“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.” ― Albert Einstein
Sometimes all it takes is an innocent question to make you doubt and second guess yourself.
As I was leaving work on New Year’s Eve a co-worker yelled out: Who will you be kissing at midnight? If ever a question was painful, this one was it! As I am waiting for the elevator I feel loneliness invading my being.
“Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it’s a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro
All of a sudden it feels like the entire world as having a party and I was not invited. The elevator doors open and I walk in, feeling like a zombie, feeling oddly disconnected from my body. I am saddened by the realization that I will not kiss or be kissed by anyone on New Year’s Eve. What a sin!
Up to that instant I was fine with being alone, I was even looking forward to it. I was proud of not having a problem being alone. I have been living away from my family for almost 30 years and I don’t have close friends living nearby, so I am no stranger to spending time/holidays alone. It doesn’t bother me. I welcome it as a sign of my strength and independence. The more time alone I spent the stronger and more independent I feel. So this feeling of loneliness was confusing me.
“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” ― C.S. Lewis
I stepped out into the cold New York air with my head buzzing with so many thoughts. I welcomed the 10 blocks ahead of me as a chance to collect my thoughts and try to organize them in some coherent form. I could feel self pity invading me.
Those 10 blocks were spent looking inward trying to find the source of my feelings. I was asking myself questions: What am I feeling? (cold, pain, self-pity) Why am I feeling this way?(is it based on reality or is it based on what society wants me to feel like?) Do I want to do anything about it? (yes I do, I don’t play victim well, I rather be the strong, self assured and independent type) What can I do about it? (lots, I can start by shifting my thinking and focusing on only goodness)
“I never really understood the word ‘loneliness’. As far as I was concerned, I was in an orgy with the sky and the ocean, and with nature.” ― Björk
I am happy to say that by the time I reached Grand Central Station I had already snapped out of it, and was back to my bubbly happy self. But still this is was a good humbling exercise in self-discovery.
I will have moments of doubt. I will have moments of feeling sorry for myself. I will have moments of feeling lonely. But none of those single moments define me or my future. Those moments serve to get to know myself better, to teach me to discern my feelings and to appreciate all I have. It helps me to confront myself and ask myself hard questions. It helps me to realize that it is okay to feel alone, weak, unsure, to have doubts, and a whole host of negative feelings and emotions every now and then. I am only human and not a super-being!
“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer
The way I got out of that victim mentality was to realize that I was alone by choice. And what amazing gift is to have choices! It is up to me to change whatever I am not happy with, but in this case there was nothing to change. I was not and I am not lonely. I am never alone, I have so many guardian angels. I feel their protection often. I relish walking into my empty apartment. It was just a second that I let “what the rest of the world is doing” get in my head.
I made a mental list of all the joys and blessings in my life – and there are so many! I am so loved by my family and I have so much love in my being for God, my family, friends, for all, that is impossible to be alone. The list of my blessings is infinite!
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” –― Charlotte Brontë
I am alone, but not lonely, that is always how I feel. I feel that my solitude is somewhat poetic and desirable. It is true that there are rare moments of loneliness. Actually I wouldn’t call it that, I would call “moments of longing for someone”. On a cold night such a tonight it would be awesome to have someone to cuddle with, actually it would probably save me some money on the utility bill. I am a hot blooded passionate fiery Aries Brazilian woman, I have needs ! 🙂 But I don’t want just a warm body. I want that special person. When the choice is being alone with somebody else or being alone by myself I will take being alone by myself every time!
“Language … has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” ― Paul Tillich
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating a life living solo. I am on a dating site because I think that life as part of a couple can be much better than single, but that is, only if I find someone that I think it is the right person for me. I am advocating being happy and content the way you are at the present moment, not feeling that you need to be or do a certain thing, or do what you think is expected of you. Do what is in your heart! Accept, love and respect yourself first! Love and appreciate all you have until you have everything you love and appreciate!
“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.” ― Rollo May
What I am saying is learn to spend time alone. Learn to spend time with yourself and appreciate the beauty of it. Get close to your loneliness, make friends with it, have some coffee with it and realize that it is not so bad. It can actually be very rewarding and productive. At the end of the day we are all alone!
“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”
― Albert Camus