“I get it, you’re lonely” he states with confidence behind his gentle knowing voice. Somehow that word just doesn’t fit, its not the right word. So I decide to look it up!
I don’t usually go to books, internet or outside sources to help me pinpoint how I am feeling but I just wanted to know what lonely actually meant so I could see for myself what this interpretation of my request for company was.Definition of lonely |ˈlōnlē|: sad because one has no friends or company without companions; solitary (of a place) unfrequented and remote
Well this did not fit how I feel at all and so I moved on with the search of what was really at the root of this desire to be around people which is a new phase of the journey for me. I have been very much alone, not lonely, for nearly 4 years. Either in process, travelling, engaging in healing activities but always with a strong sense of isolation from those around me.
So I typed “basic human need for companionship” into the computer to see what kind of info I would get about what feels to me as something lacking in my life at this point. What I got was – Maslows Hierarchy of Needs and this fit me perfectly!
Here’s what I found:
Level 1: reduce current physical discomforts first: hunger, thirst, pain, air, temperature, smells, balance, noise, light, and rest (sleep).
When those are satisfied enough now…
Level 2: We try to fill our need to feel safe enough in the near future. Safety comes from trusting that our level-one needs will be reliably met in the coming hours and days (our safety zone). In our society, that translates into believing that we’ll have a dependable source of money to buy those securities. The safety zone is short for some people, longer for fear-based (wounded) others.
Maslow suggested that when we feel comfortable and safe enough, we then try to fill…Level 3: our need for companionship: our primitive need to feel accepted by, and part of, a group of other people. We need to feel we belong to (are accepted by) a family, tribe, group, or clan. The alternative is feeling we’re alone (and unsafe) in the world. He proposed that if we fill our level 1, 2, and 3 needs well enough, then we focus on filling… Level 4: our need to be recognized as special and valuable by our group. We need to be more than just a featureless face in the crowd, we need to be known and appreciated as a unique, respected person. Survivors of low-nurturance childhoods who were shamed too often as young children may search endlessly for the specialness and praise they never got. Level 5: the need to be self actualized. A key reason people still value Maslow’s ideas is the universal longing to be fully ourselves. That implies we each have unique talents and abilities that we long to develop and use to benefit the world if all our other need-levels are filled well enough, often enough. Then we can become creative, energized, centered, focused, and productive and live on purpose, “at our highest personal potential.” taken from: http://sfhelp.org Here how it relates to me:
The most basic level is physical human needs in order to stay alive.
While living at the Ashram this was taken care of for me 3 times a day for 2 years which allowed for freedom to move easily into higher levels of functioning. Since leaving and being on my own with very limited financial means I have been struggling with this one for nearly 2 years which makes functioning at higher levels a challenge, the catch 22 is that because I had 2 years of experience living at these higher levels of potential and the tools of Yoga to facilitate a connection to something much greater behind it all, I have actually been able to move into levels 4 & 5, while living in a state of poverty.
I have at some point in my life over the last 4 years experienced all 5 of these levels being both extremely high and low. At the Ashram I reached new levels of potential and the seeds were planted for more. In Rwanda there is no doubt in my mind that I reached a very high level within myself and my potential. But I did this with little financial stability and my basic needs being met minimally. Now I am really seeing how my lack of support for self in level 1 & 2 is leading me to put much more intense focus on level 3, out of fear of lacking. I currently have no stable place to call home, have taken holiday from my business, and other work so stability financially is illusive as well! This sets me up for an intense desire for safe, secure interactions with people.
I am now going back to the basics and looking at what could be possible if I build from the bottom up this time, ensuring that I have my level 1, 2, and 3 needs met. I need to look at what my needs are and find out what it is I have access to here that will allow me to feel satisfied. Imagine what level 4 and 5 will look like with a solid foundation beneath them!! I think its exactly what I am here in The Pas to do and that is why I am here to stay.
Bringing it all together into a balanced pyramid will open doors to things I was unable to visualize and imagine for myself because of the shaky legs I was standing on up to this point. I have done amazing things for myself even with this reality and I am now ready to soar into the new higher heights of my own potential taking all that I have learned along the way.
In the end I am happy to have confirmed that I am not lonely! I was just working my way around, in and out of, sideways through and round about this pyramid of needs, instead of climbing it one step at a time. My plan now is to consciously build up each level to a place of abundance in order to reach full potential.
I have recently been in conversation with my family again and that opening has given me more strength in Level 3. Family alone is not enough. I need different kinds of relationships and people in that mix to help me feel fulfilled, safe and secure. I have this as a whole with all of my connections around the world but without having the ability to see, touch, or be in the presences of them all I feel like my tribe is scattered and that leaves me feeling unsafe and insecure. I see my tendency to have difficulty feeling fulfilled when my community is scattered but the truth is there is lots of community here in The Pas and my friends all around the world are only a finger tip away thanks to technology! Its all about how I see what I have in my life and that is my work!
I am currently housesitting in a beautiful quiet space (while I seek my next new home) not wanting to be here alone because I want to share, experience and be with my tribe, my village, my people and I am seeing the work that lies ahead which at times feels frustrating, exhausting, maddening, isolating, and yet I know, after all of this time, that I am doing it all right! It will come with time and then I will move into something else as a focus and not even remember how challenging this time was! I know this because I have done this a hundred times before!
Inward self reflection and seeking high levels of self awareness can lead to extreme isolation, even if only in the mind, and it is in a lot of ways a very lonely journey to be on. I am blessed to have so many close friends in my life that support my journey and I feel as though I am ready to loosen the reins and let the learning come to life in a new way, a more relaxed and unconscious flow into truth.
No man is an island, even when we think we are alone we are never really that far away……