Lonely? Waiting For Love?

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Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Mother Teresa

Loneliness is painful.

  • You want love, affection, and companionship; not loneliness.
  • You want to live with someone; not alone.
  • You want someone available for conversation, outings, etc.; not, “When can we get together?”

So what do you do while you’re waiting for that special person?

You remember, “Living alone doesn’t = loneliness?” It’s true. You can live alone and not be lonely. It just takes work.

True, living alone isn’t as convenient as saying to a husband or a wife, “Let’s go get some pizza.” You have to make calls, get ready, and get out of the house. It does take energy, persistence, and determination. But, living alone doesn’t = loneliness.

You may ask yourself, “Is it worth the effort?” All that calling and planning and then your friend opts out at the last-minute and you find yourself thinking unkind thoughts. You may even use a few words of a religious nature. Of course it’s irritating when people don’t follow through. But, my training and experience says it’s worth the effort to support healthy relationships.

You really need to get out of the house.

  • You need the positive energy that good people bring with them.
  • You need people to help you celebrate and mourn life’s events.
  • You need to hug and be hugged.

You’re free, of course, to retreat to the recliner, chips, and TV. It’s convenient and comfortable. Who doesn’t enjoy a good movie or a good book – especially if it’s a dark, rainy, miserable day? You really don’t have to do anything with friends. You can sit at home with your pets.

But, as I stated in the previous article, you suffer when you don’t accept life as it is for us humans. The truth is that you’re a biochemical electrical creature who’ s energized by good people. You actually really need good people in your life.

You may wish you were self-sufficient but actually life is too beautiful and too terrifying for that. Both wonderful and horrible things happen on planet earth. You need to travel with a group to celebrate good times and to find solace when difficult times arrive.

It all comes down to, “What are you willing to do?” What are you willing to do to keep yourself positive and healthy?

My professional, and personal, experience leads me to recommend your being proactive in at least three major ways:

  • Be ready to date so that you’re open to a new compatible person. For example –

Be social; stay used to being with people.
Don’t give in to anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Get help if you need it so that you’re a positive person.

  • Develop and support loving supportive relationships as a single person so that you’re being loved as you are. You’ll do better if you’re not starved emotionally.
  • Robotically get yourself to events where it’s possible to meet new people around your age. Go whether you feel like it or not. Act like a robot who’s programed to go out.

You may not feel like doing any of these things and of course you don’t have to. However, isolating leads to depression, then to anxiety, and then to even more depression and anxiety as you realize how alone you really are. Your friends drift away. Family doesn’t find you very inviting. Few people are attracted to depressed and anxious people; they’re emotionally draining. It eventually comes down to you and your pets and even your dog may not seem as excited to see you. But, your life doesn’t have to come down to this.

Here are a few things that elevate mood and energy. –

  • Use music, religious faith, beauty, and meaningful work to energize you.
  • Buy an affectionate pet. Petting, touching, is good for you.
  • Use meditation to increase your ability to connect with yourself, others, nature, and God.

Passively waiting is rarely a good strategy. Give yourself a chance. Be ready so that if the right person shows up you’re emotionally there. Why should you use lose a good opportunity and let someone else enjoy the relationship?

You’re not alone! Family and friends can still give strength and courage. Groups give helpful ideas and encouragement. Physicians, professional psychotherapists, and counselors work to decrease depression and anxiety and help people stay focused on their goals. Support is available. Be courageous and get the help you need.

Here are my main points –

  • A single person need not live a lonely life.
  • It always takes an effort to stay connected with people.
  • It’s worth the effort.

If you’re feeling lonely ask yourself –

  1. What’s my next step so that I’m loving and enjoying people?
  2. How can I get myself to do what I know I need to do?
  3. What help do I need?

I wish you the very best.

Feel free to comment on the article in the space below. You can email me at cmosemann@cox.net if you have any questions.

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Time Matters

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“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘don’t want to.”  Lao Tzu

“Time is a game played beautifully by children.”  Heraclitus

“Lost time is never found again.” Benjamin Franklin

Time matters more to me at seventy-three than it did at twenty-three. At twenty-three time seemed to stretch out forever. I couldn’t image forty-three much less seventy-three. Now I know that time has limits. It can’t be saved. You spend it. And, I know that how it’s spent pretty much determines my future. Love, respect, and prosperity tend to come to those who spend time wisely.

Time spent foolishly can result in isolation and poverty. Think wisely about time. Ask yourself, do you take time to –

  • Relax?
  • Eat nutritionally and regularly?
  • Sleep?
  • Exercise?
  • Connect with your partner?
  • Enjoy your children?
  • Stay connected with friends?
  • Continue to learn?
  • Consider the spiritual side of life?
  • Plan for the future?

