"The miracle of service is this: when I use what I have, I find there is more available to me than I realized before."
From Daily Reflections, January 24
I'm in the middle of an overnight shift with three little Love girls. They're sleeping, still, this morning, which is lovely. They're getting some good rest in. The littlest one cried out a couple times in the night, which is common for her and I usually don't get very good sleep when I work overnights (not the hospital kind, where I have to stay awake, but the nanny kind, where I get to sleep!) because I'm so worried I'll sleep too hard and not hear the kiddos should I need to. Thankfully, though, I went to bed at 930p so I was ready for good rest. When little Love cried out at 330a and again at 530a I was feeling okay. And, now, having woken up at 7a, I'm good! Coffee's made and I have toast in my belly. I feel well rested.
I wish I had my camera cord to post photos of the view I have...There are hardly any clouds in the sky! It is so gorgeous and now, cooooolllllddddd!!! outside this morning. Rosie bounded outside chipper and ready for the day and gosh! It's cold, but all the snow, and actual sunlight gracing her presence this morning---such a delightful treat! I didn't realize it had been four days since I'd seen sun until yesterday when I spoke with a good friend about the lonely's I have been feeling.
The thing about the lonely's is this: it's just a feeling. And, it usually passes as, thank goodness, all feelings do. The thoughts I muster up and the ideas that rush through my head about getting rid of the feeling--man! Some of the things scare me because I think I'm healthier than that. Some of the things don't surprise me at all because lonely is an incredibly uncomfortable feeling. It's hard to admit 'lonely' because I feel I should be just a-o-k withouth the companionship of another human being.
I got this confused early in my recovery---that we should never feel lonely because we're never alone. That's where I was mistaken. And, the growth I'm experiencing in this current bout of lonely: I am not alone. I feel it joyfully in the friends I have to reach out to, the work that keeps me busy, sweet Rosie to entertain me with her white fur caked with even whiter snow, and a darling roommate who is positive and kind. In addition I have this internal force. This drive. This relationship full of sustaining glory. The relationship I have with my higher power truly reinforces my belief I am not alone. But....OH BUT....All of this goodness showing how not alone I am does not save me from the creeping and sometimes sinking feeling of loneliness.
Hence my early-in-recovery mistake: I can be lonely, even though I am not alone.
Thank goodness it's just a feeling and I don't have to act on it.
I don't have to reach out to people from my past with whom I no longer have relationships. My lonely calls to them because those relationships were unhealthy. It's interesting. When I'm lonely, I long for the people in my life with whom I was unhealthy. I tapped into that understanding yesterday, and it was this brilliant light lift: Lonely is just a feeling. It does not mean I am alone, as I know in my core, I am not. It is just a feeling.
Where my growth comes is how I act with that feeling. Do I continue to react in an unhealthy manner, seeking to alleviate the discomfort? Sure. I know I've done that the past few days, by having a glass of wine in the evening. Do I need that wine? No. Am I having it to perhaps squelch some discomfort? Yes. I even had bourbon Friday night. BOURBON? REALLY?!?!? Oh Layla.
The growth I have is this great awareness. I am not terrible and horrible for having bourbon, or wine. I am grateful for the awareness I have for why I reached out for those substances. Such awareness helps keep me growing. I am also grateful for the gifts of maturity and patience to not reach out to those people for whom I long. I know this feeling will pass. Without me reaching out to people I am no longer in relationships with!
Maybe it's the weather that spurred this feeling; maybe being shut in under so much snow without the glow of sunlight can cause anyone to feel a little lonely. Whatever the reason, I feel blessed with my new awareness and the reminder from Daily Reflections to tap into being of service to others. Reaching out is the best gift I can give myself. When I reach out, I truly let go of what's causing me grief. I become part of the human condition. I am of service, in relationship, out of myself. It is a true gift, and so amazing that "as I give to the world, so the world will give to me."
Sweet little Love is waking up. I hear her playing in her crib, so I'm off to work and entertain some darling girls. I love my job and the companionship these little beings offer me. I am grateful for the sun and its bright reflection on all that snow outside. I am grateful to know "this too shall pass."
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