I’m sitting here looking out the window to my back yard. Today is so different than yesterday. The sun is out, the sky a glorious blue and a breeze is blowing through drying out the landscape from yesterday’s rains. The cats appear periodically to see if more food has magically appeared in the bowls on the steps, while the dogs out front are still adjusting to the training collars and the barking unnecessarily is against the rules edict.
I had a nice, long, very long, nice long, conversation with mom. Don’t get me wrong here, I love talking with my mother. I am overjoyed that my parents are still with us at their age and with the fact they are breaking all family life expectancy history. There are times though as if I am being reminded of those times in school when I memorized parts of Shakespeare for class. Rinse and repeat.
My adult son still lives at home. He works long hours at a real job, he has things he enjoys doing with real friends. The fact he still lives at home does and does not bother me. It does because he needs a life of his own, it doesn’t because he is here to help me with things I can’t (or don’t want) to do. Plus he helps with bills and that part is nice.
He bought a camper a while back, he said it was for those trips he enjoys taking, but the thing is big enough for one person to actually live in so I wonder. But the fact he is here, the fact that I have so much family living around me, is nice for me in that me being lonely is a rare bird.
When my husband died, that rocked my world, everything tilted and shifted to a new place. Even with family close, even with the fact that he was rarely home due to his job, there was a difference. A phone that rang constantly-stopped. The silence was nearly unbearable. I was so accustomed to not being able to do anything without interruption that when I suddenly could, it took a full readjustment.
At the time though, I had family close, I had church, I had my job.Then, I no longer had a job. We could also no longer worship together. The parks were closed. That meant a lot more adjustments.
I am very blessed that I live in a rural area with plenty of space to wander about. Yet, it tends to be a solitary existence. When my son is at work, it gets very quiet. I spent the first months doing a lot of yard work. I kept very busy. Yet, there were times, when the silence was overwhelming. I had lessons to learn.
What is loneliness?
Sitting in an assisted living facility, forgotten.Being a patient in a hospital and no one is allowed to be there.An elderly person living at home, and no one comes to visit.The single person, staring at the phone that doesn’t ring.An individual in a prison cell.The one in a crowd, uncomfortable and unsure.But the worst Jesus the Christ, hanging on the cross, when God the Father looked away.
I am such a work in progress, but the Good Lord has great patience.
My son gets upset with me, calls me a recluse. The other night he called from work and invited me to join him at the Cracker Barrel for supper. While we were there I got into a conversation with the server. He finally interrupted and said she really needed to get back to work before I got her into trouble. He was proud of me..but..and he was right.
The thing is, I don’t feel like a recluse. I feel peace here. The times it bothers me, is when I feel as if I could be-should be contributing more to things going on around me. There is charity work to be done, people to help, and I’m contentedly staring out the window at cats. Cats who are still afraid of me, but trust me enough to eat the food I put out for them.
I can’t tell anyone how to conquer their loneliness. Especially in this day and time. There are still too many who are concerned over the virus and what it can do. There are many who fear saying the wrong thing to someone. There are those, who suffer from that darkness, but don’t know how or where to seek the light. I can’t answer, because we are all so different and face different obstacles.
I know for me, my peace came through creating that personal walking circle. The place my son calls my thinking circle. The place where I walk and I talk with the Lord. Out loud actually, but quiet enough to make it personal. I walk, I talk, I listen and I wait. There have been answers. Enough that I know, feelings of loneliness are manufactured emotions meant to trap us in a bad place. A place where we are ineffective and powerless. But in truth, we aren’t powerless. We can find our own individual ways that fight and overcome the lonely feelings and to where we may be alone, but not lonely. There is great peace, healing, and growth, in solitude.