Many years ago, I was sitting at a table with friends, listening to the conversation. They were smiling and laughing. One person feeding off the other. There was a camaraderie and a banter that was happening as they swapped stories.
I was enjoying taking this all in, but then, all of a sudden, a deep sadness hit me. It was as if the table stretched away from me like in a movie when time slows down, and I was very present to how "on the outside" I felt in that moment. I felt disconnected, separate -- an observer -- and I just knew that I didn't belong.
Maybe you can relate?
Later that night, I turned to my partner and said, "I think I'm really lonely and always have been." He was shocked! We'd only been dating for a short time, but to his mind, I was a very social and connected person.
I burst into tears and said, "I know! What the hell is wrong with me?"
This moment launched me into investigating loneliness and trying to understand how I could be surrounded by people and at the same time feel completely separate.
Along the way, I discovered that, as a result of the abuse I experienced, I had come to believe that there was something different about me, something that people just could never understand. And so, as a result of this belief, no matter how many connections I had, I could only connect to a point and then no further. The result being, I was left with this deep loneliness.
As I set about to resolve this, it led me to exploring many aspects of connection and relationship: trust, setting boundaries, intimacy, vulnerability, communication.
And bit by bit, I was able to address each block that was keeping me isolated and disconnected.
This past weekend, I was away at a work + play weekend with eight other amazing women who I consider friends for life. I found myself once again at a table, watching my friends share about their lives (the good, the bad, the ugly), and I felt a deep warmth as I sat in their presence -- connected, receiving, and able to give of myself in a way that I once believed would never be possible.
Today, if you're feeling lonely -- I get it! I want to encourage you to try on challenging any belief that is causing isolation or disconnection in your own life.
And, of course, I'm happy to be here to support you in taking that on!
Watchthis video to learn how loneliness may be impacting your body.
What is one small thing you can do today to create more connection in your life?
BOOK OF THE MONTH
Lonely: A Memoir by Emily White
"Many people, over the course of the past several years, have asked me why I would want to write a book about chronic loneliness. The subject, they hint, is embarrassing; it's best kept unmentioned. And loneliness, they say, isn't 'real' --- at least not in the way that depression or bipolar disorder are real. Every word I've written has been penned against a chorus of 'Don't and 'Why bother?'”
Learning to set boundaries and to communicate is one of the key things that led to more connection in my own life. I hope you will download this master class that has been specifically designed to help you reach a place where you feel confident, joyful, and empowered. The strategies I share in this class are practical, easy to use, and the most effective ways I know to overcome the "people pleasing" and pain that comes when we lack boundaries.
April is Child Abuse Prevention month, and has been since 1983. I was seven years old when this month became equated with a time to pause and reflect on the current status of our country (world) with regard to child abuse.
At this age, I was likely being abused but only have vague memories (it wasn't until I was 10 years old that I started experiencing abuse consciously).
This past December, I turned forty. Thirty years later after my first full conscious experience of abuse, my life has changed in ways that I could never have dreamed of.
But, on a broader scale, there is still much work to be done to raise awareness, increase prevention, and create global healing for those who have been abused.
This feels like a very big job some days!
Yet there are amazing organizations (here's one: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/) and amazing people (too many to list!) who are taking a stand each day to bring this issue out into the light and to make sure that more and more people are able to recognize abuse and take steps to protect children from ongoing harm.
There are still many cracks in the systems that are meant to protect children, but today, I'm feeling encouraged as I see more and more people becoming advocates, healers, peer counselors, speakers-- there is a clear refusal to sit down and be quiet!
Today, I want to encourage you to consider one small thing you could do in your network of family, friends, and/or community to help increase awareness.
Watchthis video to learn 7 Sneaky Things Narcissists Say to Get you Back.
Rachel Evan Woods, actress and star of Westworld, reveals she was raped. Read her story.
What is one small thing you can do today to break the silence and increase awareness in your communiy?
BOOK OF THE MONTH
Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
"...Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It's only power over you is to draw your attention our of the present.”