“Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.” ~ Rupi Kaur
This quote showed up in my newsfeed on Facebook just as I was engrossed in messaging a friend who had said she was afraid of being lonely. We chatted on about her finding her footing four years after the death of her husband and six short months since the sale of her house. She is in that ultra vulnerable stage of letting go of her old skin but not having yet formed her new skin; vulnerable like a snake whose eyes turn blue with blindness just before its moult.
We cannot see from some vantage points. We cannot see around the corners of our future. And for very good reason. It is not formed yet. It will not be formed until we take some action today that will guide us into our tomorrow, which, of course, will be that ever present today. And the one who will always be on that road will be ourself.
On the other side of the world another young friend just ended a long distance relationship after debating with herself along the lines of in terms of loneliness, is something better than nothing? Her decision endorsed that the wrong something is far less desirable than nothing. And by nothing, I mean no relationship. No love interest, no partnership, no romance. In our aloneness there is plenty of love, if we seek it.
Another friend shared the story of the end of her twenty-year marriage. Still loving the man, she finally had to come to terms with the fact that she could not save him if he was determined to sabotage his life. Enabling him was an act of sabotage to herself that she could not endure. She continues to prefer to be alone, but not lonely.
And I remember a friend long ago telling me about the awkwardness over morning coffee with a man she had just slept with the night before. How desperately lonely many must feel twined in the arms of someone they really do not know. Open, exposed, vulnerable, hoping this one will be different. This one will see your value. This one will validate you.
How many more stories of couples concretized by years of habit and compromise? Long past the joy that brought them together, long since dropping into mutual blame for the joylessness of life. Living for children and then living through children. Hoping they can convince them to get it right. Not realizing they are perpetuating the lie that happiness and fulfillment lie within the purview of another person.
Sometimes we are most lost when in the midst of an extended family and cohesive community. I see it here in Greece. What is at once a strength in the ties that bind is also a weakness in the control over who gets what and why. Duty and obligation too often come before love and consciousness and the fulfillment of personal best.
We have made ourselves lonelier by communicating digitally in small bytes of information. We are so overwhelmed by incoming data, intellectual and emotional that we perceive we have no time to take more than cursory notice. If it doesn’t have the numbered points of a cheat sheet to life, we often pass it over. Consequently we only dive into things that excite our immediate interest. These are often triggers of the senses. Not of the heart.
Have I ever been lonely? Yes long enough to try on an abusive relationship and to stay because I began to believe what I was being told about myself. I was young then. It took a great deal of courage to get up the momentum to spring beyond the clutches of a stronger will than my own.
Being lonely is a dangerous place if you believe that loneliness is a state cured by an addition to your life. You can substitute it or submerge it by sleeping with someone – once or for a lifetime. You can get a pet and project your love onto it. You can volunteer and serve people lonelier than you. You can eat, drink shop, but that doesn’t get to the centre of the state, nor does it resolve it in your heart and outer expression in your life.
“Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.” I agree. Instead of turning your eyes outward, close them and turn inward. Drop into your heart. Your heart is connected with all of life and it is where you are in the constant and enduring company of your own essence. I call it divine, because there is a version of you that is whole and complete and fulfilled and doing what you love to do, meeting the people you want to meet. Describing yourself, not in terms of your present relationship state: widowed, divorced, single, but in terms of I am. Not in need or requiring anything to be whole, but enthusiastic about sharing all that you are with those who truly value you as you are.
While we look for a ‘someone’ to fulfill us we miss the greatest opportunity to fulfill ourselves. It takes time to dive into our own meaning to this world and to develop the skills to express our unique contribution. Once we are engaged in that adventure, loneliness dissipates and there is no room for those who do not value who we are. When we become clear we attract the relationships that will enhance the adventure. Will there be romance? Maybe. Maybe not. But you will have met yourself and found the love you were looking for all along. No longer lonely. Lost no more.
Me agapi (with love),
Are you ready to make real and lasting changes in your life and claim
your own happiness?
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