I used to call it lonely

This last week has been tough! I have had some really good moments with some simple realizations that are helping me work through the things that I am feeling. However, even with the reading and self-care (which is not selfish) there are some really tough days. These days are ones with negatively charged emotions that I have previously named. I am trying to rename them or take the name away completely as they have held too much power with me.

I find that these names create a real strong desire for me to look at things in a negative way, for example “I’m not making any progress”. I forget briefly that some things take longer to identify and heal. However, the ego part of me just wants it to be “better” or “fixed”! The ego does not like me looking too deep as it will lose the control or the power it holds… No one has told me “well shit, you are doing all this work and you have a bad day so you might as well call it quits, this must not be working”… The only thing to say that is the ego! The ego is not saying, “things and emotions are exactly as they need to be for my journey”. The ego is not saying, “I am fine, acceptable and worthy as I am”. I need to know and say these things from my essence. However the debate with the ego is always tough.

To describe this week with a name it would be “lonely”. For me the word “lonely” comes with a lot of baggage or grains of sand. I could be sitting in a crowd of people who know me and even some who love me. However, “I am lonely”! Some of you may know this feeling and some may not. Lonely is a name I have attached to a feeling in my body. I am trying to learn to distinguish feeling versus names we gave them. As part of “The Presence Process” (a book I am reading) accepting the first thought that comes to my mind when this feeling happens is not usually the correct thought. This thought is usually putting the feeling I am getting as external to me. I sometimes will try to fill that void with texting, Facebook, phone calls or just a general distraction. I did that a lot more in my not so distant past then I am doing today.

I have always applied my feelings of lonely to people being gone. Changing this behaviour for me is hard. So as I sit with this feeling, I start to ask this question; “when was the last time I felt this way?” Once I have identified the last time, I ask the same question about the time before that and continue this until I come up with no more answers or the real last time.

The problem with “lonely” is that I have a lot of moments in this life of mine where this feeling has overwhelmed me. I have two that really stick out. The first was when I was in Cyprus on my U.N. peacekeeping tour. There was an incident where I felt worried for my life and had something else happen that made this incident even more emotionally charged for lonely. The second was Thanksgiving in Nova Scotia, Canada when I was in grade 9.

Let’s start with Cyprus, only because it’s the most recent emotionally charged memory. This was the first time that I thought taking my life was now a solution. I was on patrol with my fire team partner in between the Greek and Turkish forces. When a Turkish soldier was a little bored and was playing with his weapon pointing at different things and by things, I mean people. Unfortunately, he did not know weapons safety or what a safety switch was. He pulled the trigger and a shot was fired narrowly missing the Greek soldier by inches. The Greek soldiers at their Observation Post (O.P.) amassed on position with each one carrying a weapon and somewhat ready to fight. Now as a U.N soldier, we carried a weapon and bullets however the rifle was not loaded and we were not allowed to load them until directly fired upon. What I know about soldiers who have time to take aim without threat of having shots fired back is that they are amazing marksmen. So if they were going to fire at us, chances are one, if not both of us, would not have a chance to load our personal weapon.

I was not aware of the impact this had on me at the time (yet again). Now the U.N decided it would be a good idea to add our own O.P. to this area as a patrol walking by every couple of hours was not enough and this area needed constant supervision. I was on night duty by myself in this new O.P. two weeks later. It was about 4 AM and I felt this horrible mass in my chest. I felt so alone in this world and I thought I wanted to die. I even loaded my weapon. The next day (no story here) I got what is known as a “Dear John” letter from back home.   I have realized the emotional charge that I applied to the “Dear John” letter was also enhanced by my experience a few weeks earlier. A new feeling in my body was now created and I would associate it with “lonely”.

The second incident that came to mind (but first in my life that I could think of for now) that produced this feeling was when I was going to a private Christian School in Nova Scotia when I was 14. My family did not have a ton of money however the church we attended (when I attended) had a school in Nova Scotia they were affiliated with. So it was decided, and I agreed, that this would be a good opportunity for me. Since we did not have a lot of money, travelling back and forth for all the holidays was not an option. The emotionally charged incident happened on Thanksgiving where everyone else including staff was traveling to be with family and friends. I spent Thanksgiving in a Pizza Hut eating a Panzerotti by myself. I went back to the dorm, which was empty. Again this feeling in my chest was associated with lonely.

I continue to work through “lonely” and unravel the ball of string to remove its power and change its narrative and feelings. I expect that my journey will have a few more emotional times around lonely where I will need to look deeper. Once I do and I find the original grain of sand, I can continue the work on that Pearl and lonely will no longer be in control!

Keep chasing those cars!

With Love, Respect and Admiration.

Steve

2 thoughts on “I used to call it lonely

  1. wow nro I an so relate to the word lonely and the remedies of texting and calling anybody when it happens. I’m grateful everyday though for all my family and especially my brothers. Love ya bro

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