I've just returned from a week with my family. as with all weeks with my family of origin, there were great joys and some interesting struggles. lots of laughter and playing and relaxing, and some arguments and tensions thrown in for good measure. ah family. delightful and difficult.
in returning to my life in the city, I am aware of loneliness threatening to overtake me. I'm not sure why - maybe just having been in the midst of the crazy noisy busy throes of family for a while, and then returning to a quieter simple life. definitely partly because my time with my family included the birth of a new niece and lots of cuddles with another niece, and I sure do miss them!! also due to the fact that I really love and treasure my brother and sister, and had great conversations and long walks with them, and I miss them. and I guess that it is quite a lovely thing, that I'm experiencing this loneliness, because it's making me realize how much I do treasure the relationships I have in my family. that's a gift, isn't it?!
yesterday I was feeling quite lonely, and all the friends I'd normally call or see are quite busy these days or have some struggles going on. I decided to spontaneously pop in on a friend's coffee shop to see if he was around. and he was. and we sat and had a latte and wonderful inspiring uplifting conversation. [so grateful for friendship when loneliness rises] and at the end of the conversation he asked if I was still writing, and I said I'd been away from it for a while, and he gently prodded me to get back to writing.
so here I am:)
today I taught a couple classes (I teach yoga) and then decided to go for a bike ride this evening. sat by the canal here in Ottawa for a little bit to soak up some nature vibes - watched the ducks, watched the water, soaked in the green. and I was so aware of the feeling of loneliness. thoughts always run to my single state, my desire for love and companionship, thoughts about singleness, coupleness, and what I desire in my life. oh so many thoughts. and the loneliness swelled. it hurt, so I grabbed my phone and texted a couple of friends. and then I set my phone down, and thought, can you sit with your feelings? can you sit with loneliness? instead of dulling the pain with phone/email/facebook/tv, can you sit with it? argh. it's a tough one. I thought of the writing of Oriah Mountain Dreamer, called "the Invitation" http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/, where she asks "I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it."
As I sat there, feeling the waves and intensity of emotion, I realized that it takes so so much courage to do that. I had to dig very deep to do it. It's so much easier to dull it. To hide it or fade it. As I sat there with it, I found myself asking, what if this is life? What if it doesn't get better or easier or less lonely or more anything? And I thought, it's ok. I still choose life. I choose the joys and the pains and the awareness and the struggles and the bliss and the ups and downs and uncertainties and adventures and sorrows. because baby, this is life. it is raw. it is beautiful. it is wretched and hard and wonderful and terrible. and I get to live it. I get to breathe and walk and run and cry and laugh and play and feel and sit and fall and climb. what an amazing gift that is.
so, dear ones who may read this, I wish you joy and companionship and love and a sense of belonging. and I wish you courage when you don't sense or feel those things, courage to sit with it. to breathe through it. to know you are strong and beautiful and perfect and delightful and wonderfully human.