Opening to Love in the Face of LonelinessBy Nancy Swisher
December 31, 2006
In this article, Inner Bonding facilitator Nancy Swisher shares her experience of lovingly opening to her loneliness rather than giving in to her usual addictions. Nancy gives us various loving ways of managing feelings of loneliness.
I just returned from assisting the Santa Fe Inner Bonding Intensive, a space where learning how to love oneself and others is the primary intent of fourteen people all day for five days. Needless to say, the energy of love flows strongly like a river within that environment. Feeling the energy of love in such an environment becomes normal, second nature. This particular Intensive was especially profound. One of the huge benefits of attending an Intensive is to exercise the muscle oflearning to open to Divine love for one's wounded child and core child.
In our regular life, however, the life "where the rubber meets the road" (so to speak), staying open to love is more challenging. Why is this?
Generally, we don't have thirteen other people to go through our day with, all of whom are committed to learning how to evolve in love. We're lucky to have one or two people to accompany us daily who share the practice of Inner Bonding. So, if we are alone, is love less accessible? Is Divine love more available to groups? To couples? I don't think so.
Divine Love is always there for us to open to. As Margaret pointed out in the Intensive, "Spirit is like air&emdash;if we intend to take in a breath, the air is there. Spirit is like that. It is always there." But, when we are alone, i.e. without another person to connect with on this journey, the feeling of loneliness becomes a reality, and this feeling is challenging to feel. (This is not to say loneliness can't be there when we DO have someone to share the journey with.) Most of us developed many ways to protect ourselves from feeling lonely.
For instance, I learned to judge myself and others. Judgment was my protection from feeling the absolute loneliness of my family of origin. So now, when loneliness comes up, my wounded self still wants to judge unless I am willing to feel the feeling of loneliness and connect to Spirit and my child. When I do this, my wounded child doesn't need to judge. I (the Adult) am in charge; I choose to feel and connect.
Ways I have found useful to support myself to stay with the feeling of loneliness and thus Divine love (for if I am lonely I am not protecting from it; therefore, I am open to love) since coming back from this powerful, totally not-lonely Intensive are:
- Receiving a wonderful massage, which helps me stay connected to my feelings
- Spending lots of time in nature, which raises my vibration (hopefully I can see the fairies at the stream one of these days!)
- Being with my dog, who consistently gives me love
- Getting support from an Inner Bonding Facilitator
- Practicing the six steps
Loneliness, whether it comes from leaving the profound nature of an Intensive, or from the daily experience of not having another person with whom to share love, doesn't have to trigger us into acting from our wounded self. This is not to say it is easy. But the conundrum is: If we aren't willing to feel loneliness, we won't feel Love either. The beauty of practicing Inner Bonding is that it makes the experience of Love possible at every moment by providing a roadmap for being with the reality of our life: feelings, intent, and Spirit.
Nancy Swisher is a Certified Inner Bonding Facilitator in private practice in western New England. She is available for phone sessions as well, and can be reached at 413-655-0102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We often confuse loving actions with indulgence. You are not loving yourself when you indulge in junk food, TV, spending, anger, judgment and so on. You are not loving others when you support them in indulging themselves. Freedom mean responsibility. Loving action includes supporting personal responsibility in yourself and others.
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