I've been following a thread on the Corvallis Craiglist rants and rave section called "My Top 5 Secrets". While I no longer post in this particular space due to my refusal to hand my phone number over to Craigslist management, I check in now and then to see if there's anything worth reading. Usually there isn't. This topic, however, is eye-opening. It is sad. It is comforting.
We all have secrets, stories, that tell of our lives. We all hide them. And yet it's really no big surprise because in truth, we are so much more alike than we are different.
People spoke of wanting to die, of being unhappy, of cheating on their spouse, of wanting their ex dead, of being broke, of working long hours with little to show for it. Ex-meth addicts and current porn addicts share their dirty laundry.
Why do we keep such things to ourselves? Why do we find it easier to post such things, anonymously, online? It's simple: We fear the reaction/potential reaction and judgment from others. We all want people to like us. We all want to be accepted, embraced, wanted. If I tell you this dirty little secret about myself, you may not want me in your life anymore. Or, you may just encourage me to open up even more, which can be equally as uncomfortable as rejection.
As a species, I would conclude most of us are tired of the world around us. Our stuff, while in and of itself is not a "bad" thing, doesn't satisfy us. Neither do our addictions. And neither does isolation. All such things merely keep us feeling safe due to the familiarity and in comfort zones we feel we and we alone control. Some go out to clubs and bars or to parties where alcohol and other mind-numbing/altering drugs are the norm. Such environments don't allow for us to truly relax and open up.
Nope. The only way to do that is to just take a risk and start opening up with those around you. Wouldn't it be refreshing when in getting to know another we would share our life stories, what we most fear, what we most desire and things like that. Real conversations. Not just topic/subject-based. Real relating from the heart rather than the mind only.
If we were to do that, we would see how alike we are. We would help in creating a new world, one we want to be a part of instead of one we do what we can to run from in our own ways. As the line in the movie "Contact" states: "The only thing we have found that makes the loneliness bearable is each other." I would add that it isn't just being with another/others that reduces or eliminates the loneliness (for we've all likely been in situations where we've been with another/other's and felt very lonely), but it is the relating and connecting we do with one another.