The hole you feel inside your being, that dark strangely comforting place that has you believe you’re all alone and no one is here for you, and that you’re better off not being here, well that fucker is a liar. Let me tell you. One thing I’ve learned about loneliness is that it’s not anyone’s fault, it’s the black hole of beingness. It’s hard to get out of and you’ll never fill it up.
The anti-dote so to speak, is to do all the things you love, to laugh more, to hug more trees, and float down rivers, to star gaze and cloud watch, to smile at strangers and let their response soak into your bones because whether or not they smile back, you made a connection and they felt it, and that’s all that matters.
What I’ve come to believe, is that connection really is the anti-dote to the human ailment of loneliness. Connection to what you love, nature, someone you enjoy, an activity you want to pursue. It boils down to connection to something meaningful to you.
I don’t feel lonely often, but when I do, it’s always traceable to a deep sense of disconnect, that weirdly, quickly leads to a really fucked up sense of despair. Therefore it is imperative that I create, that I play, that I engage with positive people and do things I actually want to do.
Maybe you can relate to this, but I’ve noticed the disconnect can also appear when I’m too caught up in shit I don’t like doing, a life-plan that just isn’t fun anymore, a relationship that feels unsafe or that takes more than it gives.
I know too many people who think the hole of loneliness can be filled up with someone else’s love, ice cream, shoes, more money, bigger house, better car, and the list can go on. Sure, anything new feels like it’s filling something up, but I’ve personally learned is that it’s not actually filling up anything, it’s distracting me for a bit, allowing me to focus on something I enjoy, But as you know, ice-cream melts, it’s fucking temporary, alas, so is the enjoyment of it. Which brings us back to that shitty feeling we’re all trying to escape from.
My solution, and mine alone, is to take the focus off anything and anyone outside of myself, including god, unless god is a concept you’ve wholly digested ('I’ll explain that in another entry). If I write while I feel lonely and lost, like today, it helps me connect to myself, and that fucked up feeling slowly dissipates.
And once again, I feel connected to the only thing that ultimately matters, me.
Once I’ve reconnected, loneliness either dissipates or becomes something useful, rather than something I’m afraid of and trying to get rid of. I use it for something better than itself, guiding it and giving it purpose.
Now the black hole can’t destroy me.
In talking with my son over the christmas holiday, and hearing about his pain, I had this thought that pain simply needs a purpose, and can totally be put it to use. Too often, we lost in the pain, making it an identity rather than an experience.
I want to harness that shit into a solution, a business, a painting, a book, a kickass run, something better than itself.
Then go take a nap.
Loneliness might be telling us something is missing. It might be telling us something valuable. One thing I can guarantee, is that whatever it’s telling us, isn’t what we think. What if we feel into that aching black hole and get super curious. Loneliness has a voice and wants to tell us something.
My commitment: Listen for a bit. Just listen. Listen with the intent to hear something I’ve never heard before.
Loneliness isn’t here to hurt us. It’s definitely not meant to destroy us, but it can and will if it’s not harnessed.
I believe, it’s an alert system. A beacon. A guiding light towards something important. Or maybe it’s a pile of playdough ready to be made into something else.
I don’t really know what it is for anyone else. Only you know what it is for you. But definitely, absolutely don’t buy into the bullshit that it’s here to hurt you. In my experience ,that’s a misrepresentation of the message. Don’t fall for it.
I’m curious today about my own fowl mood. On top of a blustering headache, I feel a little lonely with a side of emptiness, despite the fact that my life is pretty awesome. I’m in a black hole. So I wrote this. Tomorrow I might read this and think holy-shit this is super dumb, but right now it’s helping me stay grounded while being curious about whatever fucking invitation this is for.
Shitty moods are really not that fun. Earlier today, I felt like I was swimming in a swamp of sadness, after holiday blues perhaps, but as soon as I started writing, it felt like all that energy and emotion was being harnessed into something better than itself. And I’ll be damned if this icky feeling fucks up my day.
My prescription for bad mood ala headache on top = Write till I can get out of bed. Get dressed at some point today. Hit the steam room. Smile at a stranger. Sing a song I know the lyrics too.
If I”m still lonely and feeling fowl after all this, I’ll write some more and maybe distract myself with a scoop of peppermint ice-cream.
Till next time.