December 31, 2011

The Sound of Loneliness

H.A.L.T.   I "understand" hungry, angry, and tired. 

But what exactly is the nature of "Loneliness?"  And  do I resolve it, alone? 

For most of my growing up,  I waited to be delivered from my loneliness.  I dreamed that once I left home, I would find that  special someone who would understand my every mood, who would "always be there for me and bring a smile to my face."  I'd finally have the love I deserved when that one person came to my rescue!

I thought I had no choice but to wait.  And wait.  
In my worst of times, what a story line I had for myself. Secretly, I felt cursed, and more than once I had to ask myself, "What I had done wrong?"   

When I first encountered Emotions Anonymous in 1991, our program did not have an explicit gratitude practice. (We had the promises, which we are told are the by-product of doing Step Nine).  It was from a therapist that my program got its kick start. She made me do a gratitude list. To "look for the good" in  each day.  

It is when I focused on gratitude that my story of isolation and "terminal specialness"  began to crumble. "Gratitude" would not let me stay so stuck on my terrible illness, with its poor prognosis. I could not stay focused on the phone that did not ring.  I experienced how gratitude gave my heart something nourishing and that nourishment restored me. I relied less and less on  this waiting for someone else to love me into existence.  When I thought about how much I had to be grateful for, my fantasy of someone else saving me, showed itself to be a shadow on my soul. 

Reality showed me simple and amazing truths. There was nature to uplift me, food to be prepared that was beautiful and colorful. There were others on the recovery path, sharing what they were doing to get well. Our EA group was easy, but respectful,  with hugs, kleenex, smiles and conversation.   There were my friends from around the country, who sent short but surprisingly insightful letters about recovery. There was a co-worker who shared his spiritual beliefs with me, and there was the excellent writing workshop that brought me back to the power of journaling, where I could learn to be my own best friend. 

Slowly I began to become confident in  the resilience I naturally possessed. I had been able to  "no" to my mother and tell her when it was time to go home, even when I was still in hospital. I was able speak up privately to folks in program about my point of view, when I disagreed with them. 

I even came to appreciate this dark time in my life for all it taught me about trusting myself. 

If I am stuck in self-pity, waiting for an "Ideal Friend" to love me,  what am I denying myself right now? "If I can't recognize the love that already exists in my life, would I really appreciate receiving more?"  Might there be enough love around me already, that I am brushing aside waiting to recognize that "one imaginary person?"  

What if I am the "Ideal Friend" I have been waiting for?

Let me recognize what has already been given to me-- out loud or in my daily journal. Appreciating the pieces of love already in my life, might give me the chance to nurture the love I need, inside myself. 

 "Thank you" is a prayer, with countless blessings for this life and the next...

This share is based on the December 5th reading of Courage to Change.  Does it bear too  strong a fingerprint?  


  1. Prayers, gratitude and affirmations are my daily fare. We all yearn for connections yet if we are not connected within we will surely not be able to connect without. Thanks for the great post Smitty.

  2. Wonderful post Smitty. "Shadow of my soul", I can relate to this... I lived for many years yearning that fantasy person to accept me and make me happy. Today it is a blessing to find happiness and acceptance within myself. Although, I can easily slip back into that fantasy world, so I have to work daily to live in the moment and be grateful for what I have right now. I don't want to miss or waste another moment of life!

  3. Your message is one of hope to me. Thank you for it. Reality has so many simple and amazing truths - indeed! Happy day and happy new year, too...

  4. Thank you for this post. Taking a new approach helps shift my old patterns. I have enjoyed reading your blog this year. I would enjoy your experience strength and hope on my blog.
    Happy New Year!

  5. Di-Git, I am often open to share on others blogs. Tell me how to do this, as it seems I cannot access yours to read and comment...

    Cheers in 2012~


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~