Category Archives: Loneliness
Sometimes, it’s as though I’m in the center of a bustling city, and then decide to leave. As I travel toward the more peaceful suburbs, there are fewer and fewer people. Finally, the city is behind me, and I’m alone. And since I can’t live in two places at once, I enjoy the pleasure of solitude by visiting the suburbs and pay the price of loneliness.
It’s the same when I leave behind the noise of my own thoughts and travel inward. By traveling inward, I’m referring to meditation and times when I just listen to myself; to listen to what my inner voice may be telling me. It takes courage to face solitude, a courage which the Universe gives to me only when I want to find what I can’t find when I’m surrounded by people or even just with my partner. Peace, inspiration, rejuvenation, nurturing, enlightenment, and strength – these are just a few of the gifts of solitude.
Beyond the loneliness, and the longing for others, I find the satisfaction of my company and the company of the Universe. I need these as much as I need the company of other people, and so I always seem to receive what I need to take the risks of solitude. You will too. There is nothing to fear in solitude. We may feel alone, but we never are.
- Solitude is The Best Mentor (socyberty.com)
- How to Get Rid of Loneliness (socyberty.com)
- Can Social Media Networking be an Antidote for Loneliness or is it an Escape from Aloneness? [Sam Borrett] (ecademy.com)
I’m walking down the line
that divides me somewhere in my mind
on the border line of the edge
and where I walk alone
Read between the lines what’s
fucked up and every things all right
Check my vital signs to know I’m still alive
And I walk alone
Green Day – Boulevard of Broken Dreams Lyrics
Too often, I find that I am superstitious and interpret signs that appear in life in negative or hostile ways. Because I don’t believe in myself, it is then that I tend to think that fate is against me.
But life isn’t for or against any of us. If we are attentive, we will see many signs of promise during each day; signs of promise, signs of goodness, and signs of beauty. If we trust ourselves and the Universe, we will know how to interpret the world and use it to do good things.
Sometimes, we may be unsure of our next step or even our general direction in life. If we are patient and alert to the world around us, we will pick up on the many hints and clues that will help us on our way – a telephone call from a friend, a warm hug, a chance encounter, a job offer, a word of advice from a special loved one. When we are ready, we’ll know how to respond and what to do.
One thing we can learn to be sure of: in this world of signs, we are not alone. We don’t want to believe in a hostile fate, do we? The world is good and we can find our way in it by being patient and learning to read the signs.
The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery. — Ralph Hodgson
“I am part of all that I have met.” — Alfred Tennyson
Too often, I have lost my way by forgetting that I am part of a community, a society, a world. There were low points in my life when I closed myself off from others and drifted off all alone. Fantasy, rituals and acting out took me not out of myself, but deeper into loneliness.
As we all maneuver and make our way through life we make contact with others even if we don’t realize it. Looking, talking, smiling, touching, eating, walking, working, playing – all these activities are likely to bring us into contact with others. And the way we act and react does make a difference. Often, a simple smile can make someone else’s day. A hug breaks the ice of solitude. A kind word strikes a chord and is remembered.
Yes, we are all part of the interconnected web of Life; referred to by some as humanity; and we get love and power simply from knowing this. I want to feel part of a strong, healthy and loving community.
- Ten of the best mirrors in literature (guardian.co.uk)
“The best rule of friendship is to keep your heart a little softer than your head.” — Source unknown
Today I feel alone, afraid and confused. I feel as if every action I take is the wrong one. I feel every word that is uttered from my mouth is the wrong one. My self-confidence is zero. I feel unfulfilled in a large part of my life. I’m not sure yet what to do about all of this. When I look at my psychosocial plate in front of me, it is fuller than fat Aunt Lucy’s on Thanksgiving. I want my life to be normal; not some kind of existential, phenomenally cosmic experience or one of extreme wealth and luxury. Just give me a peaceful, happy and fulfilling life; one in which I feel safe, respected and loved. One in which I can trust that my experiences, perceptions and feelings are real and authentic.
