Aloneness

Lonely in a crowd.  Seeing everyone else chat and interact and feeling like I live in a glass bubble.  The feeling of being different, out of step, longing to feel included…how can I see anything good in feeling so isolated and alone?

I started my own group that included others.  I did it, we had a group of about 10 bloggers that truly connected.  It was awesome.  Then someone came on and divided and some bloggers went off line to never blog again that I know of.  I felt devastated.  The place I thought I belonged was gone.  I puzzled for a long time why it fell apart.

It was a loose group of connected people, a delicate balance easily pulled apart when conflict arose.

Then I realized that what I learned from aloneness is to recognize other people feeling alone too.  I felt compassion for those that felt shutout, left out, outside, neglected.  I knew what it was to be alone in a crowd so I can recognize someone else that is also feeling alone.  I also came to understand that NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can help me feel connected without my cooperation.  I needed to change to break through that glass bubble wall.  I also discovered that all those people that I thought were so connected and included also felt lonely.

I practiced connectedness.  I chose toddlers.  Yup, I hung out in a nursery school class as a ‘volunteer.’  I brought their lunches.  The children would cheer and the teachers encouraged them to thank me.  I sat with them after school and read stories while they crowded all around me.  I connected with all these amazing small persons.  I took this practice and started applying it to bigger people.  A bit scary from time to time, well actually most of the time.  I worked at stepping up and stepping into situations that scared me silly but did it any way.  I joined seminars and workshops that discussed how to help students feel connected.  Guess what?  The same skills that help a teacher connect with students help me connect with people.

Greet each person.

Notice and compliment achievements.

Encourage others when they are struggling.

I learned to connect when I allowed myself to feel vulnerable.  I learned a bunch of stuff from Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability.  https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

So what good was my feeling of aloneness?  That feeling encouraged me to move forward and make the effort to break down my personal barriers.  I am aware and watchful for others that are feeling lonely or shut out.  I step out of my bubble from time to time and make the effort to connect.  I start with the people closest to me, family and friends that are already dear to me.

Yup, it was a real stunner for me to realize I was creating my own aloneness for self protection.  I learned it is better to be alone than with an abuser.  I learned that I am worth knowing as a person and the only was people can get to know me if I practice and work at vulnerability.  I learned to love myself and love doing things alone.  Sewing, photography, painting are all solitary activities.

Now I am still alone but I am not lonely.  I can connect if I choose to but sometimes being alone is a lovely time to be with me.

 

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