Last weekend was fabulous. The sun was out, my boys had a blast playing soccer, my favorite cousin came to visit, and another great family joined us for a barbecue where the kids all played and let the grownups enjoy their margaritas. It was blissful. And as the weekend wound down, a deep feeling of loneliness settled in.
These days I often feel loneliest in the happiest moments of my life.
I mentioned this personal phenomenon to a friend and he said, “Your loneliness is a reflection of your love.” This idea feels like it fits.
I feel lonely in the happy moments because I want to turn to someone and say, “Can you believe how great this is?!” I want to share my happiness and love with someone who will understand the context and depth of my feelings because we are invested in a shared experience. And I want to share all of this with someone who I also want to see naked on a frequent and consistent basis. (Let’s face it, I can’t be deep and spiritual all of the time; I’m still me and the monkey in me has needs.)
Of course I can admit that this is a lucky sort of loneliness to feel. And I also recognize that it in no way compares to the heavy blanket of loneliness that covered my marriage. But it still sucks and I’m not done whining.
As a culture we have put ourselves in a state of perpetual loneliness. We’re infatuated with extremes and absolutes like independence and dependency, both of which leave us hollow and sad. We deny our natural need for and tendency towards interdependence; and we spend lots of time, energy and money feeding this denial.
It’s not that I think the desire for a romantic partner can be satisfied by closer and stronger connections with friends and family; but I do think those connections help the desire feel less urgent and hopeless. I think most of us would find more happiness cultivating those closer connections than we do making a bunch of money, achieving some measure of success, buying a shiny new thing, eating another cupcake, or even reaching a “new level” of personal enlightenment.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. What’s yours…?