Thursday, May 16, 2013

Making frends with 'cool loneliness'

I started catching up on my Pema reading (Pema Chodron: When Things Fall Apart) and pleasantly surprised to pick right up at the chapter on loneliness. Pema differentiates between the hot loneliness where you will do anything to escape and not feel it, and cool loneliness which is hard to define outside of the person who is lonely is also super cool (obviously, this is the case with me).  But I’ll defer to the expert - Pema says, “When we draw a line down the center of a page, we know who we are if we’re on the right side and who we are if we’re on the left side. But we don’t know who we are when we don’t put ourselves on either side. Then we just don’t know what to do. We just don’t know.  We have no reference point, no hand to hold. At that point we can either freak out or settle in. Contentment is a synonym for loneliness, cool loneliness, settling down with cool loneliness.”

Funny how you read the exact thing that describes exactly where you are at that point in time. As I wrote before, my anxiety is way down but my loneliness has increased. So where does that leave me? I still don’t know. The general feeling of contentment that now underlies each action (as opposed to the previous feeling of anxiety which was under each action) is so new that I can’t make heads or tales of what it is, except that it isn’t bad...and sometimes it is even GOOD.  

On an unrelated but very contented note, do you know what makes a good day? When you find out the route you’ve been running is a half mile longer than you originally thought and then you go and run a mile further and feel great! 

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