Alone or lonely.. quite a conundrum of two words considering we as women have somehow had to justify our reasons for both.
“Now are you alone, or are you lonely?”
They ask, sarcastic like, big eyes and judgmental eyebrows peering down into your soul.
Why are we in 2018, a year that women have gained so much empowerment, still find ourselves in situations where we are having to define which is better and why... being alone or being lonely.
So let’s just step back a minute to look at this from a broader perspective, who really gives a fuck whether you are lonely or alone.. Really why should it matter? The choice to be alone.. the feeling of being lonely is just that, a choice, made by that person in that situation based on the feelings of that person. Why should they have to justify that choice to anybody, ….let alone sarcastic like big eyes, and judgmental eyebrows.
Considering that I am a woman that faced this monster, the endless questions of how I was going to choose to live my life after the ending of my ten-year marriage, I wanted to scream from the top of any mountain I could find.. “stay the fuck out my life”.
I decided that I wanted to be alone, I did not want to date until I had scrapped my heart off the concrete and it had indeed started to beat at a recognizable rhythm. But you wouldn’t believe the blank stares I received when I made this declaration. I had people who once respected me, looked up to me, and even admired me, looking at me as if I was less of a human being, as if I had sprouted another head that looked like me, even had the same voice.. but what the hell was she thinking.. being alone.. have you lost your damn mind?
“Why are you not dating?”, they would ask, then follow up with the condescending remark of “you know your ex-husband has probably already started dating, what are you waiting on?”, as if my self-healing was somehow based on a race to the second marriage finish line. So, I did spend time wondering why I was being bombarded with this question, and specifically by women. Did they not understand that if you are still in a state of pain, the last thing you should be doing is dating. Why did they not know that there was nothing wrong with choosing to take a time out from the proverbial rat race of mate shopping, or that when you decide to leave a ten-year marriage, it wasn’t just because he never closed the cereal boxes; there was significant damage to heal from.
The choice to be alone was based on this special magical moment of self-awareness, that brought me to my knees. The moment I realized that my pattern of getting involved in situations where I felt unseen, unheard.. where I felt I didn’t matter was based on the fact that I did not REQUIRE to be seen, heard.. and to matter. I was perfectly okay building up the world of others, while mine crumbled. I prided myself on how good I took care of people, not even recognizing that it was to my own detriment.
So who was going to fix this problem, this cycle, this pattern of destruction that I was so willingly allowing myself to endure.. and not only who was going to fix it, how was I going to fix it. So, the choice to bow out of the love game came into play as a solution. Maybe I needed to give myself some time to figure this thing out before I jumped back on the hamster wheel to be thrown off again, and possibly break my neck the next time. I wished I could have bowed out of life during that time, but as you know life doesn’t stop because your heart is broken, the mortgage, car note, light and water bill just look at you with their shoulders shrugged and their hands out. So, the dating game was all I could bow out of and that was enough. That was enough for me to realize that yes indeed I was choosing to be alone.. and yes, quite often I felt lonely.
But what figured out on this journey was that that is what healing is, and that is what healing, and self-love requires. It requires you to be alone... and lonely, so you can learn that you alone are enough.
So now the healing has happened, and I now feel like a whole, complete human being again. My heart is no longer splattered on concrete, and it’s rhythm is back to normal, and those who watched me.. heal, now ask a different question.
"How did you be alone without feeling lonely", they ask.. and my answer is.. YOU CAN'T.
You make the choice to be alone.. and you accept that the journey will indeed be lonely..
True healing is not meant to be easy, its meant to be transformative. Its job is to break you into a million pieces, scatter you throughout the universe, and challenge you to find who you once were ..or rebuild YOU from scratch.