You’re all so dang nice. I mean that sincerely. After yesterdays post, Watching an Empty Pillow, an outpouring of love and advice came in. So many of you discussed so many interesting dynamics of loneliness.
There were different flavors of responses that kept recurring, and all of them gave me ample opportunity to think about some things. I may talk about others later on, but today I want to focus on this one:
“You will never be happy with someone until you are happy being alone.”
I heard that one several times.
I find that statement to be a little too assumptive and all-encompassing. I mean, can’t happy people be lonely and sad sometimes? Can’t really happy people be lonely and sad sometimes?
I am very happy in life right now. I feel a great sense of integrity in the way I live my life and the way I parent my child. I believe this is what brings me that happiness. I am very much okay being single (most of the time). I live a blessed life full of family, friendships, and gratifying extracurricular activities. I am grateful for all that I have, and I don’t generally desire anything more.
But all that aside, loneliness can creep in once in a while. Bad days can creep in once in a while. It doesn’t mean I’m unhappy at all.
Sometimes life beats the crap out of you. Sometimes stress overtakes you. Sometimes people are so mean to you.
And, sometimes life rewards you. Sometimes unexpected blessings fall into your lap. Sometimes people are so nice to you.
When I wrote the empty pillow post, I had all of that (on both sides of the equation) going on, extrapolated to thousands of stimuli hitting me all at once. It was overwhelming. It was terrifying. It was a place I wasn’t mentally prepared to be. And it would have been really nice to have somebody there. To have the love of my life there.
I’ve had it before, you know. And I haven’t forgotten what it was like to cry about the hard things to the person I love. I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be excited about the good things with the person I love.
And perhaps it’s because I have known it in the past that it hurts when I could really benefit from it, but don’t have it now. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t given up on having it again that it sometimes hurts when I need it and it’s not there yet.
No, I don’t think loneliness is a determiner of personal happiness at all.
It’s just loneliness.
I’m sure there are some who are lonely because they don’t like themselves or are unhappy and they think having somebody, anybody, there will fix it all. That’s another blog post for another day.
If I felt that way, I would have no trouble filling that empty pillow.
But I am waiting for something more. I am waiting for the true love of my life. My confidant. The person who really knows me because I let her really know me and because she wants to really know me.
I’m not going to be okay with just anybody in my bed to make the occasional loneliness go away.
And, I’m guessing that anybody who really connected with yesterday’s post is in the same boat. I think there are a lot of really happy, loved, and wanted people who are just lonely sometimes because, like me, they are waiting for the right person to fill that empty pillow. And, like me, sometimes life gets overwhelming and it just hurts not having somebody there when having someone there would make all the difference.
But, also like me, they probably wake up the next morning and feel better. Happy and okay. Ready to take on the world once more.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. What do you think about this dynamic of loneliness? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think truly happy people can be lonely?