I’ve suffered from loneliness many times in my life. I even remember being lonely as a little a girl. My mother didn’t like me to have friends over all that much and I spent a lot of time in my room, listening to records and playing with my stuffed animals.
During bedtime when I was a small child, my brother Russ listened to his stereo with headphones or talked with truckers on his CB with his door closed. My brother Marty hung out in his room with guy friends, readying to go out to a party.
Russ’s stereo would send the faint sound of seventies rock music back to my orange room, papered that way because it was mother’s favorite color. Marty would rush out the door to go to his disco party.
I would hug my giant sized stuffed gorilla named Rootbeer, and ask him to protect me, always in a whisper because I was afraid my parents would overhear. I closed my eyes, opened them halfway, and peered through them to make the ceiling blur. I didn’t want to sleep because I knew what was awaiting me in my dream: a giant spider spinning its web high on top the bed frame.
“Rootbeer, it’s back.” I murmured into his ear.
Hairy and ugly, the spider spoke to me in a shrill hi-fi voice like an electric drill that penetrated my skull, its white sharp teeth visible through a shrieking black mouth.
I shoved Rootbeer off of me and jumped out of bed, taking my blanky and my pillow, dragging them to the open door and curling up in a ball inside the doorframe. My toes spread against one side of the open doorway’s frame, the side of my head against the other. I wanted to be near the hall light, to be near the sound of my grown-up family so I could feel like I was part of them.
I closed my eyes tight, hoping to squeeze out the voice of the spider above my bed. I held my blanky against my cheek and rested a corner of it on my lips. Hiding my thumb in my mouth behind it, I finally slept.
In the morning, I woke up in my bed with Rootbeer on top of me. Marty must have put us there when he got home from being with his friends. No one asked me in the morning why I slept in the doorway. If they had, I wouldn’t have told them it was because of the spider.
The spider’s piercing voice haunted me throughout my childhood, echoing in my ears well into adulthood. When the creature spoke it was with my mother’s tongue, reminding me of that horror and shame and making it clear where my self-hatred came from. “You are no good. You will never be perfect. You are irresponsible. You will never be enough…”
This is an old story. A story that isn’t true, even though I believed it. It’s a story I made up to fit what I wanted to remember: an innate sense of loneliness.
Inner-voices like these can haunt us and separate us from our sense of connection and love. The only reason why they have this kind of power is because we believe them.
Today, when loneliness creeps up on me, which is very rare, thankfully, I know two things:
I am telling myself a lie about myself.
I have lost connection to my creativity and life purpose.
The two work in hand-in-hand. To overcome the stuck, low feelings of self-judgment and criticism, I know that I need to get busy working on my greater life dreams.
To take action and start creating my dreams, I need to realize that what’s stopping me is a lie I am telling myself.
I immediately start asking myself questions to feel connected again:
- What’s something new I could learn?
- What would be fun right now to explore that I haven’t yet?
- What lights up my passion or makes me feel alive?
- What did I do as a child that gave me happiness?
- If I could do anything, if my possibilities were infinite, what would I create next?
When I am connected to something I am passionate about I NEVER feel alone. And as a bonus, I forget all that negative stuff I was telling myself because I’m too busy doing what turns me on and feels fun.
To feel even more connected, I think about how I want to give back to others. How do I want to make a difference? How can I make the world a better place? I investigate my strengths and how I want to expand upon them.
I think about you and how much it means to me be in your inbox, connecting every Sunday morning. And I’m so grateful. Thank you.
Here’s to your greatest connection and fulfillment!