Posts tagged ‘alone’

empathy delivery

There really is nothing like pure empathy, not sympathy, not “oh that happened to me once”, not a pat on the shoulder, but an authentic understanding of your feelings. Empathy can change your emotional state completely, and it frees you to give empathy in return instead of fiercely defending and describing your own situation again and again. Real empathy isn’t common, at least not yet, so chances are that a few of us could use some. So here goes,

I hereby declare a large dose of empathy for anyone:

  • that has a partner that doesn’t seem to enjoy parenthood as much as you’d like
  • that is overwhelmed by the work in their life, by the long list that seems to never get shorter, or more fulfilling
  • that is apart from their family, or parts of their family, and yearns for everyday connection with those dear people
  • that worries where the money for the cell phone bill is going to come from
  • that feels alone, like there isn’t anyone that truly knows them, or cares for them, or notices them at all
  • that is feeling fat
  • that didn’t get enough sleep last night, or the night before
  • that has a sick child and is tired of the seemingly endless run of sniffles, fevers, and coughs
  • that is ready for Spring; picnics, sandals, and skirts, but keeps waking up to clouds and drizzle


Have a wonderful weekend. If you’d like to add anything to this list and forward it to someone you know that could use a little empathy, let me know.


May 28, 2010 at 9:27 am Leave a comment

let’s live

Mom, do you love me when I am crying?


Me too. I love you even when I am sad.

I love you no matter what you are doing.

Me too! I love you no matter what I am doing too.

Oh how I love this girl. I want to eat her sometimes, consume her completely, get the MOST of her that I possibly can. Other times while I am watching her, nearly writhing with the degree of my love, my mind begins to search wildly, to scan for other ways to do something with these feelings. Sometimes I end up thinking, I want another baby, just so that I can get more of this love, so that I can find an action that will help me deal with the strength of my emotions.

Feelings, even good ones when felt strongly, are difficult, and we wriggle and writhe unable to just let them be. Action is the first thing we move toward to help us cope.

Feeling pain? Take an aspirin!

Feeling sad? Think happy thoughts! Take a bath! Drink a beer!

Feeling good? Post about it to Facebook! Take a picture! Commit it to memory so you can recreate it again and again!

Feeling mad? Talk about it! Post about it to Facebook! Slam a door!

We always want to do something. And if someone else is feeling something we think they want us to do something as well. The lame thing is that doing something doesn’t work, it doesn’t really help us and it doesn’t help anyone else. If you want to see an emotion shift quickly just watch what happens when you feel that feeling all the way, without squirming. Like in yoga class, when I’ve twisted myself up into an almost unbearable pose and then the teacher comes and twists me further, but instead of then giving me permission to release he asks the class to stay here longer. Because I feel uncomfortable I look for ways to shift a body part to ease or at least change my feelings, and when that doesn’t work I move in my mind, trying to get away from the sensation. If I finally give up the struggle everything gets better, instantaneously.

When uncomfortable in any emotion, the best possible thing we can do for ourselves is to feel that feeling as much as possible, without running away, without fixing, without doing anything at all. And when someone else is feeling something we can support them in feeling their emotions in the same way. This means that when your kid hurls the sippy cup across the room because you gave him the WRONG sippy cup, do not rummage about for another sippy cup. Don’t even move. You don’t even have to say anything, simply bear witness. If they are open to empathy give it freely, Oh, you’re really upset. That’s not the cup you wanted. There probably will come a moment when getting another sippy cup is desired but allowing room for the feelings come first, action later.

At art class this week a little boy became mad about a lump of clay and lashed out at the little girl next to him. His grandma said, No no no! You don”t do that! Do you want to paint? Let’s move over here and paint. The boy became angrier at this and ran out of the room. The grandma followed him out saying, Do you want to go? Do you need water? Do you need to go potty?, until they were out of sight. The boy was mad. That’s all. But instead of noticing that and accepting him, his caregiver was trying to do something, trying to move him out of his emotional state. And guess what? It didn’t work. He was still angry, perhaps even angrier than he was during the initial interaction, and they had to leave.

Let’s stop fixing. Ourselves and others. Let’s stop doing. It has no place in the emotional landscape and does us no good. Let’s stop “protecting” ourselves from feeling things. It’s okay to feel. In fact feeling is what makes living worthwhile. Let’s live.

