Thursday, March 4, 2010


Since making the transition from graduate student to stay-at-home mom, I have noticed an increased sense of loneliness. While I have enjoyed the time with my daughter and have seen our relationship strengthen, I have felt a widening gap between myself and others. Adults. Friends. Colleagues.

There is a sense of isolation—perhaps tied, in part, to the fact I have no job at present that takes me outside the home and encompasses a purpose beyond self or family; perhaps related to the monetary and logistical realities of finding a sitter whenever I want to attend a show, go out with friends, or enjoy a date-night with my husband; maybe even somewhat self-inflicted and tied more to my state of mind and chosen perspective than anything else.

Perhaps entirely self-inflicted. Loneliness is, after all, a state of mind. It is a perspective... a narrative based on my perception of the elements of my life... a chosen label affixed by no one other than me to a series of emotions and thoughts I experience and then refuse to let go.

Author Dr. Brenda Shoshanna is credit with this quote: "When a sense of hunger, loneliness, dissatisfaction and craving comes, don’t blame it on others, or on circumstances. Instead, stop and look within."

So what is it then? Why the dissatisfaction, the tension, the sadness, the restlessness, the worry, the exhaustion? What is in between this state of blech and the simple joy of peaceful alertness and presence?

It's a stuckness I have encountered so many times its akin to a recurring dream. Sometimes that's how it feels. As if I have gotten trapped in a labyrinth of my mind and hazily look around for the exit while knowing full well the exit is simply to wake up and stop being there.

One of the greatest lessons I hope to learn in this lifetime is the ability to maintain peace. To be at peace and find a sense of grounding and ease that remains somewhat steady and stable. A sort of calm interlacing with my core. I don't think you can be lonely if you are truly at peace... probably because you not only value your own company, but also because you never forget there is no such thing as separation on a spiritual (and perhaps even scientific) level.

So I must look within. Continue meditating, utilizing my dharma buddy/husband, recognizing my daughter as another teacher and incredible gift, and loosening my grip on an attachment I have yet to fully recognize with alertness and accept with intention.

May you regain a sense of connection in spans of drifting. May you look within with bravery and persistence.

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