Learning to be alone…..
…and enjoy being alone. Yes, I think this is going to be my biggest hurdle this year.
I am now 25 days into the second year of being a widow. Doesn’t seem possible, but it is.
I’m actually never alone. Trying to get time alone in my house with 4 teenagers, a 7 year old and countless teen friends coming and going is near impossible. I’ve complained about this to friends….I really think I want time alone (mostly from exhaustion), but then when I actually do get it I feel the grief and loneliness assault me. Sometimes this makes me wonder if I haven’t processed my grief properly.
I’m finding that the emotional loneliness of grief causes you to pursue crazy amounts of activity. And I’m guessing this is an effort to escape the pain.
Intimacy–really knowing, understanding and honoring another person–is what I am missing. That bond with another human being that allows you to completely be yourself, knowing that no matter what you say or share, the other person will love you. I spent the first 20 years of my adult life cultivating my relationship with Chris. Since it takes a years to build this intimacy with someone, I’m sure it is not easily dispelled or recreated.
Solitude is being alone without feeling lonely. This is what I want. I remember, before Chris died, how I loved being by myself in the house. It was such a treat to be able to read, listen to music, clean, and do projects with no interruptions. I always felt so refreshed after days like that. Now? Now I’m afraid of long periods of solitude. After all, who runs towards pain?
I don’t think I’m naive enough to think that the loneliness will ever be completely gone. I’m just looking for contentment, peace. The absence of fear.
Solitude can be a time of spiritual growth. A time of refreshment. I want this back. I haven’t quite figured out how to go about accomplishing this. But I think being aware of it is a good first step. Being alone does not have to be synonymous with loneliness. I need to reprogram my brain, in hopes of reprogramming my feelings.
“Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
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