Perspectives: Loneliness - Choice vs. Choices
If you are a newcomer or simply need a reminder, the Perspectives team and concept is headed by our founder, MickeySr. We are now on our 5th installment of the series. The theme changes each month and guest writers are invited and encouraged to join us.
This month we welcome Randi, aka btrbell, taking our menage a cinq (MickeySr, Marcoujor, Martiecoetser, Docmo and myself) a step up to menage a six. Welcome Randi and thank you for rounding out the team!
I’m one of the fortunate few who have never experienced loneliness; therefore I waited until the enth hour to begin my composition. I am alone quite often and frankly, I’m perfectly comfortable with that – in fact I prefer being alone. That wasn’t true not so long ago, but bad choices in mates has rendered me accepting of what makes me comfortable, and I’ve discovered what or who makes me comfortable is me.
You may deem me selfish, but I beg to differ; I am realistic. Funny for an idealist to profess, but we must (I must) embrace every aspect of our personalities in order to be comfortable with life and claim happiness in this world. Having spent most of my life in need of others to validate me, I now, in the downside of life’s ‘hill’ need myself more than I need others. Perhaps this is due to my having not known that it is ‘me’ I need to become comfortable with more than the other way around. Again, you may call me selfish, which I was when young, but now I’m turning inside and working on becoming a better human in order to be there for others. If you still think I’m selfish, so be it.
There’s a difference between being lonely and being alone. Sometimes being alone is a conscious choice, as I have made for my current phase in life. Sometimes being alone is not a choice; someone makes it for you whether in death, separation or divorce. But what about those who separate themselves from the comfortable life they know in order to strive for a better world?
What about the soldier?
What about the soldier?
Imagine yourself thousands of miles from home in a climate unlike that of the most arid parts of the US or any other familiar climate. Imagine yourself having to look over your shoulder with every breath you take. Imagine having to look forward and around as you look behind – all the time! Imagine not being able to shower and having to eat MRE’s instead of real food. Imagine yourself sleeping in a hole dug in the sand with artillery as your pillow. Imagine the monstrous spiders and other grotesque desert dwellers crawling all around you. Imagine never being able to fall fully asleep.
Imagine wanting to come home to a hug at the end of a hard day’s work and it being so far away you can almost taste the feeling but have no idea when – or worse - if you’ll ever again feel those warm arms around you. Imagine missing the birth of your child, an anniversary, a family reunion.
My imagination spells those situations as L-O-N-E-L-I-N-E-S-S. The yearning and longing and feeling of loss one becomes saturated with is what creates the sense of loneliness. At least that’s my interpretation. The word ‘loneliness’ has a definition in the dictionary, but I think loneliness is a feeling that is hard-pressed to be defined in words, therefore I won’t bother with what the dictionary says; it has no frigging clue!
Our brave soldiers gain a comradeship that can never be rivaled. They cling to those who have seen things most of will never see, in order to survive. They will never be alone, but are they lonely? Perhaps and probably. Perhaps they won’t let you in when you try to understand. After all, who can really understand unless you’ve lived and seen what the soldier has seen? Perhaps their military position and rank has forbidden them to talk about what they have seen and done, all in the endurance of our freedom. Our beloved soldiers can’t talk about what they have seen even if they so desire to relieve their hearts, memories and minds.
My point to choice vs. choices
So, back to the title “Choice vs. Choices”. What do I mean by that? Simply put, you can choose to be lonely by ostracizing all who want to share your life in the every day circumstances of we common folk. If you experience loneliness because of that, you have brought it upon yourself. Go inside, see it and fix it unless you want to wallow in your sorrow. Frankly, I have no time for that mindset.
On the other hand, our soldiers experience loneliness that unfortunately, is part of the job description. Love them, keep in contact as often as their position will allow, be proud of them and welcome them home if you are lucky enough to have that privilege. Take time to try to fathom what they have seen in their absence from life as they know it and realize it will take time to ‘come back home’. Support them. Love them. Leave them alone when they need to be alone and work to never have them feel lonely again.
Choice vs. choices. Sometimes loneliness is brought on and sometimes it’s a bi-product. Recognize the difference and govern yourself accordingly.
Shauna L Bowling
Copyright © February 2013
All Rights Reserved
The rest of the team
Please read the perspectives offered by the other members of the team. Rarely do we have the same take on each topic. It is always interesting to see how each of us perceives the human emotion brought to mind in this series.
March's theme is 'What Don't You Know'. Please feel free to email Mickey if you'd like to be our guest writer for March.