The changing face of loneliness

The full moon drives me crazy and energizes me in equal measure. But this time around there is undercurrent of peaceful settlement in the awareness of a shift in my response to a recurring situation in my life. There is a blinding awareness of letting people go not necessarily being The End, but merely an opportunity to shift gears, a natural progression of new roles that fit our new ever-changing beings, an opportunity to see how my true self is met.

A peaceful settling has followed.

That feeling of being stuck in the riptide has gently passed, and in its place is a calm, collected, centredness.

It came to my attention all of a sudden when I was in a situation that would usually have torn me up, caused a lot of FOMO and instant hurt. That hurt and the fear of losing out would typically have made me bend over backwards and turn my plans around to make myself available. To be seen, to make myself present, to be in the place of being chosen. But neither happened. The hurt didn’t come. It still hasn’t. And the plans haven’t budged.

Ever since the articulation of the thread of loneliness that grips my life has come to my attention, I’ve been watching myself closely. Observing all the things that loneliness makes me do and feel. All the things I do to avoid feeling it, and just how much I go out and beyond my true self to fight it. Consequently, I’ve been questioning my true motivation in making myself available for my friends is, and which of my friends seem to trigger this response more, and which of them I truly want to give this privilege to.

I’ve realised I live with a deep fear of people leaving me. Even as I have worked on accepting it, it’s a hard one to crack and the effects of it persist. These last 10 days have tested my beliefs in this regard, putting me repeatedly in situations that trigger this fear, and forcing me to rethink a lot of them. But it was only in the subtle shifts in my reactions and responses that I realised that I have moved from mere thought, to living a small change.

***

This situation was a clear signal of people moving away, of changing dynamics. In another time, it would have sent me into an internal tizzy. But I am only now realising what this natural movement of people away from each other means and feels like. And for the first time, the hurt reaction hasn’t rushed in because I have fully realised that people (me included) moving away isn’t a reflection on me or my worth.

In the absence of hurt, the fear has less of a grip on me too. It was only when I saw myself standing my ground, not even so much as considering changing my plans and making myself available that I realised this is what it means to be me, in full acceptance of that fear. Waiting to see what it does

It was also particularly liberating to see that this stand didn’t come from a place of hubris or rebellion, but rather just gently being nudged in the direction of the most obvious, natural progression, and being made to see that sometimes when I show my true self (something I am otherwise convinced will make people bolt), people will stay.

***

Yesterday, I got flaked on. Flaking and flakey people get to me like little else does. And I have been examining why that is — beyond the obvious, of course. Not only does it really enrage me, it also usually sends me down an unnecessarily harsh and self-critical loop of why-does-this-always-happen-to-me thoughts, where I wonder if it’s something in me that attracts the energy of compulsive ditchers and undependable people who can just never be there for me when I need it.

There is a sense of powerlessness in that line of thinking, that I have picked up on recently. I am constantly recreating situations in my life where I hand over the power to the other to be there for me.

Today though, after precisely 1.5 minutes of anger, I was able to pause and see why this situation bothered me, to step back into my own power and realise this too isn’t about me. This is about some people and their tendency to flake. It isn’t a reflection on me, or my worth. All I could do then is express my displeasure honestly and clearly, in the hope that it will not repeat. I didn’t feel so bad anymore once I’d done that.

There was little rage. There was absolutely no angst.

There was loneliness, though.
Just a smidgen of it. But it didn’t unsettle me.

For the first time, it didn’t tear me apart. It fit in, found a place in my heart and completed me, instead.

For what felt like the first time, I felt this its entirety. In my being and not just in my head.

Yes, I feel lonely when I get flaked on. This is just the way it is.

Then I took it with me for coffee by my lonesome. I wrote that letter I was to write to myself at the start of the year. I finished an assignment for today. I watched the traffic and felt a strange love for this city and this wonderful place I’m inand the opportunities it offers, to do this.

***

I realise my life can never swing fully to one side. There will always be bouts of loneliness, when I will want space and distance, when people will disappoint me, when friends will leave, when things will not go the way I imagine, when I will feel a deep lack of love and connection. But there will also always be, as I have rewired my brain enough to see and acknowledge everyday, other kinds of love and connection. I don’t need to be hung up on getting love and affirmation in only one form from a limited set of sources my mind imagines. If I’m willing to open my heart and look at the world with openness, there are opportunities for connection everywhere.

The difference I feel since last week, like the big release of an old way of thinking, is that I’ve loosened my grip. I’ve let it go just a bit. There is a little less hankering and that desperate hope that people remain the way they are, in the places they are in my life, no longer grips me. There is less grieving the space they occupied when they (or I) begin to move away.

What there is, is an exciting expansive sense of space for something new.

One year ago: How about me enjoying the moment for once

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2 thoughts on “The changing face of loneliness

  1. Pingback: On duality

  2. Pingback: Full moon magic

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