Does Alone = Unlovable?
I guess it can mean that, but I’m not sure it’s axiomatic. Upon his first encounter with Donkey, Shrek was annoyed, cranky, angry, and generally unpleasant. He did not want visitors or friends, and he simply did not want to be bothered. He was in fact alone by his own choice, and by all outward appearances was quite unlovable. As we see the story unfold, Donkey was unrelenting and ultimately forced a lasting friendship onto Shrek. In the end that friendship proved to be a very strong one indeed despite all of Shrek’s protests along the way. Was Shrek unlovable? Well, I guess the answer is yes and no. Most people and mythical creatures didn’t want to have anything to do with him. They were afraid of his size and his mean spirit. But Donkey chose to see past that and into who and what Shrek truly was. And as we ultimately discover, he was really a very lovable creature. (Donkey Meets Shrek)
Some people are in fact actually legitimately unlovable, and wind up alone as a result of this. They can be emotional black holes for anyone that is around them, and have nothing at all to offer to those they interact with. This will make them eventually unlovable to anyone that spends any appreciable time around them. I am not exactly sure of this, but it seems that being unlovable is a choice. So I suppose being alone can be a symptom of pure self absorption and lack of compassion and empathy, which appear to be preferred and chosen attributes of those people.
In contrast, being lovable has nothing to do with looks, finances, social status or a host of other things that give the appearance of being lovable, but in reality can be as repulsive to the heart as anything. Some of the most soul attractive people I have ever met personally have been the least physically attractive. After a very short time, that physical unattractiveness becomes background noise at best. Why? Because one becomes dominated by the attractiveness of their soul. That attractiveness is also a choice. They may not be able to control all of the other factors mentioned previously, but they can choose to be caring, sweet, gracious, gregarious, etc..
What Does This Mean for Me?
My mother and father divorced when I was 17. She never remarried. She dated a couple of men over the past 39 years, but never even considered remarrying. My mother is not unlovable, and yet she is alone. She chose to be alone not because people (men) didn’t want to be with her, but because she preferred being with herself. She does exactly what she wants when she wants, and she has a social life with friends and family that live near her. She is content. All on her terms. I don’t know how she does it, but she is happy and does not suffer from the disease of loneliness.
I, on the other hand, am a chronic sufferer of loneliness. I freaking hate it! The question I have been wrestling with violently since my last divorce is: why do I hate being alone so much? In every instance of my life that a relationship ended, whether I was the ender or the endee, I had to replace that previous one with a new one post-haste. And here is what I have determined to be my truth about this. I fear that if I am alone, I must not deserve to be loved. That I am, in fact, unlovable. Epiphany! But there is more… I also detest being alone because I really can’t stand the person I’m living with →me. How can I possibly enter a healthy relationship the next time around, If I have never learned to live with myself in peace and contentment? The sucky answer is, I can’t.
About six weeks ago I ordered a leather wristband with a message on it. Originally I wanted this to be a band with a message for a good friend of mine, but decided to keep it for myself. I had the word “Restless” engraved on it. When it came in the mail, I put it on and said to myself “Yes, this is my truth. I am restless!” As I have been struggling with the demons of loneliness, every so often I would catch a glimpse of that word “Restless” and it would be reaffirmed in my mind. A few days ago I was in despair. I know I am a guy, but I will admit that had a good long and exhaustive cry. Near the tail end of that cry I glanced at the wristband and it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Well there’s your problem!” I heard my inner voice boom.
In that moment, I reached down and took the wristband off and vowed to never wear it again. I know that doesn’t make me automatically settled, but I must intentionally choose to not be restless. I must endeavor to learn to be settled and at peace with who I am. If I can’t do that, then there are likely things I am stuck on that must be dealt with. I am not 100% sure what to label this process, but for now I will call personal growth. I must learn to really like the person I am, and if I can’t, then I need to work to change who I am and adopt traits of the people I admire and am attracted to. I don’t mean to be a relationship chameleon, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I mean to actually change and grow and become something else. Something better.