“The funny thing is when you start feeling happy alone, that’s when everyone decides to be with you” -Jim Carrey
Let’s talk about connection baby, let’s talk about me and….me. I am a self proclaimed ambivert (50/50 intro and extro) and do a lot of the typical ‘couples’ things by myself (eat dinner, binge watch Handmaid’s Tale, travel, grocery shop). I have a great group of friends, amazing family and tons of acquaintances and colleagues that I love spending time with. I have a beautiful and fulfilling life that looks pretty great on Instagram and truth be told, is pretty fantastic in real life. I am pleased with my ability to own that sometimes I want to be alone and that makes me a better woman all around.
There is a societal impression, a general consensus, that being alone equates to being without. There is an undercurrent of pity and edginess when you self identify as alone (or introverted or single). I’ve found myself defending my alone-ness before, without provocation. The person on the other side of the conversation didn’t say anything wrong, probably just asked me if I was dating anyone; and my own insecurity about what it means to be single (and liking it) kicked in. “Oh you know me, dating everyone and no one” ...hilarious.
The truth is I live in this inbetween world of loving my complete independence (or as my good friend Kris says, “Free Agent Status”) and feeling like I have to love it because it’s been laid at my doorstep (like a birthmark or a hand-me-down car). My other choice is to loathe it and feel enslaved by it? Nah; anyone who is a student of Abraham Hicks knows that you must love your current circumstances (like, ACTUALLY love them) if you are going to intentionally manifest something different. So, I REALLY love my Free Agent Status, I hug her up real good every day. It has afforded me to be selfish and creative. It has allowed me growth and freedom that I never knew existed. I hold it loosely with gratitude and an ongoing curiosity of what else it is here to teach me.
And sometimes, late at night or early in the morning, I remember what it’s like to be partnered or to be truly loved unconditionally by another. Those bookend wisps of the day, the witching hours, when your spirit is quiet and loud in tandem; these are the moments of vulnerability and twang of poignancy. I realize that in the delight of being alone, there are moments of loneliness. I am not exempt because I claim boldness and partnership with my aloneness; I continue to be a human that desires connection and sometimes, I recognize the absence of it. It can be palpable and uncomfortable to rest in; however, I feel like there is something in that inner twist that I am supposed to listen to. Again, this belongs to me; just like any other emotion. It is not my house that I live in, but it is a stiff wind on a sunny day. A bit of a distraction and just demanding enough to catch your attention.
The illusion of loneliness is that it belongs to the single, the introverted, the ones who are physically alone, the ones who are distraught or in visceral pain. The truth is that it is an emotion that mirrors our disconnection from ourselves. It’s an emotion that belongs to all of us. It illuminates dark corners of our heart that have the ability to be neglected during the day, when distraction and movement is our buoy. There is nothing to be afraid of when this emotion shows up; it is only indicating that you are a human who has a heartbeat. It is a reminder to me to open up my heart and invite in friendship and love. It is reminder that as the gatekeeper of my heart, perhaps I have been too vigilant in minding the borders. Time to tear down the wall, or loosen up immigration laws...or...shit, I’ve entered a whole separate conversation. Point being: loneliness is a self inflicted emotion that surfaces when I keep others out and at a distance and when I label myself as separate from.
There are no good and bad emotions; that is a fallacy. Our emotions are just a lighthouse on the shore; beckoning us towards something. There is a unhelpful belief that if you feel something it must be given a value; begin with recognition and curiosity and leave the evaluation behind. Loneliness is neither good or bad; it just is. Marianne Williamson stated in 'A Return To Love', “We think we have many problems but we only have one: denying love.” Both loneliness and physical aloneness are call to actions that allow us to return to love; love of ourselves and others. They are both the mirror and the avenue through where we are called back to the basic truth that we are here to remember: only love is real. Everything else is meaningless.