We can’t go through life with “screw everyone and do what you want” as our motto. If you haven’t noticed, you aren’t the only person on this planet, and the world certainly doesn’t revolve around you. Being a good friend doesn’t mean you’ll always be treated well or listened to when you need to be. It sucks that you can’t control everything, sometimes. But if your only plan to stay “happy” is to isolate yourself from everyone who hurt you, when it’s midnight and you’re upset and need someone to talk to, your own pride is the only thing keeping you from talking to someone. You seeing yourself as a victim does you no good. God in no way intends you to hurt for no reason. My hurt was intentional. Pain allows us to see him more clearly and see how little we start to rely on him when we think other people can do just as good a job at taking care of us as he can.
Essentially, we do use God as a therapist! He delights to hear from us. I don’t think he delights to see us neglect him because we believe the world can offer better things than he can. We see him clearly when everything is stripped away and he’s the only one we have left. We tend to lean on others so heavily for love that we forget he is the one who taught us to love in the first place. And I can imagine he doesn’t want us moping around and playing the victim because we don’t feel we get enough love or support. We aren’t owed those things. They’re gifts that he enjoys for us to enjoy. We find our joy in him first.

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