I wish I could say that I have that now. But I can’t honestly say that I do. In my relationships with my close friends, I feel out of synch. Our communications are as though we are each speaking a language unknown to the other. I don’t want to be alone, or without my friends, but I feel as though each day puts us further apart, and not closer together or more connected.
Much is going on around me and I find myself being distracted with each frame of each drama that is being played out in front of me. I want to try to help every lost soul I see. There is one in particular I’d like to reach out to and help. I just can’t take him on as a project now. I need to be simplifying my life and not complicating it. I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth; I know that I want to make the most of it, however long that may be. I guess what I’m going to do today is take some time alone and prioritize that ugly mess that is on fat Aunt Lucy’s plate, and just go from there.
- Are You Enjoying The Company of Friends? (itakeoffthemask.com)
- Shaving Cream and Heart Attacks and Learning When To Fear (themillions.com)
I Accept All My Relationships As They Are Today.
I Will Give Them My Best.
“Only one who listens can speak.” – Dag Hammarskjöld
Inevitably, there will always be times in our life when a relationship becomes difficult. Maybe it’s a friendship that has conflicts, a romantic relationship that suddenly, terrifyingly, starts to fall apart or family relationships, strained by years of unmet expectations, become cold and distant.
A shaky relationship can trigger one’s fear of abandonment. That’s when we feel torn between old, inappropriate interactions and any new tools for setting and maintaining healthy boundaries and one’s commitment to living life as one chooses. What choices are available? Give up and run? Hang on, even though one may not want to? How honest should one be? What should be left unsaid, perhaps better shared with someone else? These are only some of the question we have to ask ourselves.
The wisdom gained through personal growth do nothing until one makes a choice, deciding the course of right action; what to do. All things, including relationships, are on the Universe’s time continuum. Until – or when – we come to a decision, we can live each day going about our lives. All we can do is live each moment and give ourselves the love and nurturing we need until the difficulty finally comes to an end. The outcome may not be expected, but at last, with reality in our midst, we are ready to accept life and our relationships just as they are, now stronger to face our next challenge.
A Short Story About a Butterfly
She was a beautiful butterfly and she belonged to someone now. Her delicate wings glistened in the light like stained glass windows in a cathedral. She sat on a little twig, her big dark eyes peering out at the world from behind the protection of her glass enclosure. She was happy. She was safe from the world, out there, content to live within the confines of her glass jar; days spent flying and fluttering about almost forgotten.
One day, a boy took the jar with the butterfly in it and carried it outside. “Butterflies should be free,” he said. The butterfly wasn’t so sure. She clung desperately to the twig, terrified of this sudden journey into the unknown world. When the boy got outside, he took the lid off, shook the jar and said, “Okay butterfly, fly free!”
But the little butterfly didn’t want to fly free. She liked her safe little home inside the jar. She liked the twig upon which she perched. She liked the constant temperature of the air, the cool feel of the glass against her wings when she spread them wide. She did not want to fly free. The little boy became agitated. He shook the jar again and again until finally, realizing the butterfly was not going to come out, he threw the jar to the ground and smashed it into a thousand pieces.
Suddenly exposed to the chill of the air, the butterfly cried in terror. “What have you done? You’ve ruined everything!” The little boy didn’t understand. The butterfly quivered on the grass, her wings shaking, her eyes tearing. She wouldn’t move from the twig to which she clung. “Stupid butterfly,” he said before turning his back and walking away.
The little butterfly watched him leave and wondered what on earth she was going to do now. Where would she go? How would she ever feel safe again? Just then a gentle breeze came up and stirred her wings.
“Who’s there?” she asked.
“It’s me. The Wind,” a voice answered.
“The Wind you say? Come on, who are you – really?”
“I can be your friend,” the Wind responded.
“Ha!” chirped the butterfly, her voice rising in condescension. “I don’t need a friend. I need a glass jar.”
“How do you know you don’t need a friend? Have you ever had one?”
