lonely, part i

We all feel our loneliness is caused by there being no-one there for us. By our being alone, by our being left behind. But we all know too that this isn't really quite right. Isn't it rather something like this: we become lonely when we've left ourselves behind. We become lonely when we denude ourselves of our hope and happiness and place these outside, place them in someone else. Then, like a bee trying to reclaim its lost sting, trying to reclaim this essential part of its own body, we hover hopelessly around the other's shadow. We become lonely when we have, as it were, 'fallen in love'. This has nothing to do with a healthy wish to see our friends, a healthy wish to share of our good experiences, or to receive solace for and in our troubles. It has nothing to do with missing someone. Perhaps that - missing someone - provides the most important contrast for loneliness. When I miss someone they are on my mind. I long to see them. But when I am lonely it is myself who is on my mind. Loneliness: when we're lonely we don't want comfort from others for some particular pain we have. Rather: we want them to help relieve us of our loneliness itself. The truth is: We become lonely when we leave ourselves behind in others, but always-also when we've left others behind. The lonely no longer stand before one another in their humanity. The other is idealised but also, and because of the idealisation, not met with by us in herself. The call, here, the call against loneliness, is not a call to be sufficient unto ourselves. That's not possible or desirable; that itself conjures loneliness. It is rather a call to be ourselves (perhaps to forego 'projective identification'), to carry within ourselves our own sadness and fear and delight, and to bring these to one another, and to seek others' own sadness and fear and delight there - there where they are.


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