Holidays Can Be Hard pt2
Updated: Jan 7, 2019
I sat, and I felt my breath. Then I put my attention on how my body felt. I asked myself, “What am I feeling in my body, right now?” I noticed the tightness behind my shoulder blades, in my chest - the ache in my solar plexus. Yes. This is what loneliness feels like. It doesn’t feel great, but it doesn’t kill me either. It holds information for me. This is what I do until I feel the shift into Observer mode. Instead of bracing against the pain, I become curious.
On this occasion after settling in and making friends with the sensation of loneliness, I was able to become friendly enough with it to ask, “What do you want? What’s needed in this moment?”
“Attention,” the answer came.
Attention… That’s when I realized, the attention I wanted so badly was my own. I wanted the attention I would ordinarily place elsewhere in order to avoid the discomfort. That attention I might spend on facebook instead of caring for myself. Slowly, I got up from my chair. I looked around the house, finally taking the time to see what had been painful to look at - the results of months of inattention to my own home. I began to pick up, clear the clutter that had built up on tops of dressers, by the bedroom door. I began going through drawers and purging items that no longer serve me and are taking up space. After a few hours I could feel the weight of all that clutter being lifted. One day, after organizing my closet, I felt hungry and I had the sudden realization that I hadn’t cooked a real meal for myself in quite some time. After another check in with my body, I knew that I wanted something nourishing, healthy, maybe something warm and soothing. I went grocery shopping and for the first time in weeks I bought fresh vegetables.
Later that night, with a clean kitchen, candles burning, homemade soup on the stove and four bags of give-away items by the door, I noticed - I no longer felt pain. I felt good. There was a smoothness, an easiness in my body. It’s not that there was no desire to have a special someone with me, but there was a new recognition that I could give to myself what I so freely have given away for years - my own #attention.