When I get lonely….

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

January hits me like a slow-moving truck. I am down for the count. Numbing out on food and pacing the house like an overfed tiger. Nothing to do but confess the many ways in which I am off the rails. Suddenly the new year is underway and I am staring it like I knew what to do with it.

Is this a one-size-fits-all year? Because I have lost weight. The Christmas virus peeled half a dozen pounds off. I was happy about that, at least.

Now it is time to put away the bits and pieces of what turned out to be no holiday at all. I don’t miss the yuletide season. What I miss is love. The love that is hiding in plain sight, like a new puppy I refuse to claim as my own. I will give it no name or I would succumb to being its mama. And I seek freedom.

So every night I put vaseline on my cracked elbows in hopes they will soften. The heart is another issue altogether. Many of you mourn your losses during the holidays. I am not alone in this. I enfold you in lonely memories of days gone by. Time does not stand still and my face in the mirror is a stranger to me.

To squeeze out a tear is to invite the whole flood, so I abstain. I eat salted nuts out of the can and pace the kitchen, pace the keyboard. Are you with me or are you lost in your head?

The spiritual path can be likened to a fun house mirror. At first all you see are the distortions. And after a long, long time of hypnotism, you simply turn and walk away. Love can find you then and only then. Love is patient. Love waits for us all.

Vicki Woodyard

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