Lesson of the Week

Alone but not lonely: Even when I am isolated, I am OK

A woman felt lonely on the long, barren stretch of Highway 70 between Hays, Kansas and Denver, Colorado.  She turned to see her motor home’s shadow on the plain, “I’m not lonely.  I have my self!”  Self-love is the antidote for loneliness.

Loneliness is being stuck in the who, what, when, where, and why of life. For instance, who assigned me to this isolated outpost?  What am I going to do single?  When is this baby going to be born? Where is my award for all this hard work?  Why did my family stick me in this nursing home?

Now reverse the situation.  Stop ruminating over the who, what, when, where, and why.  Move on to the antidote for loneliness – love — the warm affectionate attachment to yourself and your mission. American singer and songwriter Conor Oberst put it like this, “When everything is lonely, I can be my best friend.”

Get unstuck from loneliness.  Love yourself and do something you love.  Christopher Morley, American journalist was quoted, “No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires too much attention.”  Jay London, American stand-up comic proclaimed, “I was lonely driving here tonight, so I hugged the road.”

Being lonely is not necessarily an indicator of being “pathological”. Being lonely can be an innate, necessary condition reminding you to do something good for yourself and your mission.

Quote

I was lonely driving here tonight, so I hugged the road.

- Jay London, American stand-up comic

Activity

Activity:  Hug The Road

Materials:  Paper and pen or pencil
Time:  Ten minutes to write and ten minutes for each person to discuss their results.

Instruction:

1.  Think of a time when you were alone and lonely.  Answer the following questions:
a) Who was involved?
b) What happened?
c) Where were you?
d) When did it happen?
e) Why were you lonely?
f) How did you move beyond the who, what, when, where, and why and get out of your loneliness?  If you haven’t moved on, how will you?  (Try hugging the road – getting an affectionate attachment towards yourself and your mission.)

2. Think of a time when you were NOT alone, but were lonely.  Answer the following questions:
a) Who was involved?
b) What was going on?
c) Where were you?
d) When did this happen?
e) Why were you lonely – even though you weren’t isolated?
f) How did you move beyond the who, what, when, where, and why and get out of your loneliness?  If haven’t moved on, how will you?  (Try hugging the road – getting an affectionate attachment towards yourself and your mission.)

3. What did you learn from doing this activity?  Answer the following questions:
a) What did you learn about yourself?
b) What did you learn about the world around you?

4. Remember Jay London’s remark, “I was lonely driving here tonight, so I hugged the road.”) In the future, how will you “hug the road” to find yourself alone, but not lonely?

Affirmation

I am alone, but not lonely so I can ..... We'd like to hear your story about being isolated, but OK. Write your story below.

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