Confronting the pain of loneliness is a significant part of the midlife journey. Whether feeling alone in a marriage or the loneliness of being alone, loneliness is an experience that becomes excruciating during midlife. Accompanied by the longing for “that which cannot be named,” we attempt to satisfy loneliness by looking outside of us for “that which will make us whole” – material goods, a relationship, money, fame, etc. If we cannot find the remedy outside of us, we frequently turn to self-medicating behaviors to numb the pain – sex, alcohol, drugs, food, etc. In the end, we find none of these relieve us of the pain of loneliness. The only way to remedy loneliness – is to be present with and to it. Find out what loneliness has to say to us, what it needs from us. Mostly, it needs attention and our presence. When we allow ourselves to be fully present to loneliness, we discover our soul.
The Temple of My Aloneness
Thrust unsuspecting into the temple of my aloneness…
“Alone and single has to be better than married and alone.”
And, I can assure you, it is.
However, we must first be freed of the striving to fill the empty space;
From searching for “the one” who will be what “the other” was not;
And healed of the excruciating fear of loneliness.
Staring loneliness in the face;
Standing toe-to-toe against its threats
Learning what loneliness wants to tell us
Seeing all that hides behind its face –
Self-doubt, self-loathing, the wounds of the past, ungrieved loss and undiscovered joys.
Daring to invite loneliness in,
Discovering nothing less than our Soul
Knowing here, we are never alone.
copyright 2013 Lauri Ann Lumby