Feeling lonely on days of love

Umbrella, rain, alone, solitary, lonely, Romania

Loneliness is a feeling of isolation and disconnection that is cold and miserable, wherever you are. It can be worse at a noisy party than alone in the rain.

In these days running up to Valentine’s Day and its Romanian version Dragobete and Martisor, we are fed images of romance and love, and the whole world seems wrapped in a rosy haze of togetherness. But what about those who don’t feel the love? Who feel disconnected, isolated, and invisible?

Loneliness feels so much worse on these days when you’re supposed to be happy – especially in Romania, where the culture is so family-orientated and open-hearted. The upcoming love-fests can be agonising for those who feel …. Read more…

 

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Happy New Year!

The 2008-09 Melbourne NYE fireworks, as seen f...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Are you having a good New Year’s Eve? I’m in California this time, where we’re some of the last to reach 2013. Europe and further East is already into next year.. how does it look?

If this has been a tough year for you, I wish you joy and warmth and deep connection for the coming year.

Remember… To banish loneliness, what you need to do is this:

• Recognise that because we are one with all of life, we can never be truly alone. Humans are just one form of life on this extraordinary planet, and that connecting with any other form of life nurtures us.

• Connect. Get in touch. I mean, literally. We need to touch life and connect in ways we can really feel. You know the difference. There’s the polite touch of a formal handshake, or the pragmatic touch of a hospital worker moving a patient. The energy exchange is low and there is next to no connection. Compare the feeling of picking up your child for a hug, or being pulled close by your partner. Come to that, a welcome from your dog, or your cat, or your horse. Even the blossoming of a plant you grew from seed.

* Explore your inner world, and discover that the void you always thought was inside you was just an illusion. When you see and hear and feel the great torrent of light and energy that makes you alive, you’ll know you’re full of life, and you can let the life shine out of you. People are drawn to life and light, whether it’s sunlight or a warm smile. That’s when you begin to draw people towards you – they won’t be able to resist.

* Give, share, include. When you feel lonely, the instinct is to conserve what we can, to keep as much energy to ourselves so that we survive and stay warm. But that too is an illusion. The fabulous truth is that the more warmth, affection, kindness, enthusiasm, and love we give out, the more we have, and the more we receive.

Have a wonderful 2013 which sees you attracting everything you long for, and saying farewell to loneliness. May you be full of life!

Intimacy – we all want it, but can you define it?

“Intimacy is the opposite of loneliness, I get that. But that takes me only halfway to enlightenment. The trouble is, I can’t put my finger on what intimacy is. It’s one of those words that I understand on a cellular level, but struggle to define.”

Close and loving, mother and son, intimate

Mother and child have the most intimate relationship of all – for the first nine months of life, at the least

Sophia Dembling writes in online mag Psych Central about intimacy, trying to find the intangible something in its definition.

Merriam-Webster online defines intimacy as the state of being intimate, and defines the intimate as:

1 a : intrinsic, essential

b : belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature

2 : marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity <intimate knowledge of the law>

3 a : marked by a warm friendship developing through long association <intimate friends>

b : suggesting informal warmth or privacy <intimate clubs>

4 : of a very personal or private nature <intimate secrets>

Sophia concludes with this paragraph:

“Intimacy requires more but I’m not sure what. I’m not even sure exactly what it is, except that I know it when I feel it.

Her feeling is spot on. She has touched on it several times in her article, which Merriam-Webster fails to do.

Go to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, and you find the clue. Intimacy’s derivation is the latin phrase tunica intima, the under-tunic, the garment worn next to the skin. The OED goes on to define intimacy and intimate using words like deep, close, connection.

The intangible extra that you’re missing, Sophia, is actually the tangible element. Touch, contact, connection. If you only put your physical finger on it, you’ll have put your metaphorical finger on it.

The fundamental factor in intimacy is being next to the skin – inside the social barrier we all keep around us for all but our intimate friends and family.

Everyone needs their own space, and everyone unconsciously sets their own rules for distance. Think of meeting someone for the first time – you probably stand at handshaking distance. Once you know them better, begin to trust them, maybe find them attractive, you may be within arm’s length, but only when you really trust them, like them and are attracted to them (not just sexually), do you let them get close – perhaps within hugging distance. That’s intimacy.

