High Lonesome A Spiritual Crisis. "Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us..." - Brene Brown
Loneliness is a definitely a subject that is not easily discussed with others. This is something that creates a bit of negativity as is stated in the book. We talk about loneliness in conjunction with needing therapy, being depressed and the loner is almost always associated with a criminal especially - as we have all seen on the news and social media - the juvenile criminal. By treating the feelings of loneliness as negative it creates a taboo feeling. A feeling that is often not discussed and then as a result there is no discussion of what to do to when we feel lonely.
In our present culture and political times the feelings of loneliness have increased as we protect ourselves. What are we protecting ourselves from? This is the hardest and yet easiest to understand - FEAR. This is the driving force behind our need to protect ourselves, pick sides, remain quiet, be loud - be controlling, reflexive sorting of friends, groups, books, discussions which, all lead to only having support from those that agree with everything you do. This creates a place where a differing opinion does not lead to a discussion because - you are not allowed to have a different opinion. That is the final answer.
As you read this chapter you may find yourself uneasy with the topics presented. You may read this chapter and reflect back to many situations where this type of fear has occurred. The greatest fear I believe we can overcome is our the one that allows us to dig deep into ourselves and reflect. Looking in to ourselves and our own actions.
As before these questions are great for reviewing the chapter and for book club discussions.
1. When have you found yourself protecting yourself - either by choosing a side and joining the masses OR remaining quiet?
2. When have you looked at a class or a group and thought that it would be cool - only to then not sign up or go because it would be a different group of people than what you would normally hang out with?
3. When have you not taken action (class, workshop, place, book etc.) because you were worried about what a friend or family member would say?
4. Now think back to time in the same scenarios above BUT you did it anyway - you went to the class etc. NOW here is the question did you do it because you were being true to your authentic self OR to prove a point to someone?
5. What do you think of loneliness and being alone - is it the same? Is it different?
6. Think of a situation where you felt alone but yet you were with a lot of people - did you find yourself going to a place of protection - (choosing a side, remaining quiet, agreeing with the loudest person in the room, being defensive, being sarcastic, gossip)
7. Interdependence means that we gain strength from working together. How can you implement this into your life - your social circles, family, work etc.?