Loneliness is a fierce animal in a soft and quiet disguise. When it approaches (and since the breakup with my partner, it approaches often), I want to run away.
I want to shoot paintballs at the wall while spinning madly, and turn the music up until my ears bleed. The noise and the motion are the only way to distract me from the throbbing pain.
That’s what I want to do, but usually I just give in and cry. And stare with heavy eyelids at the wall. And want so badly for someone – anyone – to take away the pain.
I’ve always felt a close affinity with the turtle as my spirit animal. I’ve seen a lot of symbolism in that little guy for myself:
~ He’s at home wherever in the world he happens to be.
~ He’s slow, steady and present.
~ Around the world and in different cultures, the turtle symbolizes such things as: wisdom, longevity, patience, female energy, divinity, Mother Earth, creation, stability, self-containment, protection, creative source and being grounded. All yeses in my book.
But Loneliness revealed another one. The shell that acts as a protection from predators also keeps the friendly folks out. He’s locked in there with no chance of escape. And no one can get in. He’ll never rub tummies with another turtle tummy. What an incredibly lonely life. Poor thing.
Poor me. Poor you. Isn’t it amazing how we can plummet into a world where we are entirely abandoned and have no one in the whole world that loves us? Ouch.
That fierce animal is sneaky. The hissing voice of Loneliness tells me everything I’ve ever not wanted to hear about myself.
Loneliness whispers to me all of my failures, my inability to love and be loved, my isolation. It tells me I will always feel this way and never find my way out. It is dark and dense and smells like rotten eggs.
But if we pull back the curtain and reveal what the loneliness is actually doing, we begin to see how it might be helping us. It’s giving us a message about our needs. It’s giving us the opportunity to feel the pain, to release the pain, and to tune into Aloneness: the art of being with one’s self.
Aloneness is the space of communing with your self, nature and the Great Love that’s always swirling. It is the inner peace of being in a loving relationship with the one person you will always be with 24/7, forever.
Loneliness is also – ha ha, here’s the kicker! – the other side of the coin from Oneness. Duality at its finest. In the big picture, you are actually never alone. You are connected to All. Every person, tree, bird, river, star…
Once the energy of loneliness is allowed and passes through you, the pity you felt for Mr. Turtle will be replaced by peace and joy. You will then see that he is at home with himself and adventuring through the world as part of the All.
And so it is with you, my friend.
So it is with you.