Loneliness sucks, it really does. I dug out a book I read last year titled The Secret Blend. I must have read it too fast last time, only acknowledging things intellectually without any real application. This time, with more knowledge, I read it slower to digest it better.
Quick overview of the lessons: be a friend to yourself first, be a friend, encourage others, listen with full attention, forgive easily, and do not be afraid to say, “I love you”. Lessons 1, 2, and 6, were and are my hang-ups. ‘Be a friend to myself?’ How does that work without becoming a raging egomaniac?
By not beating yourself up or being overly proud; in being at peace with ourselves, we are not wrapped up in our insecurities. I think this leads into lesson 2 – being a friend, so we are not wrapped up in our heads. Here the gift-love can work; being kind is easier, giving time to others in the form of help or just listening with real interest. This is easier than lesson 6, telling others I love them; love is not a word I use lightly. I have yet to make the mental connection to friendship, so those words are reserved for my wife only still.
This is easier said than done, right?
Correct; I was nervous honestly. I asked God to help me remember and put this into action at the Deaf Den pizza party. Arriving early, I wandered around, helping here and there before it started. Afterwards, I hardly got to eat since I was carrying on a four-way conversation; my pizza got cold. I listened to stories of moving, cats, introversion, and shyness. Since I deal with these same issues it felt good to make them feel like they were not alone, and knowing I was not either. When I left, I was not hit with the usual loneliness. I felt enriched, a very nice change from the norm.