Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery’s August edition is now available, and I wanted to share the message for this month here with you! Much more to come on the topic of loneliness in weeks to come….stay tuned!
Your Loneliness is a Good Thing
Could I find anything weirder to say for an opening statement?
Probably not. I specialize in weird.
Plus, loneliness has been on my mind in a big way over the last several weeks — I have been going through a big move, and being a real “nester” type personality, I have found myself clinging to anything that feels like home while I say goodbye to the old and hello to the brand new.
In the midst of this process, one day I found myself talking with a friend about loneliness. I was wondering out loud – why do we traditionally view feeling lonely in a negative light? Why is loneliness regarded as a condition to solve, fill, run from, ignore, or shame ourselves for?
After discussing this for awhile, we concluded that it is because of habit. We are quite simply habituated to blaming ourselves for the feeling of “lonely,” as if it is some defect within ourselves that has installed this program instead of something else better that everybody else got.
In truth, however, every great “aha!” moment, every one-of-a-kind piece of art, every new deep understanding, every priceless discovery, comes out of the solitude of loneliness.
One of my favorite writers (and long-time mentor), the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, loved solitude but simultaneously struggled with loneliness. In mentoring a young aspiring poet, he wrote:
“What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours-that is what you must be able to attain.”
Rilke speaks of the human condition — the REAL human condition — of waking up to the inescapable yet beautiful fact that we each are one of a kind, unrepeatable, utterly unique. We walk alone, whether we want to or not, and whether we have been told we should or not or believe we should or not. In this as in every other one of life’s experiences, Rilke states, we have a choice – to give in to fear and push our loneliness away, or to embrace it and welcome its gifts.
Your loneliness is a GOOD thing, a necessary thing. Far from there being anything wrong with you in feeling loneliness sometimes or often (as did Rilke, one of this world’s all-time most famous and celebrated poets), the very awareness of feeling lonely connects you in a way that nothing else save love can to the rest of us — human beings, animals, trees, streams, mountains, and all of life itself.
Loneliness brings you to life, highlights gratitude, encourages humility, builds courage, and ensures there is always an opportunity to grow and learn.
Your loneliness is a good thing. YOU are a good thing.
With great respect and love,
To read the full edition click HERE
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Last reviewed: 30 Aug 2012