Lonely and Loving

I’ve never truly been alone, in the sense that no one was there to support me or have my back or even give me a hug when I needed one however for some reason I’ve always felt lonely. I’ve always felt like there was an absence in my heart; a void that was never quite filled; a piece that was missing and I had always felt like that, unless I had a significant other in my life. This was because I believed the opposite of loneliness was love and the only way to fill that absence was with someone else.

I’m sure that for some people love is their answer for loneliness and having each other makes life complete, however for me and from what I’ve experienced, even though that void was filled when my significant other was there, when they were absent, that hole ended up bigger than ever and the piece that was missing from the puzzle made it unrecognizable. Loneliness from that absence in your heart hurts, but to feel that loneliness when you’re with someone because that void still exists can be unbearable.

It truly made me wonder; if I had the love of another and still felt that loneliness inside of me, then what exactly is that absence that exists in my heart? That void that I recognize as loneliness?

It was only until I started taking this journey of self discovery that I recognize what that loneliness is. Loneliness and the missing piece that exists, is a lack of friendship and understanding that you have with your own self. Throughout this journey, I’m getting to know who I am, and learning how to respect and love the person that I see in the mirror and it honestly feels like there is a presence within myself, a presence that is filling the absence in my heart, filling that void and becoming the missing piece. By becoming friends with my own self and loving who that person is I’m starting to feel whole.

The opposite of loneliness is still love, not love in the sense that I used to think, but love of one’s self and the friendship that one forms with one’s self.

This has changed what love with another is to me… I had always believed that I needed the love of another in order to be whole and that my own love could make others whole, so I loved as much and as often as I could regardless of how much it hurt me and regardless of whether I was loved back. I was trying to fill the void that was in others… the void that I felt so often in myself and hoped that eventually someone would complete me. This just led to my heart being broken and making that hole even larger every time.

Eventually the hole was becoming too large and I was tired of loving for the sake of others. I was becoming jaded and started feeling hatred for the world. My heart felt fragile and I needed to protect it. And so I was left with a large absence in my heart, and an increasing distrust of love for anyone… Until I began this journey and realized that when people said that you need to love yourself, it was about actually getting to know your own qualities and truly understanding and loving your own self.

I no longer want to love another because it fills a hole that exists in myself or anyone else because of loneliness. I want to love another because loving someone else is a bond that has nothing to do with being lonely, it’s sharing the friend that you have made with yourself with that special someone that you cherish.

Fragile

I was driving in my car to play soccer with a friend listening to the music on his phone and a song came on that I was particularly interested in; fragile. I had been recovering from a minor heart hiccup from someone I had been interested in and nothing in my life seemed to be going in the right direction. I was feeling vulnerable and left a little broken up by my life and the uncertainty of where it was headed. I was nearing bankruptcy with no job and in quite a bit of debt with no assets to show for it. … In all sense of the word, I felt fragile, like I was about to break. After hearing this song, I started on a Youtube journey and started listening to some gangster hip-hop music which transformed some of my feelings of fragility into feelings of anger, but more-so feelings of frustration.

Life really doesn’t owe you anything, I got that, but I didn’t really owe life anything either, I know you get back what you put out and doing nothing meant I was getting nowhere, feeling broken and sorry for myself wasn’t getting me out of the situation I was in but I was frustrated and didn’t know what to do.

Luckily I ended up reconnecting with an old friend who got me a part time job in retail with him which wasn’t quite getting me away from bankruptcy but it was slowing it down. Plus it gave my something to focus on, and started to make me feel like I mattered again, like I wasn’t a broken shell of a human, like I had some purpose, even if was just to sell something I didn’t care about to people that treated me like crap; I had a use and I wouldn’t break so easily.

Lucky for me again, I caught a few breaks thanks to one of my closest friends. He had always been looking out for me to find a job and there was an opening. He ended up recommending me for the position, I had an interview and I was hired! Not only was I hired for that job but I also had an interview for another job that was through him, and I ended up getting hired there as well which is where I currently work.

I finally had a job I could call a career and felt stable, like things were ok and I wasn’t on the verge of breaking, but why had I been afraid and so frustrated by my own fragility? Looking back with some perspective, I can see that it was frustrating because I felt like I didn’t have control over my life and I was afraid of where it was going. I was afraid to be fragile, afraid to break at any moment at the weight of the uncertainty of my life which is a valid reason to be afraid.

So I’m fragile and I feel like when things get too difficult I am going to break, and honestly who doesn’t feel like that when the world is crashing around you? The thing that I need to start learning though, is that I shouldn’t get frustrated and suffer because I’m breakable, I should seek help if I need it. Don’t endure something alone when you think it’s going to break you. I’m fortunate enough to have a great group of friends that I can go to if I need help but even if I didn’t have them, there are people out there that can help in the most fragile of moments; we just have to be willing to look and accept that we are fragile.

Helpful

Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve done my best to be as helpful to others as I can. I’ve always wondered where this behaviour stemmed from. I like to think that it stemmed from my belief that if people in the world would put each other’s necessities ahead of their own personal interests, we could all come out ahead. Not to say, ignore your own personal needs, however if you have everything you need in life and can choose between something nice for yourself or helping someone who is struggling, maybe help the person who is struggling. Basically to change the order of the saying ‘looking out for number one’ so the order starts with 1. Other people and then 2.Our own personal interests. I can’t say I’ve always done that but I have put myself in situations where I’ve thrown myself to the hounds in order to make sure someone else is stable and I can’t say I’ve ever regretted it because whenever I’ve been down and out, someone has always been there for me and that’s a really great feeling that should be shared.

However I know I adopted that belief from continuously helping others so it is not the root of why I am willing to help others so readily even if it sets me back, so I’ve had to look back farther to my childhood. I believe my helpfulness trait comes from growing up and seeing a lot of the opposite. I grew up in a poorer part of my city where there are a lot of lower income families struggling to get ahead. Unfortunately it’s almost ingrained in you that you shouldn’t consider others if you ever want to get ahead, ‘got to look out for number one’. Because of that mentality I’ve watched people neglect others when they were in need not because they couldn’t help but because they seemed to choose not to because they might put themselves out. I believe because I’ve seen selfishness and seen how it can make another feel, I chose that I would not be like that, and if I have to sacrifice something small like watching football on Sunday to help someone out, that it would be a no-brainer for me where I’ve seen others say no.

So the way I grew up and saw others treat people shaped my trait of being helpful but I have to reflect on what that means. I know I’m helpful, and I know why I’m helpful, but is my helpfulness always a good thing? How do I determine if I’m starting to sacrifice my own needs for others? The one thing I’ve determined from these questions is that I haven’t cared enough about my future needs in order to be happy and successful, because I’ve continuously sacrificed them to make sure others had their happiness and success in their future. It’s not that I should stop helping others achieve that success and happiness, but I definitely need to be more mindful of my own future and stop jeopardising my happiness.