Loneliness is a dark and insidious friend of mine. I call it a friend because it has been with me since early childhood. It’s been a constant protector, a way to save myself from rejection and pain. Staying detached and non-committed to anyone means nobody will care enough about me to hurt me. And, if I don’t commit too much then they can’t be hurt, right? My lonely soul is just fine hanging out with me. We are best buddies and always know what the other one is thinking. My souls thoughts are…I really want a friend, lover, best pal. I’m thinking…friends, lovers and best pals have all left in the past we don’t need them.
Loneliness feels as though I’m never quite warm. Not freezing, but cold enough to know it’s there, guarding my heart with it’s steely stubbornness. It’s safer to abide by it’s rules. It probably knows best – after all, my heart is weak and longing. Letting my heart rule will surely bring with it loss once more. I don’t want anymore tears or to feel my heart splinter with disappointment. No more, watching as another person, place or thing, leaves. I don’t want to watch another person cry because of me, holding their chest in agony. Empty is better. If I stay right here in this slightly icy spot – everything and everyone will be safe from me and I from them.
Sometimes I catch myself gorging on conversation with the girl in the corner shop. Chit chat, chit chat – my heart begins to heat up banishing the coldness that loneliness brings to my body. I hear myself laugh, notice my bright smile, feel my soul dance a little to the music of my own enjoyment. I leave with a bouncy lightness in my step – back to the street again, which now feels light and airy. There’s no heaviness in my feet dragging me to the pavement. I look people in the eyes, notice their beauty and hum a little tune quietly to myself. I sit in the park and watch the lovers love, families nurture and dog owners cherish – then realise I’m alone. My heart yearns and my soul pleads to not give up on connection.
Can I step back into the world fully again? I don’t know, but maybe my lonely soul and I will try again tomorrow.