A few weeks ago, I went to Washington D.C. to celebrate the birthday of a friend of mine who I have known for over twenty years. When the restaurant closed, the party transitioned to another location and about thirty minutes into it everyone started separating into groups. The place was three levels and as I always do when in unfamiliar locations, exploration and reflection keeps me busy. I walked up to the second level and sat down. After five minutes, I tuned in on a conversation between two gentlemen. By this point of the conversation, their comfort with each other was evident and several empty glasses were on their table. I was able to get the jist of the story pretty quickly. The talker was sharing that his girl graduated from college, full of ideas but was having difficulty with choosing how to use the degree to her advantage. He thought she was "doing too much" and wanted her to stay home and let him take care of both of them. The following statement led me to pull out my phone and type it into my notes. “It took a year of persuading, but my girl finally realized that she belongs at the house….I have her exactly where I need her now.” Then they laughed and signaled for a bartender.
I got up and moved, then reflected on the last part of that statement. “I have her exactly where I need her now….” If what he is saying is true, (because we all know how people stretch the truth to impress others once the drinks start flowing), what type of coercion took place over the course of their existence for her to get to that point? Without more context, I want to use this part of the conversation to help set a foundation for this week’s topic. Hopefully, if you are reading this, you do know that every human on this Earth has something to contribute and the only limitations placed on each of us starts from what we believe and who we believe in. We start out as blank slates for the most part and over time, we are conditioned (programmed) to go in certain life directions. Unfortunately, fear usually dominates our thought patterns, so instead of taking risks, the scarcity mindset causes most of us to coast through life. Settling is a part of the human condition and the only person who truly knows if they have settled is the person in the mirror. What may look like settling to one may be a risk for the person being observed, so with that in mind, let’s take another step towards more clarity within this week’s topic.
Let’s explore two possibilities based on the comment made from the guy mentioned above. Imagine that his woman wanted to start a career or business that she worked to get towards for several years, and the challenges of the set up process were weighing on her. With a partner who always believed that “her place was at the house”, would that be the best person for her to confide in while attempting to maximize her potential? What if she was raised to put all of her trust into her man and that the relationship’s happiness was more important than her own? With the mixture of the ups and downs of setting up her business and the security of having a person who wants to “take care of her while she is at the house where she belongs”, do you see how she could end up settling for a life that didn’t maximize her potential?
Here is possibility number two. There is a mindset taught by many parents and caregivers that does not get as much notoriety. This leadership believes that a person(man or woman) should figure out their purpose in life before getting seriously involved with another person? Why? What if a person ends up with a partner who has a ceiling set for their potential based on some type of classification or their low self worth? What happens if that ceiling becomes a comfy blanket that they get wrapped inside of? Believing in oneself and doing everything to go towards their dreams are the highest priorities in this style of leadership. The person giving off this type of energy repels many and their road may be more difficult to climb; however, in the long run, what would overcoming those challenges do to the strength in that person? Between the two types of possibilities mentioned, which type of person has the higher chance of getting their dreams stolen due to their partner’s influence?
“Kinja, what does this have to do with loneliness? A lot more than it may seem on the surface. Before I go further, I want to make sure that one way is not necessarily better than another. Based on each of our reference points, tolerance for pain, mental toughness, etc., our personal feelings about this topic will vary greatly. The previous situation went the way it did, due to the belief systems of the participants. Those beliefs determined both of their actions and responses. This also applies to the idea of loneliness. If a person has the core belief that being by themselves is harmful or negative, their chances of being influenced by others greatly increases. If the people who influence that person propel them towards their infinite potential, great; however, it could also lead to gaining a dependence on the company of people with limited and scarcity mindsets. Imagine the future of a person who puts their trust into someone who sees them as a constant instead of a progression. My goal was to simply show you that there are alternate realities for all situations. Will the woman in the above situation ever realize that she may have been just one more challenge away from a breakthrough in her career search? Is she following a lifestyle that allows her frame of reference to expand over time? Or is her life solely in the hands of decisions made by a person who has a limited view of what she is capable of?
As an only child. I have always been comfortable being alone; however, as I got older and allowed humanity’s values to seep into my psyche, the phase of feeling incomplete started slowly absorbing into my essence. Without personal development, the influence of this fear-based society may have led to a lifetime of choices based on the collective's scarcity mindset. Imagine the billions of people who were raised to feel that their best selves are only in relationships. What does our fear-based society do to a person who grows up feeling that they are incomplete from the time they were born? Does that person ever get a chance to truly fall in love with themselves before adding another person’s drama into their world? I grew up without realizing that loneliness was even a thing, and still felt incomplete by the time I was thirty. A woman had to be by my side and I acted on that belief for several years. I can only imagine the person who was taught that loneliness was a disease that you never want to catch. Again, there is no right or wrong about this topic. I simply want all people reading this to know that your feelings about loneliness are a) highly influenced by what you saw growing up, b) don’t necessarily equate to your best long-term life decisions, c) can empower or disempower based on circumstances and d) will determine some of the most important decisions you will make in your life.
In summary, a person can feel that their loneliness is a fact; however, based on their life experience, their thoughts about loneliness can change; this reality makes it clear that loneliness is a choice. In the book, Loneliness, Perlman and Paplau defined the term lonely as “the unpleasant experience that occurs when a person’s network of social relations is deficient in some important way, either quantitatively or qualitatively” (Rhodes, 2015) As a person’s internal and external conditions change, their perception of loneliness can adjust; whether it does or not is based on personal interpretation. What if a person is experiencing a lower life quality because of their thoughts about loneliness? As I have experienced during my Re-Creation, there are so many levels to life fulfillment and enjoyment. Whether you are single or involved, the more you understand that loneliness is a choice, a) the better you will be as a partner or spouse and b) the more control you will have over your future!
Emotional Intelligence Pillar Action Plan: As your relationship with yourself grows, the ability to add to all of your relationships increase. Can you begin a daily schedule that includes at least thirty minutes to an hour where you are by yourself? This is not about depriving your loved ones of your time. This is more about giving yourself time to reflect and revive yourself. This time can include pure silence, reading, going on a walk, working out, fixing something, journaling, etc. This allows you to manage the comfort or discomfort that you gain during this time. Regardless of your current state of life, reflect on the people who you spend most of your time with. Are you happier when you are by yourself even though you are in a relationship? Is your dependence on someone suffocating? Have you ever thought about how these answers impact your home environment? On the other hand, have you made people who were supposed to be temporary, permanent fixtures in your house of life due to your feelings about loneliness? The time you take to begin the process will only serve your higher self in the long run.
Kinja’s Current Reality: Every waking moment of my life, I am doing what I choose to do because of how it helps develop my Four Pillars. There are days when I am working on projects for six to seven hours at a time and it seems like it passes by so quickly. The people in my circle respect and understand my lifestyle, so when I am working on a project, there are no interruptions; however, when I am with family and friends, I am completely immersed into what we are doing. I am going on seven years of celibacy and have never felt alone during this phase in my development; I have never been more emotionally fulfilled in my life. My concern is not whether or not I ever merge with my Empress; my main focus is making sure that if and when that time comes, I am the best person I can possibly be; that is the least she will deserve. To dive deeper into understanding the Four Pillar system, explore the 365 page manual at any time. Regardless, next week I will see you again in another episode of the Decade Series.
Rhodes, D. L. (2015). Loneliness: Psychosocial Risk Factors, Prevalence and Impacts on Physical and Emotional Health. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.