Solitude has its advantages. It gives one the ability to think, and think deeply.
Though I never saw myself as a metaphorical "runner," it seems that is exactly what I'd been doing prior to the pandemic. Choosing professional opportunities overseas is a good example. So was my habit of biking 25+ miles a day and lifting for hours upon hours at the gym--past tense, because no gyms are open in the area of the States where I am right now.
My other escape was the pub, something I picked up during my frequent travels to Ireland and UK. I actually don't drink in my house--I do it socially at the odd dinner out or maybe a little champagne at a wedding or celebration (something else that's not happening since the pandemic). I cracked open a bottle of wine for the first time in six years--that was just a few months ago now and half the bottle went unused. So, my trips to the pub were never about drinking. In fact, I usually ordered water or ginger ale. The pub has always been about socializing for me. Talking to people. I'm great at being on my own, but sometimes, it's nice to have a chat. Engage with friendly strangers. And I happen to live within walking distance of an authentic Irish pub owned by a man from County Down. We are good friends, he and I--both innately connected to Ireland and UK.
In pre-pandemic life, speaking engagements and book deals ruled my world. I was either traveling or writing (and editing). My practice was limited. And though it felt like I was expanding and growing, I was limited, too.
I'd sometimes be gone 2-3 weeks a month. That's a lot of time away. I never quite stopped long enough to wonder why.
Happiness is an inside job. I have more unconditional love for myself in the last decade than at any other point in my life. That's not hard to do when you've pretty much aced every test, every challenge, and overcome every obstacle. I mean, Queen's "We are the Champions" could be the freakin' theme song of my life. Yet, there had to be something missing...because I was clearly searching for something.
Last October, that search (rather unexpectedly) ended. I finally felt "done." In a good way. Even though things did not evolve from there as hoped, I still feel "done." And, that feeling is amazing.
I don't need (or want) to fill my time with empty actions or empty people at this point. Because, a sense of balance has been restored. Deep inside. At the soul level. As if coming full circle, though I don't quite understand why. Yes, I'd love to have that love everyone dreams about. But I have it already. For myself.
No more running. No more chasing. Like the Sun, I don't feel the need to revolve around anyone. You know why? I'm the one that brings the light, the warmth, the chemistry. No one can do what I can do, and I know it.
In many ways, my life has been one long pandemic. Everyone else in the world now has a glimpse of what I've been living through for the last four decades and that is sad and unfortunate. But I'm still living through it, too. Yet again. And, yet again, I am rising above.
Consistency leads to success. Consistent communication tempered by compassion will create success in any relationship. If you have relationship issues (personally or professionally), it's because someone isn't being consistent. If you're life feels chaotic, it's because you lack consistency yourself--perhaps you hold on to the past or choose to stay angry about things that don't matter. Whatever it is, you are being REACTIVE not PROACTIVE.
PROACTIVE people are consistent people. Consistent people are balanced. Sure, even a consistent person can be triggered. But if you're consistent, you can regroup more easily and reclaim your agency in almost any situation. If you're waiting for someone else to find their balance through consistency, you may not be as balanced as you think you are.
Being consistent isn't about showing up for others. It's about showing up for yourself. When you can do that, you will naturally be there for the people you care about. You can give and receive love and affection, too. There is no fear of relationships or commitment because there are no more insecurities, only confidence in who and what you are. You don't question yourself--you don't have to. You know you're consistent. When someone else isn't, it's because they're not showing up for themselves either.
It really is that simple....
If you had a crystal ball in front of you right now, who would you want to see next to you in a year? In two years??? Be honest. Then, be consistent. Once you have that down, life gets a lot easier. Even in the midst of a pandemic.