Loneliness and Acceptance
Loneliness is something I have struggled and suffered with most of my life. The first time I remember feeling that deep empty place in my middle I was in high school. I used to love to walk facing into the wind. Something about the wind blowing on me and into my face felt like it was touching deep inside, and like I was being “aired out”, and when I would come in from a brisk walk I was in a better frame of mind.
It is true that we come alone into this world, and though others may be there to greet us, and also to say “good-by” when we exit, we leave this world alone, too. A long time friend crossed the threshold yesterday after a lengthy and painful struggle with breast cancer. She was surrounded by loving friends who were quietly singing sacred chants as she wanted. I am sad to lose yet another friend but I am so relieved she is no longer suffering. I don’t think any of us wish our loved ones to linger in those circumstances.
When I got the news I spent some time thinking about what I know about death and dying. I’ve attended many adults dying in my nursing career. That has been a long learning process for me. I’ve also lost some close family members. The first death I witnessed was an elderly woman who also died of breast cancer and I felt very sad. She was a favorite of mine in long term care. I had a lot of learning to do and many experiences to live through between then and now. I must say it is a blessing to both attend a birth and a dying. There is much rejoicing at a healthy lusty baby arriving in this world, but the passage into death is usually accompanied by quiet and somber mood and tears, and often thankful relief. The first birth I attended I shed copious tears, too, of joy! But never have I yet witnessed joy at a dying.
I do believe I have a life purpose and that I am still finding my way. I used to always have at least one best friend in my life and always longed to be part of a couple when I was single. I’ve learned one can be part of a couple, or part of any gathering or group and still feel lonely and alone. I lived in a like-minded community of adults one time and thrived however by the end of my tenure my loneliness had returned. There is no lonelier feeling to me than to be among those who love me and feel that deep yearning of loneliness.
Last night I had my most recent experience. I spent an evening with a very close friend, one who I often confide in. Through life circumstances this dear friend has come to be the platonic roommate of the woman from whom I am most recently and painfully separated. We did enjoyable activities, dinner, movie, a tad bit of shopping and an ice cream treat. As the evening wore on the yearning inside of me grew as I experienced a need to confide my relationship pain for some words of wisdom from my friend, and for sake of good, healthy boundaries was unable to do this with her. The inspirational quote posted above “Be okay with where you are. You are there for a reason…” kept showing up behind my eyelids. I am grateful, even a bit proud of myself, for maintaining healthy boundaries as I adhered to this reminder. I became deeply sad as I experienced the full weight of my loss. Then I began to move more toward a more peaceful place of acceptance.
For some reason I am meant to be experiencing the fullness of my aloneness and my loneliness here on this Earth, and to be living it at this moment. This morning upon waking I’d become willing, and I gave in and “turned it all over” to God. Please, God, take this burden of pain and suffering from me. Whatever is your will for my life please show me the path and remove any obstacles, and I will follow. As I often do when overwhelmed with psychic pain I briefly wanted to follow Robin Williams, but I rejected that and agreed to stay.
It is no secret that I have a longing to be of service to the population of “super morbidly obese” adults who desperately want to change their lives. Through writing and verbalizing my own life experiences the desire grows. At first I thought a book was the way, but it doesn’t seem to be coming together, so perhaps not. Some of my other strengths have been teaching, and sharing with others my personal experiences. I’ve wanted to pull together my skills, life experiences, interests and passions for some time now. A Yogini friend of mine has encouraged me to look into obtaining a YTT certificate. As I have a long passion for yoga, and a personal affinity for Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Chair Yoga it seems like a good thing to do. However the program itself, plus room and board, is very expensive, and seems humanly un-doable to me at this time. So, I said a prayer out loud to The Universe, if it is meant to be please show me the way and remove any obstacles so that I may be of service to those still hurting and suffering. We will see. So be it. Namaste.
As a post script I want to include that my maternal grandmother to whom I felt very close suffered a very terrible loneliness in her life. She had episodes of severe depression, and also a lot of losses from her life by the time she reached 89 years at the time of her death.
Through my search and research for spiritual meaning and understanding in my life I’ve come to believe the intense yearning, often referred to as emptiness inside, or loneliness, is a personal longing for “home”, for “God”, to return home from whence we came. That makes sense to me especially as I believe we came from a place of Great Light and Unconditional Love. Though there is much beauty to appreciate in this world, on our Earth, there also is a lot of despair. Why would we not yearn to return to Unconditional Love?