Intimacy is feeling comfortable body-to-body, and even skin to skin. It’s not just a sexual thing. It’s a parent holding their baby in their arms; girlfriends sitting next to each other, touching at shoulder, hip and knee. It’s lovers, arms entwined and holding hands; it’s child cuddled by grandparent… It’s an unconscious state of trust and affection – you don’t think about it, you’re just there, in touch and connected.

So, Sophia, I hope this makes sense to you and fills the gap in your definition. Stay in touch.

 

Three ways to keep loneliness from the door

In the middle of a long post on her blog 1000 single days, Vanessa has this to say about loneliness, and why is hasn’t hit her so far.

“The reason that I believe I have not experienced loneliness thus far can be put down to a few things. Firstly, I am too fricken busy for loneliness right now. When you raise 2 young boys and a teenage girl on your own while studying a full time degree and writing a blog, while working out like crazy every day due to ‘Operation Banging Body’, when you get a knock at the door, and you open it, and there is loneliness standing there with his bags packed, ready to move in, you just have to shrug your shoulders, apologize, explain there is simply no room, and close the door.

Secondly, I have said it before, but my friends and my family. I really do believe that I may just have the most incredible network of friends, and a more remarkable family than anyone could hope for. They all support me in this crazy thing I am doing of course, and just as I would never have begun writing if not for them, nor had the courage to begin this journey, I would not have the strength to finish it if they were not such a huge part of my life. I am often told by my nearest and dearest, that they are noticing I am changing. I am becoming strong. That I seem more at peace. That there is not only a happiness in my face, but a joy coming from inside me somewhere.
When you receive feedback like that from people you know tell it like it is, it is a huge deal. I have spent the last few years being told ‘Whats happening to you Ness, you’re changing…. you seem so sad.’ One friend told me not too long ago that my eyes didn’t have any life in them anymore. How hard is it to hear things like that? Its devastating. How is it to hear that they believe you are coming back to life? Rising up from a close call, a near death experience? Its wonderful, and I need to hear it.

Finally, just as getting to know a person who you have just met, inside out may take a lifetime, getting to know who I am, especially after neglecting to do so up until this point means I have a lot of catching up to do, and loneliness will not translate from a mere word into an experience for as long as I am making an acquaintance with myself. I have begun by learning the real ABCs of Vanessa. For the first time in my life, I actually have a favorite colour (Hot Pink) and I have finally come out of the musical closet and embraced the fact I love filthy rap music, (my itunes is sounding a lot more ‘gansta’ these days) And the whole ‘Banging body’ thing came about because I had enough time to think and realise that I am honestly just a much happier person when I am thin and after a few years of trying to jump on the whole ‘love your post-baby body’ bandwagon, I have just had to throw my hands up in the air and say ‘you know what, I hated my post-baby body. I want a banging body, and despite all the bumper stickers that tell me I should feel beautiful no matter how fat my arse is, I want to be thin’ And that is a bit of a big deal to admit, because people hate it when other people say things like that, but after getting acquainted with myself, I realised that was where my happy place was, and just accepted it.”   Read the rest here

See yourself as others see you?

Peacock (Pavo cristatus), displaying his tail,...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

beauty, ugly, beautiful, ugliness, peacock, plumage, rich, colourful, lonely, loneliness, full of life, full of joy, happiness

I met a girl the other day who is, by European norms, a pretty woman of 20. She is at university, with a good career ahead of her. She’s clever, sweet, kind, lively and attractive. She’s going out with a man who is darkly jealous, feckless and mean-spirited. She knows what he’s like, and she wants to dump him, but she’s scared that no-one else will want her. She thinks she’s fat (compared to contemporaries who are skeletal). The prospect of being on the shelf, in her culture, is horrific, even at the expense of an unhappy married life.

So she defies her parents (who detest the boyfriend) and puts up with the boyfriend’s horrible behaviour because she thinks he’s the best she can expect.

She’s not alone – how many young men and woman set themselves up for years of unhappiness and loneliness in much the same way?

What is it about our society that we bring our children up to feel unlovable? Can family influence outweigh the media brainwashing? What do we need to do to stop the growth of loneliness in our families and friends?