Do you ever feel alone?
We were away over Easter and there were times when I felt really alone.
We usually go on holiday with other people and I love having the choice to be alone or with others. This time it was just us. The kids had each other and most of the time got on really well but P was working, so though he was with us in body, even down by the sea, or playing football, he was preoccupied with work.
Katerina, Vaso and Yianna were busy getting the hotel ready for the start of the season so we chatted at night, but during the day they were painting, cleaning, fixing and re-stocking.
Which left me. Alone.
Sure I read, and did some thinking and creating, but then I wanted to share words, and connect, but there wasn’t anyone to connect with. I felt cut off and sad.
Or so I thought.
I got into habit of going for a morning walk while the boys, big and small, were all still asleep. To start off it was a short walk, as I didn’t know where the road would lead, but each day I went further.
The more I walked, the better I felt.
One the second day I saw dolphins in the sea below the hill I was walking. I have never seen dolphins in the wild, and so to see them, at dawn, on my own felt really special.
On the third day I realised that Mr Smiley the dog from Alter Ego had followed me. I would stop and wait for him and he would stop and wait for me.
He joined me on day 4 as well and this time we shared water as well as walking.
Day 5 an old blood-hound of a dog walked with me. We went up to the top of the road and turned down a forest track and then he disappeared, following a good smell.
It was only when he disappeared that I missed him and it was at that moment that I realised that in fact, I was never alone at all.
As I walked on, dogless, I saw flowers, butterflies, bugs, and birds and was pleased to share the moment with them. And being in the trees and just feeling them around me allowed me to feel part of the scene, part of the forest and not just passing through.
On that walk, a shift happened away from what I was looking outside for and seeing the lack of, to perceiving what is always there, whether I notice or not.
How often do we miss what is, because we are looking for something different?
My loneliness has been my own mind-construct. I had decided I wanted deep and meaningful conversations and without them I made myself feel alone and as soon as that expectation dropped away, I could appreciate what was all around me, all the time, with no effort, no asking or no striving.
Every day, without me asking, a dog would join me on the walk. The old blood-hound (called Killer) again and Mr Smiley and then a black pup Youngest Son called ‘bitzy’ because she was a bit of everything.
Each dog came back to where we were staying, stopped in to share breakfast and then pottered on their way again. I was so grateful for their company.
The more I shifted into the moment and what was present rather than what was missing, the more content I felt. By connecting with nature, I was able to be deeply present in a sustained way, and that presence carried into the time I spent with the kids and P.
The most profound connection though was with me, myself or even ‘not me’. The more connected I felt with nature, the more I felt part of it which made me simultaneously feel that I was connected, but also that I connected with myself, but when I looked for what I meant by ‘myself’..there was only nature there too.
So you can never be alone because where there is life and air and trees and the ground, you are part of that.
I know it’s weird..I can’t explain it any better..do you know what I mean?
- What helps you connect to yourself?
- How to you look after yourself when you feel lonely?
- How do you connect deeply to the world around you and other people?