Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Loneliness


I believe that loneliness is one of the biggest epidemics of our time. Every day we see people rushing around speaking on their cell phones, writing a hundred emails, but are they connecting?How often do we talk at each other instead of to each other? What's the difference? How often do we not feel heard? How many people are writing blogs, hoping, just hoping that someone will read and leave a comment so that they can know that someone out there in the world heard them.

This is something that pains me a great deal and that I've struggled with. I've felt the intense loneliness of not feeling like I am with "my people," my tribe. I've also known that I have not done all that I can to be a part of the solution to loneliness. I do my best to let the people in my life know that I love and value them. I try to have positive interactions with all of the people I encounter in my life. I endeavour to be a good listener and listen for what's really important about what someone's telling me, not necessarily the words, but what's underneath them.

And yet I know that with my busy life, I often don't spend enough time just loving and enjoying the people around me. I often don't connect as often as I should, and I know that I can be a bit distant with people. Honestly, intimacy kind of frightens me. A great revelation that helped me be a bit less hard on myself in this area was when I read the book The Highly Sensitive Person. I connect deeply, love people easily and feel things intensely. And the flipside of that is that I need lots of alone time to recharge.

So paradoxically, I believe that to be part of the solution for loneliness, I need to be sure I get alone time. I need to have time to breathe and charge my batteries, to empty myself out so that I am ready to be filled again when I open my heart and soul to deep connection, real listening and compassionate being.

6 comments:

Felicity said...

Hey I feel that way too--I think that a lot of people who focus on their creativity--I don't want to say creative people b/c I believe we are all creative--but folks who pay attention to & nurture their creative sides, are often highly sensitive. It's what feeds the creativity, no, being intensely aware of things? I feel the same, often.
Lovely pix of Holland, btw! i thoroughly enjoyed looking at them but couldn't think of a thing to say!

melba said...

I know...
There is a big difference between lonliness and being alone.
I like being alone.
I don't like feeling lonely.
For the last year...since I started blogging and had my children and have a husband...because of all that I don't really feel lonely anymore (But I use to all the time in my 20's feel lonely and sad)
But sometimes now I am searching for a deeper connection. I am writing a post about it now. (It is in my art journal so it takes me two days to color the pages)
It is interesting though because since I wrote in my journal I have read several posts like yours.
We are searching for each other...

JUST ME said...

Hello,

I consider myself such a Highly sensitive person and in a way it's good but at the same time it's my down fall... I am going through something lately where I don't really want to be around gossipy or not nice people.... Getting anxiety attacks because I can't handle it.... I just started back into the work force after being a stay at home mom for almost 5 years... It was the best thing to do for my children, but for me I think it made me thinner skinned and now I have to relearn how to be out there again when before I was in my own little space by myself in a secure bubble.....

I do love intensly, but now my sensitivity is my enemy.

Laini Taylor said...

I hear you -- I feel like such a hermit, I need so much time alone with myself and my projects and my own mind. Then I regret not actively building friendships -- I wish there was more time, but I'm getting to be okay with maintainting and nurturing a small group of wonderful friends. I do get wistful, though, for more sitting around talking and laughing, drinking wine and just living.

Sacred Suzie said...

Connecting? Nope, I don't think it's happening very much with people either. There are a lot of people who don't have anyone to call even if they had cell phones. I try and be good to all the people I bump into, whether it's at a store or during my walks. There are probably there who rarely get truly "seen", let alone be spoken to.

liz elayne said...

this resonates deeply with me my dear. deeply.
thank you for expressing this in the way that you have here.