All of the above activities help you to stay in balance. For example, meditation, contemplation, and prayer help you to relax and connect with yourself and the world you live in. Taking care of your body with nutritious food, sleep, and exercise gives you energy to invest in what’s important. Time with good people results in attention, affection, and love. Personal time gives space for play and doing nothing if you want to. Planning for the future gives your life direction and learning new things enriches your life.

It’s important for you and your partner to think through how to balance out time. Failure to plan can result in things like excessive spending and an excessive amount of time devoted to work. It can also result in time being devoted to things like fun computer activities that isolate you from family and friends. The result is that you feel disconnected with both yourself and others.

Think about how you’re spending your daily allowance of twenty-four hours? Talk it over with your partner. Be sure your time is wisely invested. Time does matter.

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There’s A Way Out of Loneliness

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Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.  Mother Teresa

“There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.” G.K. Chesterton

Loneliness thrives when you’re disconnected with yourself and others. Today, as a culture, half of Americans live alone. Many have given up on the religious communities whose work it is to lovingly give us, wisdom, help us find a sense of purpose, and help connect us with others and God. These are places to celebrate our joys and to find compassion and comfort in our time of sorrow.

We need community and we seem to do better when we sense a connection with an ultimate sense of being that many call God. We have known this for millennia.

Loneliness can have it’s roots in the past. For example, some of you may have experienced –

Neglect. (Why would anyone want me?)
Chaos. (Who can I depend on?)
Bullying. (Why can’t I be defended?)
Rejection. (Why wouldn’t I get rejected again?)
Isolation. (How could I fit in?)
Disappointment. (Why would things work out now?)
Aloneness. (Why would someone look out for me now?)

These lead to disappointment, disillusionment, and hurt. Sometimes you can feel so hurt that you feel consumed by it. Beauty, truth, and love may feel far away. You’re not good enough; others, including God, aren’t good enough. Therefore, why would you try to find a friend? To avoid rejection, you might tell yourself that happy people live in fantasy; that they have nothing to teach you; that there’s no hope for you. But, inside, you know you need and want a friend.

There is hope –

There are people who choose to be compassionate and loving. You can be one of them.

Good, wise, people can help you be a friend and find a friend. You can choose to focus on what is good, beautiful, and true.

You can move from judgment to compassion.

Consider compassion toward yourself and others. Everyone has his/her own pain to deal with. Some had deal with the results of war and natural disasters. Some may be been deceived and think that alcoholism, drug abuse, intimidation, compulsive devotion to work, etc., are good for them. We’re all in the process of learning to live as we go along.

Connecting with yourself and others, of course, is the only way to reduce loneliness. To do that you have to be compassionate, loving, and graciously firm about what is and is not acceptable to you.

1.Learn to know yourself and be compassionate and firm with yourself.

2. Get comfort by expressing your pain to a compassionate person.

3. Give up demanding that life be your way; it doesn’t work.

4. Accept that it’s a struggle to be a person with kindness and integrity. Work at it.

5. Find compassion for others. They have their own challenges.

6. Live in the now. The past is gone; the future’s unknown.

7. Accept that nothing in life stays the same. Appreciate what you have.

8. Learn to be a good judge of people.

9. Join groups with kind people of integrity.

10. Move from self-focus to asking what the world needs from you and contribute.

Dealing with loneliness may seem like a daunting task. It can take courage and strength. You don’t need to work on it alone. Be willing to allow others to help you. This is a worthwhile task. You owe it to yourself to truly live.

We’re Already a Couple. You Really Want to Get Married?

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A wise person decides slowly but abides by these decisions. Arthur Ashe

Are you willing to go from “I” to “we?” I know, it’s a big decision. While most people say they would prefer marriage, the number of singles continues to rise. Being a couple and getting married probably seems risky if you’re single.

This article is about how to decrease your risk and increase your odds of having a loving, stable, marriage, and home. Marriage research is looking at what the risk factors are and have found these risk factors –

1. Many sexual partners.
2. Living with a partner before marriage.
3. Few guests at a marriage.

You might think that sexual experiences and living with someone prepare us for marriage. But, finding someone you can commit to, committing to them in marriage, and doing it in a ceremony before a family and friends seems to build a good foundation for a home.

Now, you may find this discouraging and/or unbelievable. Take time to check the research on this site and on the rest of the internet. Let me know if I’m not looking at things correctly. I’ll be glad to read what you send me.

I advise you, and anyone you partner with, to think through how past decisions may have affected your relationships. Think about it. How has your past changed you and how has your partner’s past changed him/her? The two of you can learn from all of your experiences.

