From quite a young age I had a sense of being on the outside of the life around me. I was the youngest in family caught up in other worlds, only lately am I realising the depth of aloneness I felt and how the attention was focused somewhere away from my inner self. And so I believe I did grow into a loner, but one who craved connection of any kind, no matter what the cost. I didn’t have wise protective radar for who was really connected to me though as I don’t think I was connected to a lot and so it felt unfamiliar, emotional abandonment or disconnect I knew (unconsciously at that point) so I attracted more of that in the years that followed.
I have been thinking about it a lot today and seeing what a hunger to connect outside of myself did to me before I was connected to my deeper self. Put simply those connections just did not work and I always ended up sorrowing and empty. In later years with all the trauma and insecurity I carried maybe I didn’t find it easy to connect to others as I had begun to turn to substances. I also had an implicit feeling that I was a failure for not ‘fitting in’ and so I needed to change, but lately I am realising I didn’t need to change at all, my task lay in coming to know myself, so I had something real to offer relationship.
The Buddhist’s say the ‘self’ is just a construction and I do believe we can construct a false self of representations, but I am a firm believer that there lies inside an essential core of us we can know. For me, as a sensitive, soul attuned person I find this feeling comes when I am connected to nature and my inner world. I never feel more at home as on moments where I sit being comforted by the breeze flowing on my face, listening to the song of a local magpie who comes to visit around lunchtime and while writing or reflecting I touch base with something essential and lovely so deep inside. At moments like this I realise that my hunger for connection outside of myself often led me astray. My need to be liked or understood by those who could not hurt me and I also made demands at times out of a needy self that did not know how to hold her own hand.
I am so happy to say that lately these feelings of ‘need’ are dropping away. I was thinking today of the young child or baby who cries out and when not heard collapses into depression or resignation. In my own case I am learning to give up and surrender longings I direct toward unavailable sources. And I have discovered a fundamental truth, that I connect best to those who connect with their inward worlds, something I touched on in a previous post about being an orphan.
Lately, I don’t feel that totally empty, bereft feeling of orphanhood that I did before, I am not making demands to have a different journey or fate than I have. I will always probably be a loner but the paradox is that in society I connect with others when I see deeper in a way those who are on another plane don’t. It’s not something that is easy to express and I know there are others out there a lot like me. I don’t feel as alone in the crowd as I used to because lately I see more of our common humanity.
A fellow blogger helped me a lot a few months ago when I was sharing how I had met with a friend and we hadn’t connected by saying that connections cannot be forced and we cannot will them into being. Knowing when we are connected and disconnected is important. For me if I feel disconnected in a certain situation its a sign to retreat and listen to my soul. I find so much loving connection, too from my blog and through reading the writing and blogs of others, It’s that joyous moment of pleasure and uplift that comes from being received and ‘got’ and I am so grateful for it. I am also coming to be more and more grateful for my times of deep solitude which are like a balm to me. I am beginning to realise all the gifts I have and its okay to be alone, not necessarily a sign of something wrong with us.
I also feel myself separating more and more from my family on the earthly plane. Deep at a soul level I know we are connected and always will be, but it seems to me I am beginning to be aware of playing a ‘role’ in that family can limit my soul which wants to be freer to breath new life into old past grief filled places. Its beginning to be a real possibility that I can find a way to live outside of the pain of a past that nearly crushed me and for that I am grateful beyond words.