A couple of weeks ago, I decided to watch “Eat, Pray, Love” for the billionth time.
I love that movie.
I absolutely ADORE the book.
Like, #ICantEven …
During a particular scene in the movie, the camera flashes upon the word “Solo” in the dictionary, and it’s definition.
“A thing done by one person unaccompanied”.
It’s a foreign thing to a lot of people.
Doing things “solo”.
Essentially, we do everything alone.
We are always “unaccompanied”.
Yes, we often have company – however we are always on our own.
But there are differences between being alone, and being lonely.
And as I am really good at being alone, today I want to talk about loneliness.
The dictionary definition for loneliness is this:
“The quality of being unfrequented and remote; isolation”.
You do not have to be alone to feel lonely.
You can feel lonely in a crowd.
As cliched as that may sound.
You can feel lonely in a relationship.
The presence of another person does not necessarily equal a lack of loneliness.
And that’s where a lot of us have got it all wrong.
Hinging our feelings upon that of another.
To the point where you need to be in the constant company of someone else to fill that illusionary void.
I know that I have personally felt a powerful sense of loneliness, and isolation when I have been within the company of others. A lot of times, I have felt downright invisible.
So I can say that the presence of another – or others, is not what “makes it all better”.
It’s a trap that a lot of us fall into.
Thinking that the absence of another is what loneliness means.
It couldn’t be further from the truth.
I have frequently felt as though I don’t belong.
That I don’t fit in.
I know I’m a bit of a weirdo.
All of us are really.
I often say the wrong things, and I sometimes make a fool of myself.
I will openly admit to being a total jackass.
To occasionally being a little outspoken.
To being “off with the fairies”.
But you know what?
I don’t care.
I’m really nice. My heart is in the right place. And I really like me.
In fact, I love me.
However, other people often do care that you are not marching to the beat of their own bullshit drum.
But with age, I have come to recognise that the “wrong things” that I say and do, are actually not wrong at all.
They are just different ideas and beliefs to those that were in my company at that time.
And perhaps I have just surrounded myself with the wrong types of people.
Lots of us do that at times…
After watching “Eat, Pray, Love” that day, I went back and flicked through the book.
Searching for more.
And I realised something, after coming across a quote that I will post at the end of this article.
In breaking away from everything that was once familiar and routine to me – in walking on the proverbial “road less travelled”, I discovered that I have found what it was that I was looking for.
I have found my truth.
And it doesn’t rely upon the validation of another.
Well, not entirely.
But for the bits where I do need some sort of “feedback”, I have actively sought out those that I am in alignment with.
That accept me, and love me for the complicated mess that I am.
And in my opinion?
We are all a bit of a complicated mess…
So todays message is this:
It is not a lack of company that reveals who you really are.
Although, from experience, that really does help at times.
Being “solo” truly is a gift.
Because it gives you the distance and clarity to be the observer, and to know what it is that you don’t want.
It is often having lots of different experiences, that engage a wide variety of other personalities, to reflect back to you what you know you do not want to settle for.
I have often been accused of not knowing what I want.
And it has always been painted to me as a negative trait.
Yet today – I am telling you right now that it’s a positive.
It’s not that I do not know what I want.
I know what I DO NOT want.
By knowing what you don’t want, makes it’s so much more excellent when the things that you DO want reveal themselves to you.
Today I leave you with the quote that I mentioned earlier.
And know this – so long as you are being true to yourself, that you have the balls to travel that road “solo”; “unaccompanied” – the truth will not be withheld from you.
“I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.” – Elizabeth Gilbert; Eat, Pray, Love