I don’t love the actual physical feeling of being lonely, of course. But sometimes, negative emotions are evidence of something good about ourselves, or in this case, our lives.
Last night, I was all alone in the house. I thought I was going to enjoy it, but when it came down to it, I felt a vibration in my body that I called “lonely.”
The feeling was uncomfortable. My stomach hurt, my body was achy, and I felt weepy. Why would I say I love that?!
I decided to get really curious about the feeling. Almost like I pulled it out of my body, held it in my hand, and examined it.
As I examined it, I realized that I felt this way because I love being around my people. I love laughing with them. In fact, I actually laughed out loud because I was imagining what I would be doing if my kids were there with me.
(The song “I Don’t Want No Scrubs” was playing on the radio, and I imagined I would be singing it at the top of my lungs and my kids would be judging me for thinking I was cool because I still knew all the words to a song that was popular when I was a teen. But eventually at least two of them would join me in dancing to it.)
I also imagined how my husband’s presence makes me feel so safe. How when he’s home, it feels like everything is just taken care of.
I still felt lonely. I still missed my family. I still experienced the uncomfortable feelings in my body. After I examined the feeling, however, I realized how much of the feeling was coming from very positive things in my world.
For the next few moments, I embraced the feeling as evidence of love in my life. Even though I didn’t like the physical feeling of loneliness, I welcomed it as a natural byproduct of loving people. I also used it as an opportunity to take note of what I appreciate about my time with my people. That’s what made me love that I get to experience loneliness.
I could appreciate this negative emotion and know that I wanted to keep it.
This doesn’t always happen. Not every negative emotion turns into warm and fuzzy thoughts when I take the time to examine it. I have a different strategy I use in that case.
What are some negative feelings that you want to keep? What aspects of your life do they help you appreciate?