The Isle of Separateness

May 1, 2012


Almost every problem we have can be ascribed to the fact that human beings are utterly beguiled by their feelings of separateness.
-Sam Harris

We hate feeling separate and alone and yet so many of us, myself included, do things to promote and maintain our separateness. People like me call it independence or self-reliance.

Furthermore, the introverted among us can find it difficult or uncomfortable to connect with others in meaningful ways, especially with unfamiliar people and in group settings. So we avoid it, calling it unnecessary. So independent and self-reliant are we.

And then, if you are me, you end up on the couch. For nearly a whole day. Watching the saddest, terriblest reality TV the Style channel has to offer. Yes, the Style channel.

Yesterday was one of those days when I suddenly realize I’ve quit my job and have no idea what I’m doing and everyone else has it all figured out and I’m just here alone on my island doomed to cluelessness.

Why is today different? It started with knowing that I have dinner plans with a friend tonight. She, too, is working toward self-employment in a new field and we have lots to share.

Then, around noon, my lovely career coach reached out to me in an email. If my dream from last night is any indicator, I’ve been missing her support. Yet I haven’t taken even the simplest measure to close that gap.

After emailing with her, my rejuvenation roused me to call another friend and offer my help with a business blog he wants to start. He made me laugh for 30 minutes and I wondered why I haven’t called in so long. Not to mention that we discovered how to barter and synergize our overlapping interests and projects.

So, today, I am eager to write this post whereas yesterday I was uninspired. Fortunately, the couch-island are fewer and farther between as I learn how to defunkify or avoid the funk altogether!

If others are like me, we get a sense of pride and self-confidence from being able to support ourselves and take care of all the needs of daily life. But we are human beings, inherently social creatures. We need the company of others.

The social feeling of love, compassion, and connectedness is one of our greatest sources of happiness. We do best when we are linked together in a happy little circle, each helping the others to achieve their potential, feeling happier and more fulfilled all the way around.

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2 Comments on “The Isle of Separateness”

  1. Todd McCay Says:

    Great post, Gretchen. My two cents… (as you know) everyone else does not have it figured out and you are not doomed to cluelessness! You are more on the path than most. Keep it up and good luck.


    • gretchen Says:

      OK, there may have been a bit of drama in there! But we all know that feeling of being in the weeds. Thanks for your reminder. I’m so glad you’re reading!


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