Lovely Signs That We Are Not Alone

In supervision today, I was telling my supervisee about how people who are hurting sometimes isolate themselves. A man described it to me last week as standing outside looking in the window of a house where a party is going on.

People have described it to me in this way before. It’s usually raining outside to boot. Standing there alone, they feel the devastation of the loneliness down to their bones.

alone I miss you means I love you

They feel safe alone

But in the other breath, they don’t want to go in. They feel “safe” here. (It is curious to describe suffering as safe.) But it’s known suffering, rather than unknown joy. They worry the joy would be worse, (which by definition is impossible). They ask me, What if healing is worse than this?

And, they tell me, it’s safer outside because if I go in I could be hurt or worse, people will see how bad/ugly/dumb/uncool/weak/awful I am.

(What makes it ridiculous is because the people who feel “bad/ugly/dumb/uncool/weak/awful” are always the loveliest people you could ever meet.)

To make matters worse, people who have lived through the chaos of trauma or loss, have problems with self blame. They feel like they don’t deserve joy. They deserve to be alone and they don’t deserve to come to the party. As I said last Wed on Anxiety Schmanxiety,

You are not safer out there. You are suffering. And, you belong just like everyone else. You are not alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Come in.

You are not alone!

We stay out of the party by choice (yes, I have done this myself, too, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like “choice”) and then we feel dreadfully alone.

Fortunately, there are even lovely signs that you are not alone, outside the party that will hopefully warm you up enough-make you feel good enough-to come on in!

Did you ever have a friend call you just when you needed them to? Or someone holds the door open and smile, when you felt alone in the world? Or have a dog who knew you needed a cuddle, just at that moment?

Here are some examples:

  • My son was climbing mountains this summer and felt alone without his family (awww). He came upon a view of a mountain lake sparkling in the sunshine and said it felt like God was winking at him.
  • When Nikky44 visited me this summer, she was sent with the job of buying some angel cards and since it was the first night, hadn’t gotten around to telling me. Andrea- my Facebook cohort and dear friend-came over to see her and brought her a present. You guessed it- angel cards.
  • A man feeling very low found a ten year old letter from someone reminding him how great he was.
  • My friend sees a morning dove when she needs a hug from her mother who passed away last Christmas.
  • A man puts together an altar of gifts his three kids gave him and meditates on them after he has dropped them all off at college.

Another one of my favorite stories is….

Late at night June 15th, or more accurately early morning June 16th, my mother was having trouble sleeping. Deeply missing her father she tossed and turned until finally she got out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and took  a puzzle from a large pile she had bought at the library sales over the years. As per usual she avoided the box cover to give herself that extra challenge, and began to put the puzzle together.

As the sun rose on father’s day the image took shape as the last puzzle pieces found their home. She was stunned to see “Anthony” on the name of the horse.

lovely ways you know you are not alone

Read more about my grandfather.  (This eulogy was just picked to be part of an anthology! Yay!)

Sometimes these lovely signs are subtle and sometimes they are right in our face, but they are happening all the time. Take a breath and let them in.

Over to you. Tell me your stories that let you know you are welcome.

28 thoughts on “Lovely Signs That We Are Not Alone”

  1. That story of the puzzle revealing the name gave me chills!! There are so many signs that we are all one. The key is opening your eyes and ears and heart. And if you still aren’t paying attention sometimes they just become SO obvious you can’t possibly ignore. Great post!!!

    1. I wish they were all as obvious but it is fun talking about those that are. These stories realy touch people because we are craving them!

  2. Good post Jodi.

    It’s not well known but shops don’t often these days have a mat in the door way, it creates a barrier between the inside and the outside. People feel committed if they cross it, so many don’t.

    Some years ago when I worked in retail we removed the mat between the outside and the inside carpeted floor and we had an increase in business of just over 50%

    A case of those on the outside having a barrier preventing them coming in.
    Robert recently posted..Shhhhhh Can you keep a secret?My Profile

  3. Hi Jodi

    This is a lovely piece.

    Last time I was feeling really down, my boyfriend’s cat chose my lap over his when I was visiting – it really felt as if she knew that I needed the comfort at that time.

    Helen x

    1. She sent us the photo that morning and I thought immediately that my readers would love it! It took me this long to include it in a post!

