I am in the process of preparing my house for sale and the project is awakening a sense of adventure but also has brought into awareness a feeling of loneliness and sense of isolation. These are not new feelings. In the past, I have usually “dealt with” them in a habitual way – reading or watching a DVD and eating junk food, distracting myself, or trying to solve the “problem” of loneliness and isolation. I’ve decided that this time, I will take a good look at what is the truth and what is the bamboozle, Record and Listen about it, let the Mentor befriend me and offer guidance.
I am still exploring this long-standing process, but here is what has dropped in for me so far:
- Conditioning wants me alone and isolated and friendless and will interpret everything – even genuinely kind gestures – as evidence that people generally don’t like me much. (“They’re offering their help because they think you are inadequate in some way, not because they care about you.”) The response I want to practice: Gratitude for all these offers of help or support or kindness.
- One of the ways ego keeps me friendless is by finding things that are “wrong” and making them into a big deal. If I go along with it, the story of something wrong will make me miserable and I will isolate myself in response. The response I want to practice: Gratitude for being alive, for all the blessings I’ve received, for what’s beautiful, for Awareness Practice.
- Ego also finds lots “wrong” with other people, whom I need to stay away from in order to protect myself because if I don’t stay away from them, I may have some uncomfortable feelings – which, in turn, could cause me to be rude to someone, get beaten up by ego for being rude, and further isolating because “I can’t handle being around people.” The response I want to practice: Gratitude for those people just as they are, for their realness, for their presence in my life: They are offering me something that is priceless – an opportunity to drop the story and practice Presence.
- When I am focused on Gratitude, I never feel lonely and isolated.