One is the loneliest number

An elderly couple that I knew, who only had each other in this great big wonderful world, was hit with the sad reality that one had to go without the other. The husband had a series of illnesses, which was quite clear that the inevitable was quickly approaching. He died a few weeks ago and I started reflecting on the thought of being alone and of the wife and what she must be going through.
He has left this earth and now the wife stands by herself, all alone in the world. The one person that completely understood her and had spent the last thirty years of her life with, is now gone, never to return.

So I ask the questions, do we fully understand being alone versus loneliness? Is it ok to go through life singing the ‘I can do bad all by myself anthem?’

Many people enjoy being alone. I do sometimes, but we are not wired to be alone, we crave companionship. We readily welcome any form of human contact within our lives.

For some the line between being alone and lonely is a very thin one that is crossed ever too often. We squeeze the two together into one and chalk it up to ‘finding ourselves.’ Nothing is wrong with that, as many people are introverts and find it difficult to be around people and have to figure out who they are as an individual.

An astonishing amount of individuals has a significant fear of being alone (myself included), to an extent. This doesn’t mean that some of us do not know how to be or function by ourselves. It just means that we enjoy a steady human contact (No! not sex, it’s not always about sex). My spouse and I can just sit in each other’s presence, not say a word and be content with the knowledge that we are physically present in the moment.

It’s a scary yet exciting world out there and it’s even scarier to travel and explore it alone.

We may fear being without our families, our friends or our significant others. This is a natural feeling and we have all felt it at some point in time in our lives and we may even try desperately to avoid dealing with it, which can lead to immense misery within us.

We all desire the need for that one person who knows our scariest secrets (you don’t? Well… I do) and who will always be there no matter the circumstances to catch us when we fall; that one person that we can rely on at all times.
But with this desire comes an enormous liability towards others as well as towards ourselves in that, we first have to learn to be by ourselves and enjoy it; without this a relationship can become primarily flawed, because there is a great dependent on one person, which can become quite overbearing.

We must learn to find a sense of freedom in isolation, where we can stand on our own and be content with ourselves first, before we can join in union with another human being (#selfLove).

Some individuals are so into themselves that they over compensate loneliness. I have heard where persons state that they are not afraid of being alone, yet they ‘monkey bar’ their way through life from one partner to another, not taking the time to really get to know who they are as a person and being true to who they are. Now I am not judging, if that works for you, then hats off to you.

Being lonely in my opinion is never a good thing.

1. Loneliness is the seclusion that comes with an unmet expectation, results… such feeling      are not returned.
2. Loneliness is screaming within and no one is there to calm the storm.
3. It is the sense of emotional abandonment.
4. Loneliness leads to you blaming yourself for everything in your life.
5. You become so disconnected from everyone and everything.
6. You become dependent on others for your happiness.
7. You become so restless to the point where you become so rooted in fear.

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Now imagine going through life dealing with some if not all the above?
Is that a healthy way to live?

Loneliness is a state of mind and it doesn’t depend on other people, it simply means that there is something empty within us. It can even be portrayed as a chronic illness.

Some may even say you could be surrounded by lots of friends and families and still be lonely, but atleast there is someone there to ‘pass yuh a cup of wata and two pill if yuh head a hurt yuh.

While it’s great and dandy to be in tune with ourselves and be caught up in your own world, it remains that in order to function effectively around another individual, we have to try and keep our thoughts positive and our minds clear. This will then allow us to intertwine ourselves with another individual and function for the betterment of the two of you.
I am not saying to go find someone and dump your entire burden on them and even settle for someone who doesn’t make you happy, but you stay in fear of being alone, however, it’s necessary to try and deal with such issues before they move from an ant hill to a mountain and spiral out of control.

Companionship is an essential part of life. I take pleasure in the fact that I have that one person who knows my inner most thoughts, who has seen me at my worst, who has cheered me on my best and who has been there through thick and thin and while I have close family members and friends, everyone is off doing their own thing, building their own lives, some even, trying to keep their heads above water, some…. just simply going through life.

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It’s an amazing feeling, knowing well that you will always have that one person who will always be there for you, who if life prolongs or allows it, will sit together and read the paper (well… there might not be tangible reading materials then) and who you will soak your dentures in a glass of water with, in essence, that one person you will grow old with.

And when the inevitable comes, that one person will be by your side, heart wrenching, tears rolling down but holding your hand as you depart this world.

Just like the elderly couple, who only had each other even up to the end. I am sure that while it’s scary for the wife to be left standing alone, she took great comfort in knowing that she had fond memories of her husband, she was with him every step of the way, right up to the end. #truelove

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Are you a soldier of Love OR plain stupid?

The heart tends to fall for who it wants, without even considering what the mind wants. It deciphers its own feelings and interprets them on its own free will.

