I just spent the better part of an hour and a half writing and talking about the issue of self-trust. It’s a biggie and the umbrella under which each of us travels through every day and night of our existence. It is the most often hidden motivation behind an endless array of personal choices we make, especially in the arena of relationships, as well as a multitude of others.
We are drawn to and attracted by others who validate and help us to like and love ourselves. We need others to let us know that we are not alone, or incapable of being loved. We are born knowing we can’t survive alone and we spend an inordinate amount of the rest of our lives trying to prove that that isn’t the reality, but that scared feeling will arise and eat away at us at odd moments because we first learn to trust others before self.
I trust myself, but I have also spent many Friday night evenings waffling through feelings that don’t seem so clarified at any other time. Why is that? Because on Friday night, the rest of the world is off celebrating the beginnings of a weekend that holds a world of possibilities and I am alone. If I am going to find myself wallowing in a trough of self-pity, it’s probably Friday evening. That very definitive knowledge doesn’t seem to stop all of those feelings, however.
One of the biggest problems with all of that is that when we do get lonely, we have a tendency to look inward and start picking at ourselves. Being our own best bully is a Universal trait. Why didn’t I make plans? I know that Friday evening comes around with precise clockwork efficiency, so why didn’t I act to eliminate the possibility? Well, because. I didn’t really think about it, that’s why. So, week after week, Friday after Friday, that horde of feelings rises up and pretty soon I have created a habit out of it, and those feelings are just doing their part in the way I work.
What a wonderful little circular tread I have created for myself. I’m lonely, or feeling lonely, and that must be my own fault. It would help if I could just remember that Friday night is going to arrive no matter what else I might be engaged in doing. I have to get into the habit of making plans for Friday night so I don’t have to sit here and be bombarded by all of these feelings.
But, I’ve done just that in the past. And yes, it even worked for a while, years in fact, and the fear of Friday evenings was actually diminished for a time. I had a good time instead. Until I got tired of all the running, and discovered that I could feel just as lonely in a crowded room, surrounded by friends, as when I was sitting alone in my easy chair at home. And the awful part was that I was at least more comfortable at home. Didn’t have to deal with looking my best, being on my good behavior, or worry about what someone else might think of the outfit I had on, or the way my hair wouldn’t do anything but fly away.
So, I took my fly away hair and flew home. Ah yes, my own little comfort zone, where I can just relax, listen to my music, read my books, eat whatever I choose, and just be me. Watch tv, or get out an old sketch book, maybe do some drawing or coloring. I could even write, what a novel idea. And that worked for the longest time. That Friday night feeling was all just a myth, a boogey man story to scare little children, and little old ladies.
Wait a minute. I am now one of those little old ladies. And that Friday night feeling seems to be creeping back in, separating itself from the rest of the shadows, and no matter what I might be engaged in, those feelings are being felt again. I put in all this effort, all these years of reading, writing, coloring, and tv watching, just to come back to this place again? Crap! Unadulterated crap.
Okay, let’s go back to the beginning. Do we have to? Yes, afraid so. The beginning was all of those Friday night feelings, right? Well, not exactly. The beginnings were actually the fear of those feelings. They are so heavy and depressing. So what are those feelings, exactly? Number One, I am not okay if or when I am alone. That is absolutely not true. Prove it. I’ve been alone for a whole lot of years and I’m still breathing. I have not deteriorated into some slavering idiot, or worse, some anti-social monster.
As a matter of fact, its been just the opposite. I’ve found a great deal of value in what I do and who I am. Furthermore, I don’t need anyone else to tell me those things because I know them to be true. Ahhhhhh, did you see that light bulb go on? So what does that all say to you? Mainly it says that yes, I am alone, but that does not automatically mean I need to feel lonely. The two things are not the same. Alone is not lonely, and lonely does not mean alone.
As a matter of fact, being alone on all those Friday evenings has only served to show me that there are a world of things I can do to eliminate those feelings. Not just shove them back into the shadows where they came from, but actually get rid of them. Dispel them, altogether. And all those ‘alone’ Friday evenings taught me one other important thing I needed to learn. I can trust me to deal with those feelings. I can trust the person I have become to see them for what they really are. Just feelings.
Left overs from a past in which I was genuinely lonely and, most often, blamed myself for that reality. It must be because I wasn’t a good enough friend, or failed to make them. I was a bit off, didn’t really fit in anywhere, heard a different drummer, and was always humming some other tune. The most amazing part of those lonely feelings is that they somehow convince one that no one else ever feels them. At which point, one becomes either self-pitying, or beating oneself over the head with a stick of accusations and punishment.
And all of this just brings up a really big question. Do I trust myself enough to be alone with me? The answer is yes, been doing it for years. So much so, that I had to get on the page and explore the whole subject matter, trusting me to get me where I needed to be. I rather like what I have found. Do you trust yourself enough to be alone with you, even on a Friday evening?