Traveling alone is one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had the opportunity to do. Over 25k miles across the United States in the past year… through the backroads and big cities to see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets from lighthouses, beaches, colorful waters, the highest mountains, and everywhere in between.
It is rare when I miss my goal of having an intentional conversation with a stranger. I pass out a few business cards every day too. I’m often surrounded by masses of people.
Yet, one thing drifts into my life many nights.
Often it is comforted by the aloneness I feel from the inside. I am very lucky to have a solid and positive relationship with myself.
There are however, a few times here and there, when loneliness strikes hard.
It does make sense, I don’t really fit in anywhere with many people. I live an adventurous life but I don’t follow many cultural norms.
I often feel very boring and left out…
I don’t drink or smoke.
I rarely eat out as I still struggle with my relationship with food.
I don’t have a partner to call or friends who can come along.
I spend my days listening to the stories of the people I meet along the way, knowing the relationship will end soon and I will be back to my own little world without much of a fanfare.
I have spent the last month without physically seeing anyone that I know. 30 days without real contact with a friend or family member. I spend 20+ hours everyday alone with only the thoughts in my head, feelings in my heart, and the feet that carry me along the way…
Tonight, as I wandered off on an Adventure, I’m sitting here watching the full moon rise over the Atlantic Ocean… no stars… no clouds… just a brisk wind carry the sound of the waves across my heart while I sit here and wonder…
Do you think the moon gets lonely?
My personal experiment of 30 days is nothing compared to what many people have had to go through the past year… a year of being forced to be alone without energetic contact, or physical touch, or emotional connection with someone close.
As the next step unfolds and the beginning of the aftershock begins to hit, I can’t help but wonder what the lasting effects are going to be of the massive isolation movement hidden behind masks and fear and reintegration into the future of society.
What I see on the road is much different than what I see on social media and the news. I wish I could say one is better or right or more predictable… but I can’t.
What I do know is that there is going to be some difficulties ahead.
All humans want love and attention communicated in a way they understand. People want to be seen, heard, and affirmed.
Here is a simple formula to give positive attention to anyone so we can work to improve the positive energy and reduce the destructive behaviors that follow when people begin to seek validation l through unhealthy means.
3 steps to Positive Attention
1. Focused Attention: Give the person you’re with your full attention.
2. Listen to Understand: Become passionately curious about them and what they’re saying (and what they’re not saying) without judgment and ridicule.
3. Leave a Profit: People don’t always need a response or guidance, they just need/want to verbally process what is in their head. Keep your ears open and mouth shut… it will go a long way to healing and providing a positive step in a better direction.
I encourage you to reach out to a friend or family member. Maybe you need an ear or maybe they need an smile.
Share some positivity today.
Give some kindness today.
Fill your heart with Joy today.
And no matter how lonely you are, remember the moon shines it’s brightest all alone.