The butterfly didn’t want to listen to the Wind. She wanted to climb back inside the security of the glass jar and be safe. “Go away! Leave me alone.” The Wind didn’t listen. He tickled her wings and ever-so-gently stroked her body. The Wind caused his gentlest breezes under and over her as he coursed through the air. “Stop that!” The butterfly cried. The Wind’s friendly breezes were encouraging her wings to unfold.
She did not want her wings to unfold. She did not want to let go of the twig to which she still clung so fiercely. The Wind listened, but reasoned with the butterfly, explaining his many centuries on Earth and the experience he has gained with which he only wishes to do acts of kindness; his present act of kindness will benefit the butterfly greatly and bring great joy. With that, he grew stronger. He couldn’t stop his swift breeze from naturally lifting the butterfly off the ground.
“What? What’s happening?” she cried as the earth began to fall away. “Stop it! I’m scared.” The Wind continued to ignore her cries as he carried her further and further away from the broken pieces of the glass jar that was once her home. He carried her to a garden of bright, brilliant colored wild flowers. Their velvety faces pointed up towards the sun, the colorful heads nodded in joy against the gentle caresses of the breeze as it carried the butterfly through their midst.
“Oh my gosh!” cried the butterfly. “Look at all the colors. What are they?” she asked as without thinking her wings began to move up and down by themselves and she began to flit among the multi-colored hues of the flowers. “They’re your friends,” the Wind whispered into her ear.
Suddenly, the butterfly realized she was flying. She stopped moving her wings up and down and landed with a plop on top of a flower. “Oh, sorry,” she said as she struggled to gain flight again. The flower, a bright sunny, daisy with many arms smiled happily and replied. “Don’t be sorry. You’re helping me grow!”
Just then, another beautiful butterfly came flitting by. He saw the little butterfly struggling to lift off from the flower and settled on a petal close by. “Hi,” he said, his eyes twinkling in the sun. “What’s your hurry? How about sitting with me awhile?”
“Who are you?” the little butterfly asked, trying desperately to fold her wings into her body to avoid touching his.
“I’m a butterfly,” he replied. “Just like you.”]
“Hmm,” the little butterfly thought for a moment as she digested this new information. “And you live out here?” “Where else would I live?” he asked. Growing tired of sitting around in the sunshine, he spread his magnificent wings and took flight. “Come on,” he called back to the little butterfly who watched in awe as the sun caught his wings and cast beautiful colorful prism onto the ground. “Let’s fly!”
The little butterfly looked around. Amidst the flowers hundreds of butterflies flitted joyfully among the flowers. Here and there a big fat bumblebee buzzed its way around as it busily gathered nectar for its hive.
The butterfly wanted to be like the other butterflies she could see around her. Carefully she unfurled her wings. She felt a tickle of breeze caress her skin. She felt her body lifting up. Leaving her fear behind her spread her wings and took to the skies. Beneath her, the glass shards of her forgotten jar glistened in the sun. In the distance, the little boy played ball with his dog while all around her the world revolved in magnificent splendor as she began to fly. She was free at last. Free to feel the Wind beneath the wings, as she moved beyond the memory of her glass jar into the big wide world around her.
“Many brave men lived before Agamemnon, but all unwept and unknown, they sleep in endless night, for they had no poets to sound their praises.” – Horace
A person in one of my group therapy sessions once told this story. “I was living in a city with a large population of homeless and poor. Each day it was painful to notice the contrast between the beautifully dressed, seemingly self-confident people, and the poor who shared the streets with them.”
“One day I realized I could empathize with how those homeless people felt. I’d lived my whole life feeling I didn’t belong, with no family I could turn to, and not knowing if I would survive another day in my misery. The compassion I felt was a reminder to me not to form my opinions about people by how they look. It doesn’t matter what people think they see in me, or anyone else. Each one of us is wounded. It’s just that some wounds are on the inside instead of the outside.” Remember that we are all in this world together and for a purpose, no matter what the circumstances of our lives.