"Sometimes it is necessary to be lonely in order to prove that you are right." -- Vladimir Putin
What is the moment that insecurity evolves into loneliness? Is there a defining moment or do the two blur together like the passing of time?
I think there are probably a multitude of reasons for a person to feel insecure; however, in my family this is rooted in shame. For my father, he was a gay man growing up in the '50s and '60s. For my mother, she was a product of an affair, passed between relatives who knew her biological father and had to maintain the charade. For me, it was trying to coexist with these two people and find acceptance in a world that did not know what to do with someone like me.
Shame is one of the worst limitations we engage. The guilt behind shame makes us feel unworthy. There is a constant underlying fear that if people really knew our truth we would be outcasts, abandoned from the tribe. We shape shift in order to belong and in doing so, we bury our authenticity.
Somewhere in the deepest recesses of our consciousness, a thought, "If they really knew me, they wouldn't love me" is tied to, "because I really know me and I don't love me." There is a virtue of morality of what makes a person "good." Yet, who talks about the necessity of the shadows?
What if we chose these lives with the specific limitations and challenges that generate the shame and guilt? What if these limitations and challenges are a way to see how much we can contract, become small, hide and still exist? Perhaps this is a form of energetic play? The shadows of limitation and challenges, pain and frustration, depression and anxiety become the contrast that makes life interesting.
Imagine a life where everything is great all the time. There is only happiness. Everyone is loving. There's no war, poverty, sickness, abuse, racism, bigotry, depression. Everyone is compassionate and cares for one another. The world is thriving. Can you imagine this?
First and foremost, it would probably be a little boring. Second, could our planet sustain it?
I certainly don't have the answers to these questions, though I do sense that the challenges are the spice of life. Sometimes they suck. Sometimes they hurt. Sometimes they seem to make no sense whatsoever and to even conceive that we chose them is unfathomable.
What I do know is that when we stay buried in the guilt and shame of the illusions, we isolate. That isolation eventually leads to loneliness which ultimately is debilitating. The only way to shift is to be willing to be seen. Being seen requires a level of vulnerability that can be paralyzing. Yet, simply the willingness to be loved can break the binds of fear.
I have asked many clients, "Are you willing to be loved?" and immediately, I can hear/feel their heart answer, "Yes!" while there is a pregnant pause. After awhile, I typically hear some version of, "I want to be, but I don't know how." We don't have to know how. We just have to be willing. When we try to figure out how, the mind gets in the way and often gets us stuck. When we are willing, we open up to the possibilities of being seen. From a simple act of kindness from a stranger to an unexpected reunion of an old friend, there are infinite possibilities for how we can be loved. When we open to that willingness, we also shift our perspective to what we see because we are no longer focusing on the scarcity of being unworthy and unlovable.
If loneliness has become a part of life, try these simple steps to make a shift:
Turn off the television. Take a book and go somewhere public. Join a social group through something like meetup.com. Put yourself out in public.
Volunteer. The act of volunteering will certainly help others, but often the person volunteering is the one who feels great afterward.
Every day, as many times a day as possible, tell yourself, "I have the right to be loved. I matter. I am here now. I am willing to be loved." Maybe at first this is challenging to say or believe. Your soul is longing to be loved and eventually your brain will soften the grip on being right about being unworthy and start seeking a better way of living.
Shifting from lonely to feeling loved and engaged in healthy relationships does take time. For the lonely, time is an abundance. Each small step into the willingness to be loved has an exponential effect. Lonely and lovable are both chosen. How will you choose?
Wendy Reese is a lifestyle strategist who specializes in whole being, author, host of The Whole Being Zone and yoga teacher with 13 years of teaching experience. If you are ready to cut through the limitations that hold you back from being whole, try Wendy's complimentary 7 day lifestyle detox course at www.wholebeinginc.com/detox. Get regular Wendy Wisdom (and inspiration) on Twitter and Instagram @wholebeinginc
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