I don’t want to be alone.
I wake up with a pit of heaviness and emptiness in my chest. It aches. Aching, heavy, pit of emptiness. I call this ache “loneliness”. I ache to feel the loving embrace of someone who adores me, a soulmate.
I want to be hugged, kissed, squeezed. So bad.
I want this hug that I imagine to last for a long, long time, to make up for this seemingly never-ending torture of being alone, day after day, in my little life.
I think of my day ahead and it hardly seems worth living without anyone to hold, to laugh with, with whom to share my time.
And yet, I know that facing this aloneness is something that I have to do. In more ways than I can count, Life is conspiring for me to pickle in my aloneness by continuously putting me in the most perfectly alone circumstances.
Even if I tried (which I have several times) I wouldn’t be able to find a romantic partner right now. My attempts so far keep yielding an even more painful unrequited love. And was I really in love? Or was I just desperate to escape this excruciating aloneness?
And so, here I am, pickling in aloneness. I hope that I am getting seasoned for some wonderful future union…but that hope is fading by the day.
They don’t want to be alone.
Fast forward more than a year, maybe two. I am coaching a client. *This client is actually a composite of several clients both male and female that I worked with over the past several years..so I will use “they” to refer to them.
They are in the ups and downs of dating after recently separating from a long-term partnership. They haven’t lived alone for years. They haven’t dated for eons.
There is the excitement of being attractive, and attracted. There is the allure of flirtation. There is the game of revealing and discovering another’s intentions. “Do they like me?”
And then, there is the rejection when the other withdraws their interest.
My client, like me, has the tendency to invest a lot right away. They don’t hold back, but rather give of their gifts fully. And, they have a lot of gifts. They are a naturally generous, loving and rich person. Which is a beautiful thing…so there’s that.
But underneath the beauty of sharing the generous overflow of love welling up inside there is something else.
It smells like “Oh god, I don’t want to be alone. I don’t know how to be alone. It hurts to be alone. Please save me from this unbearable abyss of aloneness that is terrifying me.”
I can see that my client’s life is conspiring to bring them into a place of aloneness, where they can heal from the hurts of their past partnership, learn to be with their beautiful self, discover who they are outside of a partnership where their self-hood was stifled and enter into a deep relationship with the divine, coming more into their spiritual and energetic subtle gifts.
At least, that’s my story. That’s what I see. And so I encourage them in this direction.
Don’t drink so much wine. Don’t smoke pot every night to help you sleep. Those are only numbing the pain of aloneness…the same pain that is aching to speak to you and be heard and understood.
When you act on what that pain has to say to you, you will do somethings differently, and those things will change you.
Don’t drown your aloneness with social events all the time. It’s great to be joyful and have fun… but notice if it’s a compulsion to be with people because you can’t be alone.
Being with people because you choose to be is one thing. But being with people because you can’t be alone is a prison. You aren’t free.
Instead of avoiding, escaping or numbing the aloneness…dive into it.
The more that you pickle and breathe into those sensation of aloneness, the more you will discover there, something to connect to. For me, my pit of emptiness in my heart served as a portal. In my days of aloneness, I would spend countless hours sitting and breathing into those sensations, feeling what was there.
I talked to myself. I talked to my physical pain. I listened to what it had to say. I cried and worked through things I didn’t even know were there to heal.
And I also spent hours quieting my mind, finding a sense of peace and in that peace and quiet, merging with consciousness. God.
I know that I am God. I am consciousness. I am all that is. There is nothing here but me. You, that appear over there, are appearing within me the field of consciousness. The Karen, she appears also within the scene of me.
I am both alone, because I am one, and I am everything.
This kind of spiritual babble was something I understood in theory prior to my aloneness-pickle, but that I now understand and know as an integrated part of who I am and how I see Life.
I have moments where I forget, when I am so identified with being Karen, that it seems that I am Karen…but I also have many moments where I am aware that I am the consciousness of all that is.
Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly.
Let it cut you more deep.
Let it ferment and season you as few humans and even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight has made my eyes so soft, my voice so tender, my need for God absolutely clear.
Aloneness was stalking me…hunting me down.
When I picture my life timeline I can see so many distinct moments where that excruciating lonely-empty-heart-pit was there aching. I was haunted by it. It came on strong in my early teens and didn’t go away.
I tried to drown it out in intimate relationships. But it was still there waiting for me at every break-up. And each break-up, it seemed to come on stronger.
It kept on hunting me until I stopped avoiding it. Until I finally laid down my arms and surrendered. I decided to make it my companion, my teacher, and to see what it’s agenda was.
Aloneness is a gateway, a portal. It’s a rite of passage. It seems like a terrifying abyss. But when you dive into it or surrender to it (use whatever imagery works for you), it does something to you.
It’s agenda was to cure me of the separate self. Like a homeopathic remedy, the cure to loneliness was aloneness.
I don’t meet a lot of people who are in the perfect circumstances to pickle in loneliness. Many people are too busy with togetherness, raising families, working with clients and colleagues, immersed in others most of the time. Togetherness also has its gifts to teach us.
But if you are in a chapter of aloneness, if life is conspiring for you to season you in loneliness and you are trying to fight it, then I am here to suggest otherwise.
“We come alone into this world, we go alone.” All togetherness is illusory. The very idea of togetherness arises because we are alone, and the aloneness hurts. We want to drown our aloneness in relationship.
That’s why we become so much involved in love. Try to see the point. Ordinarily you think you have fallen in love with a woman or man because she is beautiful, he is beautiful. That is not the truth.
The truth is just the opposite: you have fallen in love because you cannot be alone. You were going to avoid yourself somehow or other.
And there are people who don’t fall in love with women or men, they fall in love with money. That too is avoiding your aloneness.
If you watch man, if you watch yourself deeply, you will be surprised – all of your activities can be reduced to one single source.
The source is that you are afraid of your aloneness. Everything else is an excuse. The real cause is that you find yourself very alone.
Your alone period is here to wake you up. It’s a tremendous opportunity, that takes tremendous courage to say yes to. What are you afraid of?
The abyss of consciousness that extends out from you through time and space for all of eternity. Yes, it’s a scary prospect for the puny, separate self. But contacting your consciousness directly, and the aloneness that goes with it is only so scary as an encounter with reality.
It won’t kill you. And you’ll be better for it.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself, and send me your field notes. I dare you. : )
When you are alone you are not alone, you are simply lonely – and there is a tremendous difference between loneliness and aloneness.
When you are lonely, you are thinking of the other, you are missing the other.
Loneliness is a negative state. You are feeling that it would have been better if the other were there -your friend, your wife, your mother, your beloved, your husband. It would have been good if the other were there, but the other is not. Loneliness is the absence of the other.
Aloneness is the presence of oneself. Aloneness is very positive. It is a presence, overflowing presence. You are so full of presence that you can fill the whole universe with your presence and there is no need for anybody.
I help Type A Hippies to get into flow in all three realms of Love, Sex and Genius.
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