Those of us who are loners are usually well aware of it.
We have been walking alone through this world for a long time.
But in case you aren’t sure whether you are a loner or not,
here is a simple question you can ask yourself:
Was it painful for me to be separated from all my friends this past year?
If your answer is a loud and heartfelt YES, you are not a loner.
And you don’t need to read this post.
But if, like me, you are saying:
Friends? What friends? It wasn’t painful, it was a RELIEF to be alone!
you are indeed a loner.
Being alone all year may have seemed like heaven.
But I’m sorry to tell us—we are in trouble,
and we BOTH need to read this post.
I’ll hold your hand if you’ll hold mine.
Do we have a deal, fellow loner?
Let’s DO this!
A lesson from covid
I didn’t think anything good could come from this long disease-filled year.
But being alone forces us to think.
So, one day I was thinking about how little had changed for me due to covid.
I had one huge and painful loss—being separated all year from my fiance.
But everything else was almost the same.
I was pondering this rather odd fact, when it suddenly hit me:
I have been living my whole life as if everyone around me has covid.
This hit me hard.
I was stunned.
But it was true.
No one came to my house when I was little.
And no one comes to my house now.
I avoid direct interaction with people.
I interact almost entirely online or in letters.
I even keep my cell phone turned off.
Well, well, well.
Three holes in the ground.
So what do I DO about this?
An appointment with Dr. Hall
I heard there was someone online who thinks she knows something about building freedom.
Figured I should see if she can assist me.
Tried to call her, but her cell phone was turned off. Not a good sign.
So I wrote her an email. She answered, and we set up a ZOOM call.
Here’s how it went down:
You probably have a reason for why you are a loner.
Why don’t we start by you telling me what your reason is?
It was my mother.
When I was real little, around 3, I took off down the street.
I remember it—my joy running down that street!
I kept going till I got to my friend Susan’s house.
I went in the back yard and was playing with my friends.
My Mom couldn’t find me.
When she finally did, she took hold of my hand, marched me home,
and spanked me hard—for the first and only time.
I remember it well.
I was never the same after that.
I became withdrawn. I just stayed home.
Mom wrote about it in her autobiography.
She really regretted spanking me.
Did you ever forgive her?
Doesn’t look that way.
I never brought it up.
Did you think she meant you weren’t allowed to have friends?
That is how I took it, yes!
I’m not allowed. And I’ll be punished if I do.
So you thought when she spanked you she was telling you
“You’re not allowed to have friends!”
But you realize–now–that that was not her actual intention?
And yet you are still pointing your finger at her.
What do you mean?
Every time you sit alone without friends
you are acting out a silent reproach against your mother:
“SEE what she did to me!!!”
You are telling the world:
“It’s not my fault that I have no friends!
SHE made me into this friendless loner!”
I’m sorry. This is no fun.
But let’s get to the bottom of this.
Instead of forgiving your mother
and correcting what you felt was done to you
you took the worst interpretation of her action
and continued it against yourself.
You have not allowed yourself to have friends.
Does it make sense to do that?
no, it doesn’t.
I never thought of it that way.
So the question for you to ask yourself…every day…
Why have I taken the role of a mean mother toward myself all these years?
NOT ALLOWING myself to have friends?
Is that what a good mother would do?
No, it isn’t.
A good mother would encourage her child to build friendships.
Isn’t it about time for you to be a good mother to yourself and DO that?
Yeah…she didn’t mean to stop me from having friends…
I think she was just really scared when she couldn’t find me…
And she told me her father used to spank her all the time.
So she was repeating that…
But she was soooo sorry
when she saw me just fold up and stay home…
Wow…it’s hard to be a good mother…we all make mistakes…
Yes we all mess up bad. We all mess up real bad. (tears)
But when we forgive
we get another chance to build.
No matter who we think made us into loners.
Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t.
If they did we can forgive them and start over.
We get another chance.
This time we can say:
I have permission to have friends.
I give myself permission to have the joys of friendship.
I can begin to reach out.
I can begin to have fun with other people.
I can join a club, and say Hello!
I can turn on the ringer on my cell phone! (I just did.)
I can invite someone to go for coffee with me.
I can go for a bike ride with someone.
I can invite people over to my house for dinner.
I can even have them over for a party!
Dr. Hall (that’s me)
can stop being a loner and join the human race.
Do you have any suggestions for other ways we loners
can become builders with friends?
Just hit Reply and tell me.