We’re doing things a little bit differently here this week. For about a decade, prior to Facebook, I was an avid blogger. I had a blog that was pretty popular (within the blogger circles) and I posted pretty regularly. I dug out my old blog this week and poked through some of the posts, and there are some fabulous nuggets that need to be shared once again.
SO, once in a while, I’m going to hit you with a Throw Back Thursday post here on the blog, with a bit of “today’s thoughts” thrown in for good measure.
When trying to decide which post to start with this week, I asked a friend if she had any topics front of mind that she’d like to hear some encouragement around. I had JUST finished reading the post I’m sharing below, when she responded with “loneliness”.
So I give you, On Solitude – Originally written on March 7, 2011:
One of my favorite poems of all time, by one of the most unorthodox poets of all time, e. e. cummings:
Outside the parentheses: loneliness. Inside the parentheses: a leaf falls.
So much said in so few words.
I first read this poem when I was in Jr. High School and it has stuck with me through all my years since then.
I carry it, like I carry loneliness.
Inside me, tucked away, not at the forefront of my mind, but always there, ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice.
The image of a leaf falling from an autumn tree brings feelings of crisp air, beautiful colors, crunchy pathways. Almost joyful, comforting thoughts.
And yet, so alone, that leaf, falling to its end.
I am blessed in so many ways. I have a wonderful family, the very best friends, a life filled with people, and joy, and love.
Color and sound.
Yet some days…the leaf falls…and loneliness takes over.
There is little to be done on these days but go with the wind, see where it takes me, land slowly, peacefully.
And know that I am bound to land among other leaves…
Whew, okay, so…that was a sad post. Yet as I re-read it, all these years later, so much further along my Joy Journey, I can still identify so deeply with the words, the feelings, the pain.
To be honest, I began today trying to write a post about finding Joy in the pain. But everything I wrote lacked the depth I wanted to express. And then I stumbled on this. Ah, the universe, it knows what we need, exactly when we need it.
Here’s the thing my Joybugs, I am a JOY Coach. JOY is my JAM. I have created this amazingly packed Joy Toolbox, and I am always seeking the Joy in life. But even I struggle with it. The anxiety, the depression, the loneliness, the unsettled emotions, they live in me daily, and they are in a constant battle with my Joy.
And I’m not sharing this (the post above or the feelings of struggle) to bring you down. “Well, if she struggles, what hope do I have?” No, no…that’s not at all it.
It’s the opposite actually.
See, I am you. I’ll share more of my story as we go along on this journey together, but the reason I have embraced Joy so tightly is because I have always lived just on the line with it.
I was an only child until I was 10, creating worlds in my head, but alone a lot of the time. I was an outcast pretty much all through school. Making friends here and there, but always feeling like I didn’t quite belong. And one day I’ll tell you the tale of the paralegal who forgot how to live for half a decade. I have always been surrounded by people, and yet, the little girl inside has always felt alone. And even now, the lonely girl resides quite prominently in my heart.
So, I share this to tell you, I GET IT. I know your struggle, I know your pain, I have lived it. Some days, I still live it.
But here’s where it gets good: It doesn’t have to control you. You don’t’ have to let it have such power over you. You can, in fact, tell it when you’ve had enough.
I say this a lot, because it bears repeating, over and over again, JOY is a CHOICE. And it is a choice you must make daily. Sometimes, hourly.
But the beauty of it is it is YOUR choice. And when it comes to loneliness, I’ll let you in on a little secret, we ALL feel it. And there is such a simple solution to it, and yet we make it so complicated for ourselves.
I know, right?
But seriously, if you are feeling lonely, left out, forgotten, call a friend, tell her how you feel. I guarantee you nine times out of ten that friend will say something along the lines of “Oh my goodness, ME TOO, I didn’t want to bother you though”. And now you can go to coffee together, and talk about how you have been feeling, and suddenly you’re not so alone anymore.
Sounds too simple to be true? I know. But that’s just it, sometimes the most important things are also the simplest ones. And even if your friend isn’t feeling lonely at the moment, I can promise you she’ll know the feeling, and she’ll still do everything in her power to spend a little time with you and help you through your current struggle. Because that’s what we do for one another, isn’t it girls?
And, on the odd chance that you feel as if you don’t have those friends, that one friend. Well, then it is time you create a tribe for yourself of women supporters and companions. Because we’re out there and we want to join our ranks. We are stronger together, after all.
In fact, I’d love you to join my tribe today, we welcome you with open arms, and the virtual coffee is always on.Find Your Joy