When I was in elementary school, my friend Lindsay (my good friend since we were in Pampers, as we used to tell everyone), and I created a club called the Pooh Pals Club. At that time, we were into all things Winnie-the-Pooh and what better way to celebrate our excitement for A.A. Milne’s lovable characters than to start an exclusive club for just the two of us. We would spend hours drawing pictures, writing silly rhymes like that silly ol’ bear and talk about who was the best character.
Lindsay loved Piglet and I loved Eeyore.
I think the main reason I loved that downcast donkey was partly because I felt sorry for him.
“Don’t mind me,” he’d say in his melancholy voice. “Nice day, today. I’m sure it will rain eventually.”
He was quite good at taking a happy moment and making it dull. (Which is the complete opposite of my personality, as I’m usually trying to find the positive in everything. Hence the desire to feel sorry for the guy).
Fast forward many, many years to me reading these beloved stories to our Miss Aubrey during bedtime.
There was one particular evening when I was reading when I came across a dialogue between Rabbit and Eeyore that challenged the way I look at building relationships.
Rabbit is searching for a new house for Owl and comes across Eeyore’s part of the Hundred Acre Wood. He explains the situation to Eeyore and Eeyore begins to complain that he doesn’t know any of this because it’s been seventeen days since anyone has spoken to him. Even if anyone comes his way, there’s “No Give and Take…No Exchange of Thought.”
It’s what Rabbit says next that really hit me in the gut:
“It’s your fault, Eeyore. You’ve never been to see any of us. You just stay here in this one corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. Why don’t you go to see them sometimes?”
How many of us can admit that we’ve had this Eeyore syndrome before? We yearn for relationships. We wish we were invited to coffee. That we would get a text from that one friend. Yet, we do nothing to seek it out ourselves.
We just sit and sulk and think no one likes us, but in reality, we just have to do our due diligence to seek the relationships we’re looking for.
We have to give. We have to create the exchange of thought.
There was a time in my life when I was just like Eeyore. During my first year of parenthood, already overwhelmed by the huge shift my life had taken with learning to care for another human being, I fell into a yucky pit of loneliness. I wanted relationships. I wanted to spend time with good girlfriends and not be surrounded by diapers, burp cloths and late night feedings, but I thought the relationships had to come to me. That I had to be sought out. And when I wasn’t, then I began to believe the lie that I wasn’t wanted.
Thankfully, my husband saw the direction I was heading and lovingly encouraged me to join one of our women’s small groups at our church. It was during those once a week, two-hour study times that I realized relationships don’t just happen when I’m sitting at home wishing they would. I can’t just “stay here in this one corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to [me].”
Now, I completely understand that everyone’s personalities are different. Some women are great at reaching out at any moment and building those relationships. Others might be more introverted, making it more of a challenge to go out there on a whim and attempting to connect.
But one thing is for sure, we were all made to have relationships. We are not here to do life alone.
So ladies, how are we going to reach out today?
Maybe you need to send a quick text to that friend you haven’t talked to in a while and just say, “Hi! I hope you’re having a great day!”
Maybe you need to hire a babysitter, plan a date night, and have some time reconnecting with your husband.
Maybe you need to take that leap of faith and connect with your church’s women’s small group or attend a ladies night out (Insert harmless plug: The women’s ministry at my church is having a Ladies Night Out on Thursday, July 17th. If you’re in the Indy area, we’d love for you to join us!)
Whatever it is, I challenge you to do it!
Even Eeyore came to his senses:
“There may be something in what you say, Rabbit…I must move about more. I must come and go.”
So, let’s stop sulking, and start seeking.