Hmmm…… our October theme.."Learning to feel good about oneself"….
There were many years when I could not stand my own company. I was a social butterfly of note, this group here, that group there, priding myself on having all these friends. I could host a dinner party of 24 people with no problem – and connect with no-one - as I was so “busy”.
All this I saw with hindsight, of course.
Then as I slowly started waking up from the madness of the dream, I ended a long term relationship and slipped into the opposite polarity – and came to love my life as a hermit, going to work out of town every day and spending weekends on my own where I lived in a beautiful secluded marina – fully self-sufficient.
That solitude ended abruptly when I was asked to evaluate a stress management course for my company. Why me, who knows? Lol
On that course I was stunned to find out that I had cut myself off from 90% of the support I needed to live a happy and fulfilled life! Whack! THIS was a wakeup call that I had cut myself off from life!
And with that awakening came the sense of intense loneliness.
“The feeling of aloneness which you experience is very common for someone who is starting to search very deeply. That deep inner searching always creates within oneself a feeling of utter loneliness, and this persists until such time as that one begins to make friends with oneself. :) People are so used to placing the power outside of themselves that they never get to know themselves until they start with inner searching. Your sense of loneliness will dissipate once you start to enjoy your OWN company. :)“
There my journey of adjustment truly started on this quest to enjoy my own company, become my own best friend.
It took a 10-year relationship, marriage and then divorce for the penny finally to drop! That I could feel lonelier IN a relationship than simply being on my own. In the midst. of that messy divorce one day I woke up and that empty hole inside of me that intellectually I had known was there, at a heart level was now gone, filled – by me!
I was alone – but feeling all-one – for the first time in my life.
“Stopping the world is not REALLY as NICE or as COMPLICATED as you seem to think it is! In fact, stopping the world is a great deal easier to do than to truly CHANGE yourself! Stopping the world simply means that you are ABLE to INTERRUPT your normal perception sufficiently, and for long enough, in order to KNOW that the world as you perceive it is merely a VIEW of the world and not the REAL world! The IMPACT of stopping the world is truly DRAMATIC, but there are no glorious lights or instant enlightenments! It is rather more in the nature of a very RUDE awakening to what a great big TWIT you have always been in swearing blind that your VIEW of the world is reality!”
I have been observing and studying a lot about the psychological impact that these pandemic days have had on my fellow humans. What I am mainly seeing is the effect that isolation has been having on all of us. We are creatures of connection, of being socially connected and take that away from us and we suddenly realise that enforced isolation is very different from a chosen self-isolation.
My lockdown days and weeks and months were spent with a dear friend with whom I have lived through our summer months for the past 5 years. So this Covid time for me was very special and he and I spent those months getting closer and closer to each other as we deepened our friendship.
Now I have a few weeks left in Europe my thoughts started turning to summer in Cape Town, just as SA announced we were heading down to Lockdown level 1 and that all international borders will open 1st October!
I announced this with excitement on a team meeting and the next morning apologised to my friend for requesting a bed to sleep in in his home publicly, without asking him first. I added that life has moved on since I left in June (only June!!) and now that he lives elsewhere with his partner I fully understand, if I need to make other plans.
His reply came quickly, warmly and most welcoming and that he isn’t at the house much anymore and the house could do with some livening up.
Bam! I was hit by this unexpected jolt of intense loneliness! Life ahead on my own looked bleak.
I stayed with this state of being as it was out of proportion and I quickly realised I had just returned from a few days out of Varna town with a few special friends and I had awoken that morning really missing their company. From the news in this email I had projected myself into an unknown future that looked very bleak on my own!
I then experienced the poignancy of how far I have come in wanting and allowing close connections with others and that it comes from a place of feeling good about myself - to believe that I want and deserve to have love and friendship in my life and that part of me was simply being “a great big TWIT for swearing blind that my VIEW of the world that I would be on my own in the future is reality”! LAMOF!
I have arrived! I am an ambivert!! And I am back to living life * as if the future had already happened! Lol!