There’s the kind of wisdom existing among the ages that our weaknesses are our greatest strengths. This is even indicated in the book A Wrinkle in Time, and there’s a Sufi story about a pail of water that has holes in it that I’ll share now.

The bucket has holes and loses half the water each day as the man carries it back and forth- it feels incompetent around the other buckets. Then one day, as they’re walking along the path, the bucket notices flowers growing. The man carrying the bucket tells him that he knew of the bucket’s weakness, and used it to his advantage.

The ultimate idea is that God will use our weaknesses to His advantage; our weaknesses are actually hidden strengths.

Bringing this to practical reality:

How in the hell are social anxiety, reclusiveness, and shyness supposed to be my strengths?

Anxiety, specifically, social anxiety, has set my entire life on the weirdest course I’ve ever seen. I’ve avoided so many things that normal people give no thought to, and I’ve been uncomfortable and quiet in situations where normal people flourish. To make the point, it just doesn’t make any sense to say that it’s somehow a strength- at this point in my life, it seems like the anxiety has taken more from me, more from my happiness, more from other people’s happiness, than it has given.

So the tactic I’ve developed in life has largely been one of avoidance, has largely been one of making myself scarce and staying out of other people’s way. I feel like if I can do my thing and not obstruct other people, if I can just stay out of their way, I won’t succumb to their wrath, I won’t anger them, I won’t get in trouble.

So I try not to make waves.

When I do become louder and more open, I feel like people largely just think I’m annoying, and so I prefer the quiet aura. There’s no reason not to- it’s historically been effective and kept me safe, whereas being more extraverted has historically caused me pain.

Maybe I just go to extremes and should seek a balance, but then I’m always one for questioning the dogma of balance that pervades modern thinking. Maybe life isn’t meant to be balanced- maybe the chaos is the natural way of things.

Who knows?

Someday, I think I’ll know and understand all this. Maybe the whole point is to keep me away from people so I’ll turn to the contemplative life. Maybe the whole point is to make sure I’m in a place where I can have meditation and quiet. Maybe the whole point is that I have social anxiety because I’m so open to other people that I get all their superficial levels AND their bullshit hitting my energy core and it sends me reeling.

I pray that one day, it will fall away, and that people won’t make me want to break down into tears, or that suffering will be so minimal that I can bear more than seems humanly possible.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus will guide me, I know. God’s Love will guide me. The better and more I understand God’s Love, the more I’ll know what to do in life.