My biggest fear over the years in contemplating a breakup (which I knew would be for the best for many years but could not bring myself to do) was that I would feel so alone in the world–and how frightening that would be.
The added money that my boyfriend gave me each month towards the household expenses was also very important to me, especially when I went through breast cancer and could not work for almost a year.
But my biggest challenge was the terror I felt about “being alone” in the world.
No matter how bad things were with my boyfriend and I, feeling a part of a unit, and having a “witness to my life” everyday who cared about the minutia, were very anchoring for me. I needed that foundation in my life to be more fearless in other areas of my life, At least I believed that.
When I finally made the break, I not only found it to be freeing and physically en-lightening 🙂 but I discovered that it doesnt matter if you are in a relationship–people have moments where they feel alone no matter who they are with. It seems to be the most natural thing for human beings to soemtimes feel alone, and for life to occasionally feel empty. I think even more so in today’s world of technology and isolationism (people interacting with the world from their homes on their devices more than going out to be with them).
I think human beings have a basic need to feel they are part of a community or group or unit. If you have no communities or groups in your life, you are apt to feel more alone. And I think of being in a relationship as being part of a group or unit. These thoughts made it very scary to give up my “unit”, but luckily, I have many other groups and communities that I belong to.
I put an aphorism on my phone as a reminder every day that “I am not alone. I just have no plans!” haha This is so true! When we are busy, out in the world, mingling and having fun, we dont feel alone. This aphorism takes the sting out of the meaningfulness that we give to “being alone”. It just doesnt have the same meaning when I read this aphorism 🙂
Now I realize that as a human being, there are going to be moments when life feels empty or meaningless, and that I feel all alone in it. This comes and goes, and the important thing is to not get STUCK there when it happens! Let it pass right over you! It will be gone soon. Just get busy doing something fun, something you are passionate about, or call a friend (or your kids! haha) Making a moment like that “meaningful” can get you down–if you really believe it. It’s important to remember that it isn’t TRUE. It’s just a momentary thought and sensation that doesnt have to be given any more meaning than that.
It has been such an “aha” moment for me to discover that I am happy living alone–that I have tons of people who love me and want to spend time with me–and I am free from the resentment and upset I felt for 18 years living with the wrong person. I did not like who I was in that situation–and I have reclaimed me. Thank goodness I was finally able to break free from that, and have the courage to live alone.