I have a love/hate relationship with people. I love people. I’m fascinated by their stories, I care about them, I have deep empathy for them, and I believe everyone is valuable. Everything I do is an attempt to turn pain I’ve experienced into something helpful for others. At the same time, part of me wants to disappear into a cabin in the woods and become a hermit for the rest of my life.
The problem is, being aware of the needs of everyone around me makes it really difficult to know what I need and ask for it. It seems like it would be easier to exist outside of the expectations of others. But the truth is, I’m not completely self-sufficient. None of us are. We’re social creatures living in a complex world, and our weaknesses are designed to show us our need for the people around us.
Although understanding who we are and how we want to contribute is something we must each do as individuals, we can’t pursue our gifts on our own. We need other people to strengthen us in our weakness, as we do the same for them.