Just Leave Me Alone

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

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It’s so much easier to be alone.  Just me and my cat I can handle.  My cat barely makes any demands on me.

Why bother with people?  Then I have to care about myself.  How I look.  I have to share.  My space.  My time.  I have to compromise.  My TV shows.  My food choices.

I’m too busy.  I have enough friends.  My family makes me crazy.  My friends make me crazy.  I’ve grown apart from my family, my friends.

It’s too much effort to keep in touch.  It’s too much effort to go out.  It’s too much effort to keep up my end of the conversation.

I get anxiety just thinking about hosting.  I get anxiety just thinking about going out.  I get anxiety around crowds.  I get anxiety one-on-one.

There are just some of the excuses that I can easily rattle off when confronted with the prospect of being around people.

But…

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Being surrounded by people is necessary.  It keeps you healthy.  It keeps you honest. It keeps you interested.  It keeps you interesting.  It forces you to take care of yourself.  It forces you to look beyond yourself.  It forces you to take care of others.  It gives you purpose.  It feeds your soul.

People that live alone die younger than people who live with others.  People who live alone die younger than people who live with an animal.  We are built to nurture.  We live to help others.  It gives us a reason to get up in the morning, to shower, to cook dinner.

Surrounding yourself with loved ones, family and friends is integral.  Where do you turn when you lose someone you love, if you have chosen to isolate yourself?

Isolating yourself to your nucleus family is not enough, either.  Eventually, your spouse will die and your children will move out and start lives of their own.  Where does that leave you?  Alone.  Sure, you can always get together with your kids & their families, but you need a companionship that is reciprocated.  You need friends, as well as family.

It’s never too late to initiate new friendships or revive old ones.  Write to your old best friend.  Call your buddy that you haven’t seen in a while.  Invite people over for dinner.  Get to know your neighbors.  Go out of your comfort zone and get to know people, get to know them better, invite them into your world, your home and your heart.

And you will be filled with the serenity that comes with the love of those whom you love.  And the knowledge that no matter where you turn in life, you will have someone there for you.  And you will be there for someone too.

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