Feeling alone while with another is loneliness at its worst. In those times something was not right outside of me, but also very much within. In every case a portion of the incompleteness was from being with the wrong person while the one I yearned for was far away. Sometime the “other one” was fabrication hope conjured in my imagination. And right there is a clue to what was going on then.
My loneliness for a long while was actually feeling lonely for “me”. Having become so well-practiced at running from myself it took an extended period of heightened loneliness to see that I could never be content with anyone until I was at peace with myself.
Then came the years of isolating and keeping others at a distance; a sentence of sorts I judged myself needy of. The tonic served to be a good cure in the long run. However there was an unhealthy aspect that self-imposed sentence. In time I came to see I was punishing myself for the pain I had caused others and came to self-forgiveness that healed me.
That was then, and this is now. The lonely depths I experienced were the most difficult days I have experienced. I spent my time in the shadowed valley of loneliness and learned well that it was an emptiness within that ailed me most. Being able to feel loneliness has not completely left me, but now I have a healthy strength to bear it when it comes to call on the more rare occasions it appears. Today within I am whole. I love who I am, imperfections and all (the majority of the time at least!).
Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way. From “White Oleander” by Janet Finch
Only in recent years was I even capable of loving as a man should be able to love. My experience in arriving here, allows me able to care with a depth that would be beyond what most might know. Ironically that gift came from great loneliness. I am grateful for the fullness of self I feel today and grateful for the pain that taught me how to be that way.
I love you.
I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long,
I will stay with you.
There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love.
I will protect you until you die,
and after your death I will still protect you.
I am stronger than Depression
and I am braver than Loneliness
and nothing will ever exhaust me.
From “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert