10. Alone but not alone
As I may have expected, having given my manuscript to the first person to read it, there’s another contraction today. I won’t bore you with all the thoughts that came back, but pretty much all that you’ve read so far. I remind myself that this is all part of the process, and that I’m clearing the feelings that inevitably come up once I move in a new direction. This happens gradually, in manageable doses, layer by layer, bit by bit.
But it’s time to celebrate! —underneath all this self-talk, self-doubt, defensive behaviours and endless confusion, I’ve uncovered one of the underlying feelings! It’s magnified and reinforced beautifully by my current grief as well. (see posts 1 & 2) The feeling this time is literally my aloneness. Yay !
But hang on. Didn’t I already do the aloneness theme back in blog post 4, on February 5th? Back then I wrote, “I keep things to myself. I internalize, because I know I see things very differently to my family. There is so much inside of me that I’ve kept to myself. I’m the odd one out, so it’s best to not let on that I’m this degree of weird.”
Oh, I see, it’s like the layers of an onion. I peel back one layer of aloneness, and there’s another layer beneath that. Perhaps you’ve found the same in your personal growth work?
I know that, in an ideal world, I ‘should’ be able to stand alone in putting my story out there and letting the first person read it. I would be able to speak my truth without any reassurance, even if I’m the only one in the world who sees things this way.
(By the way, ‘should’ is a horrible, judgmental word, and one that I try very hard not to use. I try not to judge myself for my choices, but accept that I’m doing my best for where I’m at.)
Could I stand alone with my view of my world? I have always been alone with my thoughts, alone as the odd one out – I handled it. I developed a trait of fierce independence to help me mask this emotional aloneness. (Part 3 of my book shows the origins of all this). I’ve never had a tribe of people who perfectly understood me, who propped me up and affirmed every little part of me in every moment. This did force me to have a certain strength, so, in hindsight, I see that as a positive. My Teacher’s College friends recall me as being one who always knew her own mind.
This new reality I’m in now seems to be full of paradoxes – gosh, I must be getting somewhere! The paradox is; I’m alone but not alone.
I’m experiencing this in two ways: a) I’m ultimately alone when I’m grieving, but I have support from wonderful friends and b) I’ve had to make this decision to publish my book on my own, but I do have support now, from subtle coincidences, and things just falling into place. Some would say the angels are helping me. My way of seeing the world is unique, but way back in blog post 2, I see how that other book just fell into my lap, and affirmed that there is at least one other person in the world who has many insights which resonate with me. I’m alone but not alone.
This new awareness takes some getting used to.
I know that there are many of you out there who’ve been living in this way for quite some time. In a recent talk by the wonderful and dynamic co-ordinator of Geelong’s Samaritan House, we heard about the help and the magical coincidences that happen on a daily basis. Josephine calls them ‘God-moments’.
Another friend of mine, Jan, a school teacher, was stirred to compassionate action to form Bali Smiles, a charity that has built and maintains a medical centre in a remote area of Bali. http://www.balismiles.com This is literally changing the lives of the community. Jan says that things just fall into place for this project all the time.
But this new awareness of actually receiving help is new to me. How does it play out when applied to that deep-seated feeling of my aloneness?
I’m trying not to grasp for someone to prop me up or to take away the aloneness. I simply sit with this feeling, and allow it to wash through me. It’s like sitting in a neutral space.
But here’s a big new statement for me: “I’m too small for this. I can’t handle it like I normally do – all on my own, without support. My fierce independence is not working any more. Please, I need some reassurance.” It felt like a prayer. That’s it. That’s all I did.
I made myself a delicious, well-balanced salad for lunch, and then there was some quiet time lying in my hammock listening to music, being gentle with my sadness, watching the clouds—my favourite thing to do.
Later in the afternoon, I received a text message from my first-reader friend:- “How did you manage to have all those insights twenty years ago? … I feel deeply privileged to have seen your soul.” She finishes with a line from my book, “Go on, go on and fly.”
I cry with relief, with love, and with all the reassurance and blessings I am receiving. It turns out that all I need to do is surrender my resistance and control, and allow my feelings to come to the surface. I can then ask for help, and the Universe provides.