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I’m not just alone, but I’m lonely.
I think I’ve been feeling this way for some time now, but I’ve been running from it for most of my life.
I think many people choose to run from loneliness, and I understand why. It’s not a great feeling to be alone and crave the opposite. That’s really all loneliness is—a craving.
It’s a craving to share the beautiful (and not-so-beautiful) moments in life.
It’s a craving that pulls us out of the present moment because we become so consumed by the desire to share our experience with another.
Loneliness is a craving to be touched—a craving to be held by the warmth of another being.
It’s a craving to be seen.
It’s a craving for what’s not.
And I think the reason I’ve been feeling especially lonely these past few days is because I’m surrounded by unbelievable beauty I crave to share.
The beauty is indescribable, but I’ll try.
It rained last night. When I first stepped out onto the porch this morning, the smell of wet wood and freshly rained-on pine filled my cold nose, forcing me to breathe a little deeper.
The sun is now just barely peeking over the mountain. I am bathing in the color green—the grass, the trees, the reflection on the pond, the pines that cover the mountain.
I crave to share this experience with you. And I guess this is my way of doing so.
But somehow, it makes me feel more lonely. I feel more alone because I crave to look at you and say, “Do you smell that?”
I crave to witness your stillness as you stare out onto the lawn and soak in the green that encompasses every crevice of this property.
I smile as I imagine your peaceful presence until I realize you’re not here.
And it’s just me.
But I chose this.
I chose to be here alone because I wanted to feel the depth of my pain. I needed to be reminded it was here.
I chose to delete social media, turn off my phone, and finally not escape the pain I’ve been numbing with food, sex, and Instagram.
I chose this because I knew that if I continued to run away from my shadow, she would only continue to chase me—and I was running out of breath.
So, I drove six hours away from home to a house in the mountains where I knew my loneliness lived—where I knew my deepest cravings would surface.
And they did.
And I wish I could tell you that the feeling of loneliness subsided as soon as I realized the craving for your presence was taking away from my own, but it didn’t.
I’m still alone.
I’m still lonely.
But I’m aware. And I’m feeling. And that is the good news.
And the feelings I am feeling are making me feel more alive than ever. I feel tender and raw and open. And the sadness I’ve allowed to wash over me has brought me here—the present.
You know that feeling after a good cry when you stare blankly out into space with puffy, red eyes and a clear, tired mind? That, to me, feels like presence.
It’s at that moment when I feel the most gratitude.
It’s at that moment when I feel like I’ve overcome some sort of obstacle and I need to drink in each breath as if it were a miracle to simply be breathing (and it is).
The painful throbs of my heart remind me that it’s beating and that’s the reminder I needed.
At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what sitting in my loneliness would do. I suspected I might feel more creative, more free, and more inspired. And I was right, I do feel all these things, but I also feel more lonely.
However, I am no lonelier than I was before. I only feel more lonely because I am finally choosing not to escape what already was.
Instead, I’ve chosen to be with it.
And it’s from this space that I can truly heal.
It’s from this space that I can learn to become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
It’s from here that I can begin to let go of the cravings that take me away from me.
It’s from here that I can finally see that each moment is fleeting and I might as well just be.