Friday, April 18, 2014

Loneliness, Panic, and Being Cool

I chased. Although my motto is no energy spent on weak people, love the present moment - chasing an unavailable guy is a long-standing bad habit, and the minute I was bored & lonely I chased.

The good news is: I caught myself!  I chased, I stopped. I’m trying not to beat up on myself for it and just let it go - no harm done, I don’t need to protect some super cool image, I just had a lonely moment and went back to old habits.

One thing is for sure, in terms of Pema Chodron’s advice to sit with ‘cool loneliness’, I see more and more that when the lonely feeling comes in and I immediately panic and try to change it (by chasing someone or getting attention!).  I immediately panics at the slightest twinge of loneliness. Interesting, isn’t it? I’ve always said that I hate feeling lonely, but I actually do enjoy being alone.  And I know I’ve associated being lonely to mean being unlovable my whole life. But I never realized how much I panic and seek to change the lonely feeling rather than just let it be and let it pass.

This urge to erase the feeling of lonely reminded me to revisit Pema’s writings:
“It’s tough going, because it goes against the grain of an ancient neurotic pattern that we all share. When we feel lonely, when we feel hopeless, what we want to do is move to the right or the left. We don’t want to sit and feel what we feel. We don’t want to go through the detox.  The experience of certain feelings can seem particularly pregnant with desire for resolution: loneliness, boredom, anxiety. Unless we can relax with these feelings, it’s very hard to stay in the middle when we experience them. We want victory or defeat, praise or blame…...When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down”.  You can read more about Pema’s thoughts on Cool Loneliness here.

So next time I have the urge to immediately change the feeling, I will try to take some deep breathes and sit with it, breathe through it, and let it be until it passes.  It feels refreshing to imagine doing just that!

What do you do when loneliness sets in?  Can you sit with it? Do you immediately seek to change it too?

No comments:

Post a Comment