Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Only the lonely

How many songs do you know about being lonely, the first two that pop straight into my head are “One is the loneliest, number one is the loneliest, Number one is the loneliest number that you'll ever do” (http://youtu.be/22QYriWAF-U) and “Only the lonely Know the way I feel tonight Only the lonely Know this feelin aint right” (http://youtu.be/kjq4wYuwgxs).   Being lonely is one of the greatest things I fear about getting old but this is not why I want to discuss loneliness.

Tonight I lay on the bed reading my children stories before bedtime, they were draped on me, stroking my hair, asking me a bucket load of questions and I just looked at them in complete awe.  Here are these amazing inquisitive, super intuitive, loving beings that I am blessed to know and love.  I feel privileged that I am able to spend all of my days with them, and I feel honoured and humbled that they love me, not because of what I look like, what I can do, they just love me.  It got me thinking we could learn so much from their approach to life.  If we all start out like that does anybody know when do we get turned into cynical, task orientated, judgemental, hypocritical grownups? 

I know I will have the pleasure of having my children in my home for such a short time and I am absolutely committed and focused on loving them and enjoying them, as much as humanly possible, during this time.  I get fleeting feelings of impending loss and heartache when I think of them growing up, but I also get feelings of immense pride when they are able to turn and sing the Tim McGraw song Last Dollar,  “1-2-3 Like a bird I sing Cause you've given me the most beautiful set of wings I’m so glad you’re here today Cause tomorrow I might have to go and fly away” (http://youtu.be/EyFwMd_a6JI).

So what does all this have to do with being lonely?  I am thinking one of the most important things we can do to make our world a lovely place to live is to actively do things to make people feel less lonely.  A new person moves to town, invite them over; visit an elderly neighbour; say hello to people in the supermarket; post a birthday card to remember an old friends birthday.  They seem like little acts that could easily and justifiably be over looked in our busy days, but maybe, just maybe, making people feel loved and connected might be more important than getting to a meeting on time, mopping the floors, mowing the lawn, working late to meet a deadline.

The tricky thing is you don’t even have to be alone to feel lonely.  You could start with the people that live in your house, does anybody feel lonely, misunderstood, unheard?  I am reading “The 5 Love Languages of Children”, and I have also started reading “The 5 Love Languages” both by Gary Chapman and this has opened my eyes to the most important relationships in my life.  The concept of love languages examines how we receive love, and if we don’t talk the love language of our spouse or children they may never feel completely loved, and therefore will not be able to reach their full potential.  It is fascinating and I cannot recommend the books highly enough.  I have also been attending a 6 week workshops that includes learning how to be a better listener.  All these things are combining to paint a detailed picture of what is required to love properly, so those nearest and dearest to us don’t feel lonely.  Up until now I kind of assumed we all just knew how to love, but with knowledge and commitment, we can love so much better.

I feel a little like I am on my high horse and I should stop preaching, but I am so obsessed with love at the moment and the benefits that come from love that I just can’t stop thinking, talking and writing about it.  What do you think?

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