Lonely? You’re in good company!

Nazo, 68, weeps at a local park after returning to Gori to find her home looted and destroyedMaybe it wasn’t always this way…
You had  kids…
You were married…
You were part of a group…
You had a little group of friends…
Your family was close…
Over the years things have changed.
The kids are grown…
The marriage ended or your partner is not really emotionally available…
The group had some fall out and no longer gets together…
Now you have no one to go to the movies with…
You eat alone most of the time…
The relationships you do have, are unsatisfying and draining.
What is the result of all this emptiness?
Your inner critic is having a field day!
The things you tell yourself about yourself are like thick ropes, tied to your heart, fastened to a boulder of loneliness, and hopelessness.
Its important to note that with the increase of social media usage, research shows that loneliness and social isolation is rampant and on the rise.
The good news is that if this is you, then the stats prove that while you may feel lonely you are in good company!
Ironic right?
When you are hungry you eat…
When you are tired you sleep…
When you are thirsty you drink…
When you are lonely you…
What do you do?
Do you wallow?
Do you buy into the negative self talk?
Do believe the lie that you are without options?
The difference between responding to a hungry belly and a hungry heart is that we have been taught, when it comes to food, how to feed ourselves.
Maybe you cook or maybe the Chinese food delivery guy knows your address as well as his own.
Either way, you know how to eat.
So how do you feed a hungry heart?

Know that feelings are not facts 
The thoughts associated with the loneliness are only part of your real story.  What’s more, many of those thoughts are  born out of the past and put a stranglehold on the future.

Give back 
Every town has a nursing home with people forgotten about by society.  Visit, volunteer and help those who need a boost and watch the boost you get in return

Quit quitting
You tried online dating and didn’t meet the love of your life within the first five dates? There are approximately seven billion people on the planet earth.  You went on five dates and then said “everyone is creepy”.   You are currently unqualified to make that observation. When you’ve gone on four or five billion dates then you will have a better sense of what “everyone” is like.

Bungee jump 
Or take an art class. Or a cooking class.  Or______________.  Do something you never thought you would.   Getting out of your norm exposes you to a world of potential new activities AND to the people who also love them.  (If you bungee jump based on this post  I demand video…)

Go deep
Solitude has been used as  a spiritual discipline for thousands of years.  Pray, read, breathe and grow this part of your life.  Remember the words of Thomas Merton who said “It is in loneliness that the deepest activities begin…”

There is no question that loneliness is serious business.  There is also no question that you have choices.  Learning to feed your head and your heart when you are lonely is essential.

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Curious about life coaching?  Call 978.994.0431 or email ThatLifeNow@gmail.com to set up a confidential, free, sample session with Jim Trick today!

My father and I

father-son-sunset

As of December 30th, 2014 my father has been gone for twelve years.

He died on my birthday, surrounded by his children, their spouses and his wife.

My relationship with my father was as complicated as his passing.

In reality I  lost him twice.

One hot Sunday morning  In the summer of 1983 my father fell victim to a massive brain stem stroke.

I was twelve years old and my mother and I were with him.

We were in a train station in Boston.

My mother pleaded with him to go the the hospital but he refused.

He was 6’4”, wore size fourteen shoes and had hands the size of small dogs.

A powerful force of a man, who had enjoyed a twenty two year career as a Chief in the United States Navy.

In the flash of a moment this man who often ended conversations with the military phrase “end of report” and ruled his family with an iron fist, found himself having to learn to walk, speak, eat and even breathe as though it was his first time.

All of this in light of doctors repeatedly saying that he would never walk, talk or breathe without a vent again.

Within a year of the stroke he:

spoke clearly,

walked with crutches,

and while he lived the rest of his life with a tracheostomy hole in his throat that would forever cause coughing fits and embarrassment, he breathed on his own.

Dad never drove again.

He never worked again and almost never left the house.
For over twenty years he moved from his bed to the living room, to the bathroom and back to his bed.

He was wildly dependent on my mother, visiting nurses and his family.

While I would have never wished the stroke on my father, his new found disabilities unquestionably created much of the space that I needed to become who I was meant to be.

It also created a safe place to ask  him questions about his inner world story that lead him to treating us the way he did before he had gotten ill.

In the years leading up to his death I was able to have every conversation with him that I needed.

He answered my questions like someone who had been eagerly waiting to be asked.

Do I wish he had volunteered some of the information instead of requiring me to go fishing for it?

At the time yes.

I can now say that requiring me to ask difficult questions and initiate conversations that would be considered by most to be at very least, uncomfortable is part of what makes me a good life coach.

Days before his death he suffered a heart attack.

The emergency room was slammed.

His feet were uncovered and he was cold and thirsty.

Ignoring the “staff only signs” I got him a blanket, made sure he had food and ice chips.

My father was not the kind of dad who took you outside to throw the ball around.

There are many dark parts of our story with him that I do talk about, but his post is not about that.

The most valuable things my father taught me are centered around doing what people say can’t be done and taking initiative to care when care is required.

Sometimes we show love by playing catch, giving a thoughtful gift, writing a note or taking our special someone out for a romantic dinner.

Sometimes we display love by rushing someone to the hospital at 2:30 AM to have the cuff on their tracheostomy replaced.

Sometimes we are loved accidentally in ways we don’t recognize by people who don’t know how right they are in applying what we actually need.

My father gave me what I actually needed.

Took some time to see it…