I know of a woman who so longed to be loved, held, and not feel lonely that she gave her lover, a man she hadn’t known long and knew to be a criminal, all of her life savings—some $43,000, to be exact. He promised, along with his abiding love, that he would give her back her money with interest in only two short months. When she told her friend what she had done her friend pointed out that she had a small child to feed, and reminded her she had just lost her job—and, incidentally, two other boyfriends just like this one. She quickly replied in her defense that he believed in Karma.
Several months passed, having heard from him only once, when she began to inquire about his whereabouts. Hoping to reclaim her inheritance and self-respect, she learned that he had died in an automobile accident and had left behind a young widow and three small children. When she told her friend what she had discovered, her friend asked her what she had learned. To which she replied, “He died in the car he bought with my money.”
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For some of us, being internally referenced or taking responsibility for all you experience is a foreign concept. I know it was for me. I, like so many of us, believed that my circumstances were designed or slated by some dark fate, bad luck or perhaps my difficult childhood. And I didn’t have to look far to see many of my role models and contemporaries following suit. Failed marriages and relationships that fell apart like a strand of dominos over the years, all to the Western tune of: “That rotten, no good, cheating son of a, and he even took the dog!” song.
While you’re busy trying to sort out who really did what, whose responsibility your life actually is, and healing your heart, I offer you some “here and now” antidotes to feeling desperately lonely. (So you don’t go and find another relationship just like the last one, or just like our friend’s.)
10 things you can do when you feel desperately lonely:
Feel. I say we gotta feel it to heal it. And if we don’t know what we feel, we don’t know what we need. Get a pillow, sit on the floor and bring it on. Facing our fears sometimes is the perfect answer. Two and three o’clock in the morning are when they hit me the worst. Whatever time it is, facing the boogeyman is ultimately what we all have to do if we want to be free and choose a relationship out of love rather than need (or desperation). If I was gentle, waited and sat with myself long enough, I would begin to feel and heal. I spent many nights (and days) just letting the floodgates loose and seeing what was underneath all my anxiety.
Move. Release what’s inside. Let it out. Oh my, can I just tell you that moving saved my life?! Sometimes I had so much energy, so many feelings welled up in me, that I stood in my kitchen barefoot on the hardwood floor and gyrated around spastically flailing my fists at God and everyone, like James Brown on crack. I screamed and cried and danced and collapsed until I was empty. Running, hiking, swimming, dance classes—you name it, I did it!!
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