“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.”
– Gretchen Rubin
Let’s say that I’ve been single my whole life. I never had a longterm relationship like it should’ve been “normal” for my twenty seven years (there was one, which lasted almost a year, but mostly wasn’t a good option for both of us). So I was always cool with being single, it never bothered me. Mark Manson’s opinion on relationships perfectly matches mine and I was obviously looking for a “Fuck, yes” to come. My “Fuck, yes” never came along so far, and while my friends were dating and breaking up, I learned two new languages (and btw. improved my english), I learned new skills, found new fulfilling passions, enhanced old ones, met amazing people, transformed my habits and read like hundreds of books.
It might sound as I would be justifying myself for being undatable and un-relationship-suitable, but the truth is, I always knew that if I want a cool dude, I must be cool too. And the men around me back then, just were not a good fit for me (or for that stage of my life, they probably were, but if I would have leaped and started a serious relationship with them, I probably never would’ve found what I found – and that is priceless). So on my way I tried to grow constantly and learn from other people, pick up new skills and grow, grow, grow. Hell, I’m a strong woman. A strong woman doesn’t care if she’s single, right.
Before I trapped into meditation, self-awareness practices and met certain mentors, who literally changed my view regarding myself, I never showed any weaknesses or vulnerability. I didn’t have it in my old DNA. My opinion was, that admitting negative emotions was something only losers do. And talking about them openly? No way. Strong lady. And behind closed doors, alone, I could cry my eyes out and climb the walls out of anxieties and dissatisfaction. That happened constantly. A depression could’ve lasted for months, without anybody noticing. And I kept on punishing myself for feeling anxious, disconnected and … lonely.
But it’s all in the past. I found the strength to cure myself from the depression I was experiencing back then and I was blessed to have the courage to start living differently. By differently I mean literally practicing gratitude, love and compassion. Those are three core values which I can endlessly break down into subtler feelings. But the main message is, I found my new DNA and am an eternal “work in progress”. I learned to embrace negative emotions like jealousy, fear or insecurity and am self-aware enough to identify them and to deal with them with pride.
A few days ago I experienced an unexplainable pain. It was a quite complex body-mind pain. I was weeping bitter tears hour after hour. And I suffered physically. It was actually really, like really, sad. So for a few moments I started to panic and every part of my existence tried to resist to this pain. I was familiar with this depressive pain. It was the same like back then…and now it’s here again, standing in front of me, ready for a fight, ready to put me down.
Uhm…in your face, pain…? *one-finger-salut*
I sat down, took a few deep breaths and while my tears were rolling down my cheeks and my body was shaking, my mind didn’t resist to this state. Me, my mind and my body we are a great team (along the years of growth, each one of us learned to support the other, rather than to damage). My mind gave my body the space to experience this shaky, pre-hysterical state. While my body tried to figure out where this pain is coming from and gave my mind the space to experience self-pity, neediness and yeah, loneliness. And I…was observing them from the back seat. But the main reason for my collapse was clear: I felt utterly lonely. But more important, I was feeling utterly lonely all of these years and couldn’t even consider to admit it to myself, let alone to somebody else. But now I couldn’t run from it anymore: I feel lonely.
So, loneliness was also the reason for this subtle thread of sadness, which was following me along my way all these years. Since I realized and, in front of all, admitted it to myself, I definitely improved my standards even more. First, I realized, that it’s not that bad to feel lonely. There’s for sure nobody in the universe, who never experienced loneliness. Second, I don’t want to waste my time with a man, who is not my sweetest, wisest and most loving “Fuck, yes” and I won’t change my mind about it so fast. Third, as my beloved Gretchen Rubin says, negative feelings mean that something needs to change and this time it was my own perception of experiencing loneliness, which needed a little change. Loneliness was my biggest fear. I was running away from it while, on this stage of my development, it just wanted to give me such a great lesson:
Loneliness reminded me on one important thing, which I often tend to forget: I’m alive. I’m alive in all the colors of being alive. I feel, I cry, my body is trembling, my mind is going crazy, then I analyze, draw conclusions, close the story, dance to hip-hop, have fun, am happy again, experience joy and gratitude.
Those rather negative emotions just reminded me how much there is inside of me and how much I learned the past years. Loneliness reminded me on how proud I can be, because I deal with my own feelings like a zen-master compared to my past-self. Loneliness reminded me, that I’m my own wisest teacher and my own bravest student. Yes, I learn from myself all the time and I endlessly enjoy it.
Is it criminal to feel lonely and is it negative? I’m not sure anymore. Because this time I opened my doors for loneliness to come in. At last, I was courageous enough to host my loneliness and I was a damn good host. And maybe loneliness is a whole-hearted part of me. Yes, it’s a part of me, which maybe will remain forever. But it’s welcome now, so it’s not bothering me anymore … and it’s just facilitated my growth. And this time it was the answer for what we all seek: feeling alive.
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