As you review the past and think about the future, do you sense that you’re ready to move from a focus on “me” to a focus on “we.” Even though you feel in love, it’s still important to consciously decide whether you’re willing to allow yourself to be physically and emotionally coupled to another person. Are you willing to share your life with another person when it includes your energy, your time, your money, and your sexual experiences?

Both of you can do what you like when you’re single. Being coupled means your spouse has a legitimate claim on your body, energy, time, and money. Your partner is naturally interested in where you want to live, the hours you work, your rules for child-rearing, and how you spend and save your money.

Keep in mind that walking hand-in-hand with your partner does not mean losing your identity. The two of you can allow a healthy separation that respects your own values, personal interests, and abilities. You can pursue your own interests and your own friends. The way you pursue them does need to be supportive of your relationship with your partner.

The relationships that seem do well are those in which both partners have freely decided that they want to be with their partner. They’ve moved beyond consumer relationships and leaving the door open for a trade later on. They’ve stopped looking for someone better, made a commitment to their partner, and married. They’ve shut the door on other sexual relationships.

Are you ready to commit to a partner and live as a couple? Are you willing to go from “I” to “we”? Are you willing to make the necessary tradeoffs? Commitment provides a strong foundation on which to build a home. Are you willing to make one to your partner and in front of others? Is your partner ready to make this commitment?

Keeping in mind the three risk factors, take the time to learn how to be a great partner, find a great partner, and form a relationship that can evolve into a commitment and a marriage. Learn what you need to learn so that you can have the results you desire.

The next article builds on this one. We’ll begin with commitment and move on to what a delightful home consists of. Stick with me on this one; you’ll be glad you did.

Share the article with your family and friends. Look at the articles and websites on the blog. Establishing a great relationship and marriage and a secure, warm home are important.

We Just Went Over The Holidays; You Want Me To Go Again?

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Proverbs 21:21. The Bible
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; …. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:3, 4. The Bible

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We’ve just celebrated the ancient religious holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah. Now we’re beginning a new year with new resolutions. As you consider what you want for your life in 2015, consider a religious community if you’re not part of one. They’ve existed for thousands of years in every part of our world. And, they’ve existed for a reason. For example, they –

  • Provide a place to connect with people and the immanent and transcendent which many of us call God.
  • Celebrate the stages of life: birth, becoming an adult, marriage, and death.
  • Teach us how to carry the roles of husband, wife, father, mother.
  • Teach us basic principles of how to live a moral and ethical life, how to love, and how to get the strength to do this.
  • Provide opportunities for deep friendship and mutual support over a period of years; perhaps a lifetime.
  • Provide support in times of emotional and financial need.
  • Provide opportunities to serve and develop one’s abilities.
  • Help us move toward being content and compassionate and away from the sense that we are never enough and never have enough.
  • Help us to deal with the meaning of life, suffering, and death.
  • Provide for a stable community over the years.

Think about how important these things really are. In addition, couples will probably find that a religious organization will –

  • See marriage as sacred with the couple accountable to God and the community as well as to each other.
  • Provide healthy role models for men and women.
  • Encourage men to spend time with their wives and children and develop close relationships.
  • Provide community support for couples: mentors, books, video’s, conferences and people to talk to about the challenges of being a couple.
  • Religious organizations pass on thousands of years of wisdom – how to live a good life vs a foolish one. They teach us how to love and be loved. They teach us what is morally good, morally justifiable and acceptable in the community.

Trust in God and the modeling and support of a healthy religious group seems to allow people to develop positive traits such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, benevolence, faithfulness, gentleness, humility, self-restraint, and courage; it provides a genuine opportunity for personal transformation.

Spiritual communities give you and me opportunities to be truly altruistic, to serve others. Working for the good of our community, nation, and world takes us away from self-absorption, personal problems, and the drive for ever more personal success. Altruism widens our world and allows us to escape the narrow world of “me” which can never satisfy and bring happiness. Altruism teaches us the value of self-sacrifice and the certain knowledge that we’ve done something truly worthwhile.

Think about it. Would regular participation in a religious organization be supportive to you and your partner? Participation not just attendance is the key.

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Feel free to comment on the article. I always appreciate feedback.

I Haven’t Had Such A Good Laugh Since ______!

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”

Milton Berle

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One of my brothers-in-law read my last post,”What Do You Mean? I Think That I’m a Great Partner,” and remarked that I hadn’t included humor in my list of desirable characteristics. That remark hit home. I use humor on a daily basis. So, of course, I included “Is able to see himself/herself with a sense of humor.” We do funny things like putting Cheerios in the refrigerator and our car keys in the trunk. (It may not be funny then but later it is, “Can you believe what I did?) That’s why comedians have been able to make a fortune using material from their own families. In this Christmas season I’m very grateful for the opportunity to laugh and have fun with those I love. Laughter is good for us and our partner.