  4. Every single day, I look at Andrea’s cards and smile. I remember when she entered, my attention went directly to the cards in her hand, even before saying hello. I didn’t know they were for me, but I thought what a nice coincidence, i must tell her that I intend to buy cards.
    I get very different signs from different people every day. I got a great phone call yesterday as I needed it, and my favorite moments ever are when you Jodi answer my call, even if I only called you in my heart. Your answer comes in different “shapes”, it might be a blog post, a short note, a quote you share, an email or a special surprise. It started almost 2 years ago, before i know you, since i have liked your Facebook page. Thank you so much.

  5. solidgoldcreativity

    “But it’s known suffering, rather than unknown joy” … great line in a great post, Jodi.

    I just had one of these experiences about half an hour ago. I was contacting some people on LinkedIn and happened to see the entry for a high-profile man who’s been in the news today. On an impulse I sent him an invitation to connect. I also sent invitations to about 10 others. A few minutes later, I saw someone had already accepted my invite.

    As soon as I saw it, I just knew that of all the people I had invited it would be this man who had accepted so quickly. And so it was.

  6. ‘We stay out of the party by choice’ = YES! I have done this so many times – to myself!

    You must have a finely tuned sense of intuition and spidey senses….some of your stories are incredible. I have skin tingles reading them!

  7. YESSSS, Jodi! This is beautiful! What you bring up here is what happens to us when we are depressed or anxious or stressed — our thinking becomes very myopic and we get “locked into” a certain way of thinking. And we can miss the signs that we are not alone — that we actually being accompanied – somehow, in some mystical way. Your examples here inspire all of us and remind us to look around — to look up — and to remember. I call these “little GEMS”! I love it! Love to you, Jodi. Lisa

    1. They re exactly like your little gems. You are honned to see them, but others have to learn the skill to recognize them when they come. xo

  8. I love the story of the puzzle and your mother and father — soooo beautiful.

    I was walking in my favourite park and thinking about my father who had been gone for many years. We used to walk along the Rhine beneath the Plane trees when I was young. On this day I had just come from a seminar where a man, who had reminded me of my father, said something that really, really resonated, causing me to re-think the story I told myself about my father. At the top of the hill where I was walking there was one tree. As I approached, I looked down and someone had spray-painted on the ground, in bright pink paint, a big message that said — Look Up! I am here.

    It felt like my father was right there.
    Louise Gallagher recently posted..Wasps and other teachings.My Profile

  9. Known suffering. You are so right.
    Some days it’s easier to stay where it feels safe. Even if it’s not the best place for us to be in.
    There are signs everywhere if we are ready to open our hearts and eyes.
    And your post today is one for me. I needed it.
    Thanks Jodi!

  10. Great Post Jodi, I have done the dance with Isolation in recent years. My mind talking me into an attempt to un-connect my-self, but there seems this undeniable oneness that makes it simply impossible to not remain connected. Its always there as soon as we reach out. Quite an amazing and magical part of this universe and my favorite part of life. Well my most recent cool experience is from outer space and a little different.. 🙂 . I was down on Conesious Lake with my Shaman friend doing a meditation. As he finished a beautiful song on his flute, he asked me ” Ask of the spirits or Universe what you would like to experience”. With instant gratification being an issue, I of course thought of the moment we were in. With a meteor shower going on over head, I quietly said,” I’ve always wanted to witness the Rare sight of a low orbit meteor” yes, a space rock burning up in a fire ball in earths atmosphere. He smiled and chuckled at me like I was wishing upon a Star or something. Our meditation ended shortly after my crazy request and at 12:42am as we both faced the southern sky, from West to East on the Horizon, a large ball of fire, appearing to most as a crashing 747 Airplane, but in reality a low orbit meteor burned its way across the sky of Southern NY breaking into many pieces as it went. I wasn’t sure where we were for a Minute, but based on my request moments earlier, we were not Alone….. It was Awesome!! Turns out it was a Meteor of pretty good size and was seen from New York,Penn,Maryland,New Jersey, and Virgina. It broke into pieces and landed off the Jersey Shore in the Atlantic…Many people reported it to 911 as a crashing plane…

  11. Such a “bang on!” post! I can totally relate to feeling like I’m outside standing in the rain looking in…never mind the rain, it’s a fricken monsoon out here. I feel myself keeping distant from others. I feel the moment I disconnect. It’s always so nice to know I’m never alone.

  12. Pingback: I miss you means I love you

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