Updated: May 18, 2022
A follow up to last week is that I had to put a ban on myself getting fixated on an issue which I had no control over, no say in and wasn’t directly related to myself anyway.
My final solution is that I have made it clear that I don’t want to spend any time in this person’s company, but then our paths rarely cross anyway.
So why did I get so fixated? I think it is easy to get really fired up about perceived injustices in the world as a distraction from one’s own difficulties. In this case I was forced to acknowledge how difficult I find it when my husband goes away for a couple of nights. It’s all about abandonment issues obviously, I kind of knew that but had got used to brushing it off as “oh yes, I don’t like him going because of my childhood abandonment issues” and still not actually feeling the pain and discomfort of it. In my Pema Chodron readings (note to self: must add her to my reading list on the website) she talks about sitting with our discomforts rather than trying to block off the sensation.
Well it is easier said than done! I’ll just say at the outset that I had actively encouraged my husband to go, I had a lot of work to do and I would have been very welcome with the family members he was staying with. I chose to be alone for the weekend.
So logically and rationally I should have been fine, no?
I used a host of things to take my mind off the loneliness: taking exercise, playing the piano, working very hard in my studio, ironing in front of the TV, a long bath, the list goes on. I’m a fully paid up introvert but I also rang many family members “just for a chat’ and went to bed early each night to get the hours to go past quicker. And was grumpy with my husband when he returned for “being so mean to leave me alone”, I know that wasn’t fair or right, don’t write in! And finally being preoccupied with thoughts that I kept chewing over, like a dog with its bone.
But those were all distractions essentially from the discomfort of very real, strong, extreme loneliness. And by setting it down here, I’m trying to not run away from it, pretend it doesn’t exist, that I am invulnerable. I was a very lonely child and I covered it over, blocked myself from feeling it. I’m hoping that letting a bit resurface is a way of releasing a bit?
Interesting to observe how strong feelings are impervious to logic and rational argument. The fact one has no need to feel that way has no bearing, no assuaging the discomfort.
So I’m really, really hoping Pema, that using your method of sitting with discomforts gets a bit easier! A bit less painful next time??