“Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is the best to find a person who will be your mirror. Remember only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.”
"Mama, I want yogurt."
"Mama, I want to wear this."
"Mama, s/he hit me!"
"Mama, I want to play outside."
"Mama, clean me NOW!"
You never appreciate solitude until you don't have it anymore. Before marriage, I could not stand being alone unless I was walking or traveling. (I love traveling alone, there's no better way to feel the vibe of a city and its streets than to walk them alone. Some of my favorite memories in life are of doing exactly that.) I was always surrounded by friends or family, a community. Theatre is a very communal field, it's a team sport, and you are at your best with your teammates. Having babies of your own means you don't have time to be alone, and while that is a blessing, you also need solitude to recharge. To hear your inner voice, to reacquaint yourself with yourself.
I like this distinction between "loneliness" and "solitude". You can be at a party, in a crowded room, and feel terribly lonely. It happens to me a lot. You could also be completely alone but never feel lonely. Now that my solitude is a carefully measured phenomenon, I can relate to this completely. And some of us become so comfortable with our solitude that the thought of letting it go is a burden.
Hang on one hot minute, says Rumi, though. Be content with your solitude. Bask in it. Know your heart. But don't fool yourself into thinking that you can exist in a vacuum. It doesn't just have to be a lover, soulmate, spouse...at least not the way I see it. It could be your pet. Your bff. Your child. The point is to exercise the selfless act of love and feel how it changes you. How it breaks down the barriers in you. These days, relationships have all too often become about power play, which leaves little room for selfless love. Until you let your guard down, though, you will never truly see yourself as you are, and thus never find your "mirror".
You always hear jokes about "crazy cat ladies". Nothing crazy about them, think about it. They have found their perfect "mirror". Do you have that kind of love story in your life?
Today was a fun day. It was a family outing day, my favorite kind of day ever. At bedtime, these little monkeys were still flailing about and hyper as anything. Red Bull, you ain't got nothing on preschoolers' energy. Babies, if I could bottle that sh*t up, I would be writing to you from my own private island in the Caribbean.
In an attempt to help them drift off, I decided to do the final relaxation routine from yoga class with them (works like a charm on me!). You get comfortable, lie flat, focus on your breathing, and start relaxing each body part moving from the feet up.
"Relax your knees, your thighs, your bum."
"Hee hee, she said bum!"
"Hee hee, she said bum!"
Ok, I walked right into that one.
"Feel your tummy relax."
"My tummy's not relaxed! I want water!"
And it was just downhill from there. I think I need to wait another 5 years before trying this one again. Till then, I should just enjoy the little feet clawing at my face, the arms and legs flung over me as hubby and I snuggle with them before they drift off, knowing that right there, in that room, are the people who made me stretch my heart beyond what I knew possible.