Recently I saw an TV advertisement whereby a woman said it was far better to have someone choose and want you for the you that you are rather than the person you are pretending to be. But doesn’t that bespeak confusion in itself? I mean if you are pretending to be someone else, how will you ever see or know the real you? And therefore, how will you ever be wanted for the you that you are? More importantly, what sort of a person are you pretending to be anyway and why?
Some lessons are so hard for us to accept and learn in this life. Some teachings seem so distant or elusive that few of us ever get to assimilate their wisdom in particular, not from our well meaning parents who more often than not, didn’t have the support and guidance to excel at life either.
In a recent documentary on SBS TV about loneliness, where they referred to the condition as an epidemic, the show provided an incredible overview of people and their experiences. Thankfully the show was guided by the interviewees and they were all very different so that a broad range of interpretations could be alluded to. They were different ages, living in different locations, with different educations, alone for different reasons, and with different values/life experiences. Interestingly several (not all) of the people interviewed talked about the need to “fix” their loneliness and that a new partner or close friend or lots of friends around them all the time would see to it. Again I wondered at the lack of self work which had been engaged upon or, perhaps more importantly, provided as opportunity for these people during their lives? After all, if the problem of loneliness was just a surface issue they would be right to bandage it appropriately with more or closer and “new” friendships/partners etc. However, loneliness is to a large degree, a state of mind. The word itself (like “single”) describes a particular period of our life and doesn’t categorize as bad or good or anything in between. Loneliness in our minds, has attachments which we have given it but for most people, the associations are of fear. In my experience the 2 most common fears are:
- Fear of being alone and without care from anyone else (in the world)
- Fear of being with ourselves (few people have taken time to meet and know themselves, too scary and complicated apparently).
Men who have divorced remarry a third of the time compared to only a quarter with woman. And when the percentage for potential failure (67%) is higher than the first marriage, why oh why would men do so? I have had friends (male) who insist, there is no time in this life for being alone and, in most instances, there is apparently nothing worse. As a celebrant of 8 years I was always weary of people who would use words in their vows like “you complete me” or, “without you I am less”. Good grief, what images and perceptions do we have of ourselves after-all? But, as my young and wise daughter reminds me often:
You have to love yourself before you are capable of giving and receiving love from someone else
Perhaps most interestingly, from the documentary mentioned above, one of the elderly participants who lived alone on a large acreage and was, for all intent and purposes, self sufficient, spoke of love, and calm, and peace, and spiritual growth, and in fact, happiness! There was a wisdom about her which came across even on the show and I would expect, it had relevance to her understanding of her self and the space in life with which she occupies.
Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone
We can all aspire to be better people, learn more about life and in particular, about ourselves. In doing so our capacity to engage with others on the deepest of levels will, ironically, increase also. We can seek out those teachers which pertain to our levels of understanding best and we can apply those teachings in private to ourselves. We can find time to sit alone and quietly every week (or every day better still) and simply be with what we are and, whoever we are becoming. We can diarise our thoughts, not for re-reading or prosperity, but because the process of externalization can solidify and expedite our understandings. And, we can teach others, not as people pretending to be masters, but as real people who humbly know only what we know and nothing more.
What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.
In doing so, you, like I, might find that when alone time comes, whether by choice or inadvertent circumstances, you see and feel it far more differently than would have been the case otherwise. You may find that life is rich and full of peace and that the feeling is predominantly, a welcome thing. You will move closer and closer to true happiness and in doing so begin to attract only the highest quality of people into your life. And ultimately, you will discover that you are complete and that additional “sprinkles” will surely top off the flavorsome act you call life but will never again, be needed to make it a whole, full, or otherwise finished and tasty dish!.
Why Divorced Men are Quick to Remarry Again: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/vicki-larson/why-divorced-men-are-quic_b_980121.html
SBS, The Age of Loneliness: https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/725633091645/the-age-of-loneliness