Do you feel like you are alone? Like you don’t belong or that you are not good enough?
Does loneliness overwhelm you even when you are surrounded by people?
Our lives look so great on the outside that we even might think, how can I complain? I am the lucky one who has good health, a job, and beautiful friends and family.
Even so, deep down, we simply and deeply and secretly….feel lonely.
Do you know who some of the most un-alone people are? The many beautiful souls who are in recovery groups are among the most un-alone people. Do you know why? One of the reasons is that they discover on their journey that they need the connection, unbridled acceptance and affirmation of their fellow recovery comrades in order to move through their own recovery.
You guys. They have the secret sauce:
The power of connection.
The secret is in doing life in the context of people who totally get you.
There is power in being known as we truly are. Not just the beautiful parts are known in these settings. The hard parts of ourselves are known in these kinds of groups. The need to hide falls away when we can participate in a group that understands the importance of deep and real connection. Walking shoulder to shoulder alongside fellow strugglers becomes the way of coping, growing, healing and ultimately, thriving.
There is power in being in community with others who show their vulnerable parts. And we show the parts of ourselves that we don’t like, too. It is in the process of bringing all parts into the light of human connection, that we can truly be known and therefore truly be loved.
If one part of our self isn’t loved,
then all parts cannot be fully loved.
We then remain alone in it. Stuck actually. This alone-ness holds us in habits that hide us from the pain of our loneliness. Our lives become filled with addictions, perfectionism, shame, unorganized eating, suicide and so much more. Not having access to life-giving connection is an obstacle to living our fullest, most wonderful lives.
5 years ago I joined a coaching group. Just like a therapist who embarks on extensive therapy in preparation for their job, I joined a coaching group to prepare for being a life coach.
I was lonely when I began. I wasn’t aware of it thought. The loneliness was hidden beneath many things including a deep sense of claustrophobia. This strange anxiety masked my loneliness. It hasn’t been until recently that I see how the process of coming into a group of ten people…with full vulnerability…effected the change and growth in me. The experience of exposing the parts of myself and my narrative that I didn’t like or understand began to slowly make everything different. The warmth of seeing those ten people love the parts of me that I couldn’t love, spilled over into learning to love myself. Not just the good parts, but all of me.
Hearing the narrative of each group member and even their feedback toward me, slowly began to change how I experienced myself, how I related to others, and my sense of belonging and purpose.
I had spent years reading book after book and doing all the things. But it wasn’t until I began doing the work in the context of relationship that the anxiety and loneliness finally lifted. It sometimes returns. But now I see it as my signal. Anxiety and loneliness rings the alarm letting me know it is time to lean into connection. It used to mean something is wrong with me; I’m crazy; I shouldn’t feel this way. Now it means that there is a part of myself that I need to pull into the light of the group or a close friend.
It is in this space of being seen and known
that my story changes and my loneliness falls away.
If you would like to know more about group coaching
, contact me! If you are struggling with isolation that is taking you deeper and deeper into a sense of hopelessness, please reach out. You matter! There is hope. Hope is in connection. And no matter what your struggle, connection is part of the process that will bring you to where you want to be.