For a few weeks now, I have been feeling a deep sense of settledness, settlement, within. I waited to see if it was just a bout of peace as I’ve experienced before, or something deeper. And it seems to me, more and more, that this feels like a filling-up from within. A kind of sufficiency that I am unable to put a finger on or find words to explain. And it’s come with the profound, but very quiet, realisation that I am mostly okay on my own. These are S’s words. We were talking about this the other day, each of us articulating the same thing even given the very opposing circumstances of our lives, and we were delighting in the fact that we’re in similar places of understanding of what it really truly means to be on one’s own.
What then, does one do with the constant thread of loneliness, and the need for connection that also exists, on the very flipped side of that same coin? It is there, all the time, undeniably so. A constant reminder that even as I discover facets of myself on a daily basis, unearthing unknown resources and reserves of self-love, and seeing how it manifests as new connection and healthy boundaries in my outer world, and even as I skim th surface of the well-spring of belonging within myself, and as I teach myself to dip in, drink of it and fill myself up, in the end I am all alone.
What do I do with this, I wondered.
The past three days especially, these thoughts have peaked, as I consciously and unconsciously made time to just be with and by myself. And I realised this is a new kind of loneliness. A kind of solitude I am happy to choose. It doesn’t come from feeling alone or abandoned. It doesn’t spring from messages unanswered, plans deferred or any such basic occurrence. It comes from a sufficiency that has been slowly welling up inside of me. A settledness, a feeling or oneness with who I am discovering myself to be. And an understanding and experience of space, around and inside of me. Even the words and thoughts I have been thinking as I feel my way through this has been different, from before.
Only after some thought, and careful processing did I realise that this loneliness, is different from before. And I shouldn’t mix them up and confuse myself. This is the loneliness of finding myself. This is the slow, but full sweeping understanding of what it means to be enough. And that in the end, even with all our connections, relationships, families and society at large, we are all alone. That it is possible to hold my space, connect and feel utterly lonely all at once. Minus the fear, minus the abandonment that was once so easily triggered, minus the panic, minus the desperate need to distract myself from it.
It took a while to notice that this is no longer cerebral, and somewhere when I wasn’t looking has found a place somewhere deeper. I only realised it when I noticed that in flashes, in many little moments, acts of putting myself first and looking out for myself, that something has changed in the way I am presenting myself to the world. There is this new person slowly emerging from the bed of fertile soil that I have been nurturing — feeding, nourishing, watering, wand waiting over — for the past so many months. This new person feels lonely, but I am able to be with it and let it flow through, without
much any effort at all. It has less control over me, doesn’t grip me in angst or desperation to connect and find people or things to fill it up with. Instead, when it presents itself, it sometimes makes me feel settled, near-perfect. And that was a confusing feeling, until I figured out what has actually happening.
This person has been showing up more and more of late, and I can’t wait for her to find her whole self and emerge. The process thrills me, and makes me feel like this, right here, is me living my best life. It feels so darn good to have this be a conscious, deliberate part of my life. This is the healthiest, fittest, most happy and mentally fulfilled I have felt in many years.
One year ago: Home where my love lies waiting