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For when you want to quit people…

Sometimes I write letters to myself. It may be unusual, but it works for me and unfortunately I have the tendency to need to hear things over and over again for them to stick. These letters help me remember and I just read them when I need a gentle reminder.

This is one of those notes…written at a time where I couldn’t easily escape people, there was a lot going on and I wasn’t doing a great job of taking care of myself to make sure I could handle it all well. I’m pretty sure I wrote it after having a breakdown and crying myself into a thirty minute or so nap and upon waking up promptly decided I needed to move to a deserted island because surely life would be easier and less exhausting living in a beautiful place and being by myself (that’s usually how my breakdowns work, just in case you were wondering).

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Dear Abby,

I know what you’re thinking…life would be easier living on a deserted island. By yourself. With no one around. No one else to consider, no one else there to feel their emotions, no one else to take away your plans and your control, no one to have to forgive, no one to have to let in. You just want to quit people because it seems like that’ll make it all easier. Let your mind go there for a few minutes, have your meltdown and pity party and then come back to me. I’ll wait.

Alright. Feel better? Now let’s get real. You need people. You know this so I want to remind you of some things when you’re feeling like you just want to quit people.

First, you start to feel this way when you’re not taking care of yourself. When you’re overtired, when you’re stressed, and…when you’re around people too much. You need to take time alone, you need to take care of your soul, your body, and your mind. Remember how much you love to tell people about the importance of self-care? Let’s try that whole practice what you preach and love yourself thing and do that, okay?

Second, really think about what life would be like without your people, without your tribe. How would you have ever made it through, well, anything? How would you have made it through those really hard times without the people that called you every day or saw you every day to make sure you were okay? You knew someone was there because they know you need people, even if you think you don’t. Think about the times your belly has hurt so bad from laughing and the joy you felt in those moments. Think about all the times you just knew there was a God that loved you because of all the amazing people that have been brought into your life. Think about these things.

Third, when you feel this way you start withdrawing from people. And again, a reminder, you need people. Get your alone time, give some TLC to your introverted side and then get back out there. You do not become a hermit! I know it’s what you think you want and that it would be easier, but trust me, it’s not. Turn to others. Remember the beauty and satisfaction you get from deep relationships and from being known. Talk to a friend, spend time with your people and remember that life is better together.

We on the same page now? Good. Now go call someone just because, text someone to get together or write an encouraging letter to a friend because when you want to quit people, you need to use that as a reminder of how much you need them.