I’ve been such a social butterfly lately – flitting from one outing to the next – that when I finally do get a moment alone, when I do get a chance to sit and be with me, I feel lonely. I feel like I want to pick up the phone and call someone and have them come over even though it’s 10:30 at night. Or I’ll want to immerse myself in reading, watching t.v., browsing the internet. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, or the occasional escapism. What I’m saying though is when it comes to a point where I feel uncomfortable sitting alone in my apartment, that’s a problem.
I don’t feel this way all the time, just sometimes. I love and approve and accept myself but sometimes, when I’m home alone on a Friday night (by my own choice I should add), I feel lonely. The place where I’m coming to is I realize being in the presence of other people won’t solve the problem; it will only mask it for a while. Just like I cannot depend on others to “make” me happy nor do I believe other people can “take away” my loneliness, anymore than they could take away fear or sadness. It’s liberating and also obnoxious to realize I feel what I want to feel. That includes loneliness.
In this moment I feel lonely because I’m choosing to feel lonely. In this moment I’m choosing to lament my single-girl status, my Friday night solitude. In point of fact there are many loved ones in my life. In truth I have plans from now until mid-August. I’m not saying this to brag about how popular I am, but to illustrate how it’s all a matter of perspective. I can choose to continue feeling lonely or I can embrace the times I’m alone. I can choose to feel empty because there’s no one for me to turn to and say, “Sometimes Isla Fisher looks like Alicia Silverstone,” or I can rejoice in this period of rejuvenation. In this blessed time where I get to be with just me, where I get to worry about me alone, where I get to take care of myself without worrying about anyone else. What a gift! What a blessing! I can choose to thank the universe for this period all to myself where I get to be with just me or not.
The truth is I am always connected to the Divine source, even when I feel like I’m not. The truth is God surrounds me at all times and also resides within me. It’s up to me to remember that.
I’m also reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, the founder of the yoga and meditation group I’m a part of:
“Whatever the reason for this vast universe, as long as this universe continues to exist, I am here to love you. The force that guides the stars guides you too: here, into my loving embrace. I am yours.”
When I consider that how can I possibly feel lonely? When I consider the force that created all of existence guides me, loves me, showers me with grace, why would I choose to feel disconnected from it all?
I say right here in this moment I choose to feel gratitude for having this opportunity to nourish myself. I feel grateful I can be alone with me and do the things I wish to do. I choose to recognize loneliness, like the many other emotions I experience, is my choice. That I can choose to feel lonely or not. I say I’d rather feel full and content and complete as I am in this moment. That I’d rather recognize I am surrounded by God’s love at all times. That God’s love pervades me at every moment.
I dream of a world where people recognize they are in charge of their minds. Where they realize it’s ok to feel all their emotions, even the less-than-pleasurable ones. Where they embrace all their feelings and allow themselves to enjoy the full spectrum. Where they recognize even when they’re in solitude they are still steeped in God’s love.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.