Crowdless Anxiety

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Crowdless Anxiety

Liv Booth
Liv Booth
March 5, 2024

In a crowd, anxiety makes me awkward. In isolation, anxiety holds me prisoner. Take the risk of being with people, of giving and receiving welcome. You can find peace in your crowd.

Being alone—being crowdless—ties me up in knots. Away from the actual actors in my life I can only imagine what interaction with them is like. What would they say? How are they thinking about me?

My litany of worries absorbs me when I’m away from my crowd. I furrow my brow and lower my gaze as I ruminate on the past. It’s oddly comforting to return to this anxious pattern. It feels weirdly diligent to turn the same old thoughts over and over.

Staying in my lonely state feels safer than putting myself out there. But consider your own experience. There has surely been a time you got over the inertia, attended the event, went to church, or met a friend and were, if not at peace, at least distracted for a while. You may have even said, “You know what? I needed that!”

You have tasted a moment of what we humans are made for—peace in a crowd. Our crowd-anxiety may be real, but our crowdless anxiety is far worse. Being among others draws us into the external world. The green and good world.

Being with others keeps me awake. It helps me see all the beauty I miss when my eyes are cast down and my ears are deaf because of my crowdless anxiety.

So, I invite you to receive the welcome when it comes! Respond to the call to be in good company! One day we will know this peace not by analogy, but first-hand. Then we will be at peace in the crowd of saints.

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