For example, as a psychotherapist I deal with the anxiety and depression of others. As people express their pain, I feel it. The anxiety and depression rub off. As result, I’ve developed a routine that includes meditation, prayer, and humor. Humor is helpful because it helps me to see the light side of life. There’s more to life than anxiety and depression.It helps me to get ready for the day. At the end of the day, I can use humor to help me leave my work at work. Currently I’m using an audio version of P. G. Wodehouse’s novels and short stories. He provides a wonderful diversion and I can feel my mood lift.

As a matter of general interest, Norman Cousins, an editor of the “Saturday Review” for thirty years, used humor to fight a life-threatening form of arthritis that was thought to be incurable.You can read about his experience in the Anatomy of an Illness as Described by the Patient. He saw humor as a powerful tool to help the body fight illness.

You can use humor to –

Lift your mood
Distract you from negative thoughts
Help you relax
Deescalate your anger (But, avoid sarcasm)
Put you into a playful frame of mind

Our view of life can narrow to a point where all we’re aware of is the depressing side of life. Humor has a way of helping us to relax and broaden our view so that we see more than the problems we’re dealing with. The problems exist but so do the birds, sunsets, and good people.

So if you get stressed during this holiday season,

Read or listen to a humorous book
Read the comics
Check out the cartoons in the New Yorker
Deliberately look for humorous movies and TV shows
See the humor in everyday life – if you have children or a pet this one could be very easy.

I still like to watch reruns of Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, and Don Knott’s. I love to watch The Apple Dumpling Gang. (Do you remember Tim Conway and Don Knott’s accidentally burning down the army’s fort in “The Apple Dumpling Gang 2”?) Some of these people will be part of my life for as long as I can still think. I love them.

Sit down and watch a silly movie like the “12 Dates of Christmas.” Relax and rethink how important it really is to have the perfect Christmas or anything else. Perfection isn’t for this world and it isn’t necessary. Enjoy the show, the Christmas lights, hot chocolate, a little something to eat, and the companionship of the people you love. Let yourself enjoy the ambience of the best things in life: connection with people, beauty, delightful sounds, good smells, and delightful tastes.

Let yourself be delighted by what’s good in the world and for at least a time, take a break from work and duty and have a good laugh. You’ll live longer and better, and people will love to be with you. You have my money back guarantee!

What Do You Mean? I Think That I’m a Great Partner

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The unexamined life is not worth living.    Socrates

Would you like a partner who demonstrates these attributes –

  • Kindly tells the truth; isn’t deceitful even though it would be convenient.
  • Doesn’t steal; respects what belongs to others.
  • Courageously does what’s right even though it’s obviously hard.
  • Quickly admits when he/she is wrong and makes amends as needed.
  • Learns from the past and works to not repeat what’s destructive.
  • Gives unconditionally love; nothing’s asked in return.
  • Asks for support rather than suffering through something alone and resenting it.
  • Forgives and doesn’t punish after forgiving.
  • Appreciates life and looks for the good and beautiful.
  • Appreciates work and works toward excellence, not perfection.
  • Works for the good of the family both individually and as a whole.
  • Willingly contributes to family, friends, and the larger community.
  • Takes care of himself/herself and rejects being a victim.
  • Treats all people with respect even though he/she has nothing to gain.
  • Is the same person no matter where he/she is or who he/she is with.
  • Has unchanging standards for moral behavior no matter who he/she is with.
  • Is willing to be accountable to another person for what he/she thinks, says, and does. (It’ll keep you out of trouble.)
  • Is able to see himself/herself, and others, with a sense of humor.

True, this is a long list of positive attributes. It’s even longer than the Ten Commandments. But, the reality is that the person you love will only want to be with you if he/she primarily associates love with you and trusts you. Therefore, the list is important. Life is short; no reruns. You and I need to do what we need to do so that we can be trusted and trusted not only by our partner but by our children and grandchildren.

Now here’s a shorter list for you. It’s a list of what not to do if you want people to stick with you. It’s a list of deal breakers. Beware of –

  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Continual arguing
  • Not expressing an opinion
  • Expressing opinions in a harsh, critical, derogatory manner.
  • Having to have your own way
  • Physical and emotional abuse
  • Stealing
  • Deception

Be wise; let others play the fool and squander their life. One of the sayings in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is “Too soon old and too late smart.” Don’t let that be true for you. Life goes by very quickly. If your partner is questioning how good a partner you are, take a good look at whether you’re someone you would want to spend the rest of your life with.

“It takes wisdom to build a house,

and

understanding to set it on a firm foundation;”

Proverbs 24:3, The Message