In life I have been so busy at times that I compartmentalize my friends and the “church”, “work”, “school”, and so on. Friends never came home with me. And if the truth were to be told I never wanted to let them in. I had a full life with my family and the outside friends made the other components of my life nice but I didn’t want to be burdened with them in my home. They are all excuses because I have now realized that I do need those relationships (well, some of them) outside of their compartments and I like them too. I am trying to be more intentional now that I know. Being a good friend is hard when you are also a compartmentalizer. I have to learn to uncompartmentalize in order not to treat people in a manner that I do not want to be treated.
This is the beginning of a blog I wanted to write 7 months ago. Now that I re-read that paragraph I see that I have been a little more intentional recently than I every thought I would be. I have allowed more people to enter my life. Like, in a real way not just surface.
In November we had a house guest. Nope, that’s a lie. We had family come and stay with us for a week. The reason why I said she was a guest is because, though I call her my daughter, she has never slept at our house before. She chose us to be her parents after she was well into adulthood and married. She came to celebrate our familyhood for a week prior to the crazy holidays of owning a bookstore.
Having someone stay in our house is not something “we” do (as a family rule). It allows people to see who we really are and the facade may fall a bit and you may see us for who we really are. We have had other family live with us and that didn’t go very well. One of them moved out 4 and 1/2 years ago and now we really don’t speak. The other moved out and now has a job that keeps her busy so we don’t see her either. Now, granted they stayed for a year or more….but it still was family who stayed with us and it didn’t end well.
Allowing someone we cared about to stay with us, even if just for a visit, was a stretch. But, it went well, I think. She hasn’t stopped talking to us and has mentioned coming back again ❤
We are having dinner guests tomorrow. That is also a stretch for us. We are relatively private people after we get home. We like our space so much we don’t even really know our neighbors. But we have a meal planned and we are excited to have a family we care about to our house.
I know for myself the compartmentalizing was easy for a long time.
My work was miles away from home and I didn’t really have the same lifestyle as the people I worked with. I had young children and a mortgage, they were single and lived in apartments. It was a different phase in life for the people who were in my circle.
My church was a place I went on Sundays only. The people all worked and I didn’t want to bother them during the week. I was very involved with my church and loved it and the people but it didn’t leave its cubby hole of Sunday mornings.
If I am honest this way of living is still the easy way out.
Now, I foray out and try to incorporate people into my life. I am finding that my eyes are opening up to the fact that there are things and more important people outside of work, church, home, repeat.
I am seeing that there are needs outside the little circumference that I run around in like a hamster (most weeks). They are needs that I can fill most of the time.
Dressember has started to help me see more often that I need people just as much as people need me. We need to support each other outside our out comfort zones.
While you are enjoying what this season of joy and stress has to offer spend a few minutes praying about your compartments. Who do you need to start letting in a little more?
Think about the people who I have blogged about this month who are enslaved and don’t have the luxury of compartmentalizing. Pray for them. Learn about their plight. Better yet, help our the dressember donation campaign to help release people from slavery.