May 13, 2010 at 10:00 am 3 comments


I’ve been thinking about loneliness lately, or more precisely, the word:  alone. It’s been on my mind because every day, across the world there are people sitting at their computers and typing A..L..O..N..E.. into google. I know this because it takes them here, to this blog. Sometimes the search term comes up as:






and, I follow these exotic looking words to pages that translate them for me, and they all mean the same thing: loneliness or alone.

So many of us feel so alone.

So I’ve been thinking, when do I feel alone? When have I felt alone?

I felt alone when I first moved here, to a very northern part of my country, to the very northern part of the town, in the middle of winter, and I didn’t know anybody. I spent entire days walking the streets wondering where everyone else was going, wondering what everyone else was doing. One day I ordered a latte and when the cafe worker called out my name, to announce the readiness of the beverage, I almost cried because it was the first time I had heard my name said out loud in so long.

I feel alone now when I notice that I do not feel alone. I am in the middle of my tiny and bustling kitchen with children underfoot and I feel a part of something, which immediately, and infuriatingly, makes me think of what would happen to me if these family members suddenly were not in my life and how lonely I would be then.

I feel alone in the middle of the night when I am the only adult awake and I harumph and grumble so that Nathan might be woken too and I will not feel alone anymore.

I myself have written a post here on this blog that assures you, and me, that we are not alone, that we can meet here in this cyberspot and be together. But what if the truth is, we really are alone? What if we try and try to fuse ourselves together through sex, and marriage, and cults, and book clubs, and blogs, but it doesn’t work and we still go to bed each night feeling alone, not melded?

I have read that this is what this time on earth is designed for. To be separate. To feel what that is like. To learn something from that separation, from reaching across the divide, and then fold back into the Tao, the flow, the light, the heavens with greater experience and knowledge. Perhaps we come from a place that is infinite, and light, and embracing, and somehow we know this, we miss it, and we want to get back to it.

It is a mere consolation I know, but as I look at the blog stats and see so many of us searching the term “alone”, I realize that the one thing that we do not do alone is feel alone. We share that. You are not standing apart, cold, miserable and alone, while the rest of the world is full of happy, laughing folks, toasty warm and huddled together. This scene does not exist, this is only what you tell yourself. We are each alone in a happy crowd as much as on an isolated mountaintop. Aloneness is part and parcel of being human, and no one is without it in some form or another.

If it is a naturally occurring feeling, just like any other, then perhaps we can feel it just like any other. Simply feel it. See it, notice it, honor it, and that’s it. We don’t analyze ourselves when we are feeling happy. We do not give ourselves a hard time with that emotion, so why do so with loneliness? Perhaps experiencing it completely instead, is the only way back to that light and embracing place we know we came from. Or if not that profound, perhaps experiencing loneliness will allow us, at the very least, to move on to other feelings as soon as we are ready to feel those.

And, if we all feel alone, then I guess I will restate my earlier claim that, in this way, you are not really alone. You aren’t. And if you want a place where having that feeling is okay and without shame, then you have found it.


November 24, 2009 at 5:00 am 4 comments

life as you dream it

I’ve been blue lately. Grey, taupe, you name it, pretty much down in the dumps. There have been some blips on the radar of delight or amusement, but the baseline has been low. Unable to see any light at the end of the tunnel, I kept sinking deeper and deeper. Alone in my thoughts, blinded by dissatisfaction.

Then nursing Echo to sleep a couple nights ago, frustrated, I thought to myself….what do I even want! By the time Echo was snoring I had a perfect image in my head, what I wanted for our house, for our business, for Nathan’s career, for the long winters, for the girls, for Feeleez. I immediately sat down and drew a precise map of all the elements.


Suddenly, because I could see it illustrated so simply, it became simple. It feels attainable. It is attainable. I see it and now I can have it, or move toward it, or manifest it with my thoughts. My life is already more what I want because I can now see it that way.

I have energy. I am laughing. I am less hungry. I feel fantastic.

I am offering to do a drawing for you too. Tell me what you want and I will draw it for you.

Start by entering the giveaway at NPC, or write me and I’ll get started.

example for Mark and Christina.

November 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm 3 comments

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