Big Hank had a saying,
To be alone in the moonlight, is better when you’re not.
He was, of course, indicating that moonlight is so much better when shared. As are most things in life.
We are a tribe people. We are MEANT to share and experience life as a group. As a pack. As a family. This is NOT a frivolous desire, but a need. (Google it. For real. Not making it up.)
When we experience isolation and social pain, the feeling is as real as physical pain. That finding is among those in a new book, Social, and it is part of scientist Matthew Lieberman’s case that our need to connect is as fundamental as our need for food and water.
This need for connection is real and deep and drives much of human behavior.
- I remember being about 10 years into my 17 year marriage. I told my then husband that I was lonely. In our marriage, I was lonely. I adore my ex. He’s on the LIST, and is a rock star of a human being. He is WICKED, WICKED smart, and lives in his head. (I think a lot of really brilliant people do this). Living in your head is not a great place to be when your partner needs you OUTSIDE of your head. So, in the end, we were both lonely and alone, disconnected in a marriage that did not last. And there was pain.
2. In preparation for a yoga retreat with Ana Forrest, I have been reading her book, “Fierce Medicine”. In discussing fear, Ana shares a conversation with a woman who struggles with disordered eating. When questioned about WHY this woman was afraid of ONE M&M, the response was at first superficial, but as she dug deeper, THIS ensued.
“I’ll never lose the weight. I’m a moron who can’t get control over one little M&M. And behind THOSE fears, way deep down, was her most primal fear: If I’m not slim and sexy, I’m not worthwhile. I’m unlovable, useless; I could be thrown away.”
Isolation, aloneness, being cut off. That’s some deep and scary stuff.
3. Finally, I was listing to Tim Ferris and his interview with Debbie Millman. Never heard of her? Neither had I. She’s a designer, pretty bad ass, so if you’ve seen Star Wars, Burger King, or other HUGE brands, you’ve seen her work.
She is also the survivor of some pretty horrific childhood shit. Debbie very pragmatically states, “I spent the first 18 years of my life in constant terror.” She continues to say that she doesn’t share this part of her life very often (a testament to Tim’s interviewing skills) because she has so much shame.
Millman now does some work with the Joyful Heart Foundation. (an organization founded by Law and Order SVU’s Mariska Hargitay in response to the cries for help she received from REAL survivors of abuse) She states that her skills as a designer and branding expertise, dovetailed with her personal background, led her to feel as though “her whole life makes sense.”
“I have had my own battles with darkness. It’s very easy to believe that you are alone or isolated.” They discuss further, and Debbie simply states, “I felt like I was the only person in the world this was happening to.”
Listen HERE if you desire. His interviews are long form, and I catch them when I’m walking, but he’s GOOD at what he does. And the content of this podcast is proof of his skills.
As stated in yesterday’s post:
I. am. not. alone.
So, I share for me. I share to connect. To see and be seen. To get and get gotten. BUT, I also share for people who say, “you write what I think.” For people who say, “I thought I was the only one.” For people who simply say, “thank you.”
Creating this blog has taught me lots and lots of “stuff”, but our “common humanness” (is that a word?) is probably my biggest take away thus far. And what a BEAUTIFUL thought and concept.
Live love. Live Joy. Connect. Communicate. EVEN when it’s scary and hard. Maybe especially then.
Light and Love,