The strange thing about loneliness is that we believe we are the only one who experiences it – I think it’s time we talk more about it. (For the recORd, why I keep emphASizing words within words I have no idea, although sometimes I worry it is some sort of OCD) For such a universal emotion it has such a taboo associated with it. I suggest uniting throughour loneliness, or as philosopher/theologian Pierre Teilard de chardin puts it, “When we feel that we are really alone in the world, we will begin to love one another.”

As a usually single person I used to believe those residing in the strange “coupledom” I’d seen movies about never had this emotion. I realize now married, single, living alone, or with roommates…aloneness is everywhere. It sneaks up mostly for me on those quiet nights just before bed when I reach the danger zone of being alone in my apartment for more than an hour.

I’ve learned to distinguish among the several varieties of loneliness. There’s the genuine, I’ve-been-spending-too-much-time-alone-type. One of my personal favorites, I’m-bored-and-it’s-either-eating-or-feeling-something-time. This pops up when I’m avoiding something such as writing a paper, dealing with an emotion, or looking at my bank account. And sometimes I just get a case of the blues during a certain time of the month that exacerbates any emotion.

I think many people, myself included sometimes, keep ourselves so busy so we don’t even have a few moments of silence. Who knows what will show up in this “spare” time – sadness, fear, or (insert gulp) even loneliness. So yes, I get lonely and no, I don’t need to do anything about it. No cheesy quotes about having a love affair of one, or it’s not lonely, just spending time with my favorite person…blah blah. Loneliness has something to teach me, it’s my job to hear it, and notice what it needs to say this time around.

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