Being in love is one of the greatest and most intense feelings you can ever experience in your life. Love is a powerful emotion. It can drive you crazy, it causes hurt in the most painful and heart wrenching way, but most of all what we seek from the feeling is a creation of happiness and a bond of two souls as one.

When you enter into an intimate relationship, it is an obvious expectation that you will give your all. In my view and my partner’s, you should give your “heart, soul and batty hole”.  That person becomes your everything and you can sit in silence with your partner and still enjoy each other’s company. This is the person you can be as goofy as possible with and at the same time be serious when needed. You expect that it all should be reciprocated, but lo and behold you are the only one giving….immediate red flag!

Just like the game of football, obtaining a red card means you have exceeded your warnings and you have to sit out the current game as well as the next. In a relationship, when a red flag goes up, it means that there is a constant occurrence of a particular issue(s), or an occurrence of a really huge one. Does this mean that it’s time to jump ship? Or are you willing to test your strength to see how much of a true soldier of love you are?

How much are you willing to sacrifice in the name of LOVE? Are you going to just sit, with your hands tied behind your back, while you are being tortured? Are you that foolish to stay while you are constantly being hurt, your feelings are constantly being crushed, your mental and physical health are hanging by a thread and on top of it all you are expected to give a “good whine”? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes sex does solve some of the issues, as a little tension may need to be release to heal the wounds of the relationship. However if the wounds are constantly being opened, then all shops should remain closed.  If this is what you endure, then hats off to you. In my opinion and trust me, you are plain stupid. As my fellow Jamaican women would say, “If him nah beat mi, him nuh love mi”. Need I say more?! It’s pretty clear that you are a soldier of love who needs to go back to basic training.

On the other hand you can be experiencing all the hurt and pain in the relationship, but as soon as you put your foot down and stand firm, your partner (given that this person is a rational human being) will realize that they are indeed hurting you and genuinely step their game up, making the relationship worthwhile and lasting. If that is the case, THEN you can perform the “boom wuk”.

In the end, it’s up to you to know how much you are willing to take and endure. It is better and healthier to be single, than sitting in a hurtful relationship. Do not be scared to be “you” in the relationship and express how you really feel. Love yourself first before you can love others. Go through the struggles and tests, but be sure to check your feelings at the end of each test. Only a true soldier of love will know when to decipher the thin line between love and stupidity.

Tattered-love (TL)

Seeing that I already shared my views, I wanted you guys to have alternative views, so I asked Kerry, a friend of mine to weigh in on the topic. What say you Kerry? 

So, time and again you ask yourself, “Am I really doing this?” “Do I really want this?” Two fundamental questions that are asked in every relationship, but if you find yourself sitting and asking these questions too often, it means that there are some red flags in this partnership that need to be looked at and assessed. Think of all the extremes that you have gone through as a couple, and look at where you are now. Was it worth it? Think of all the times that you played together, laughed, watched the tv, just took the time out to look at each other, and when the hardest of times hit, you could push through, work it out and stand together as soldiers of love. Love is never definite, and so its rare that persons go the extra mile, because no-one wants to put in the extra work, that’s when there’s trouble in the camp. Never be confused though, there is a difference between being a soldier of love, and being naive/foolish in love. Love is great, the down side to it, is that it can be the most painful experience ever in life. Not because you’re loving someone means they are loving you back the way they ought to, trust me, to be in a relationship where you are loving this person and they are doing more harm to you than good with the relationship, means that you’re being naïve for believing this is only what you can get, and foolish for not thinking you deserve better. But because you feel/believe/think you can do no better in finding that someone who is just right for you, you remain in this hurtful situation. Being single and happy, is better than being in a relationship and still feeling alone, there is a fine line between love/hurt/hate and only true Soldiers of Love will be able to differentiate and determine their fate. What it all comes down to is that sometimes you will never know. There are some relationships that have the most rocky beginnings, where one or both partners thought of leaving countless times, and in the end, the problems they were going through get sorted out and they end up having the best of relationships. What this means is that each relationship is different, each person in the relationship has to decide what they are willing to bear. If you find yourself staying in a relationship where the person is putting you through more than you can bear and yet you stay, then you might be a fool for love. My opinion is that you should set some boundaries with your partner and hold firm to them. If you tell your partner that whatever they’re doing is hurting you and the relationship, yet when they continue you stay with them, then they will continue to do what they’re doing, because they realize that you’re not going to leave. You might be thinking that you cannot do without your partner but as I stated earlier, in my opinion it is better to be single and happy. Don’t take this to mean that I’m encouraging everyone experiencing problems in their relationships to pack up and leave, that’s not the case. Every relationship has problems, and many of them can be worked out, but when those problems become a threat to your mental and physical health, then its time to let Houston know you’ve got a problem. In simple terms, every relationship has its own unique problems, you have to decide when they are too much for you to bear and take action like a good soldier of love ought to.

K.M.D.