Charles DeVeaux

Social Theorist | Cultural Creative

Writing, producing, and facilitating works & conversations about love, modernity, and humanity.

Journey of the Lonely

Before Love, there is, frequently, loneliness.  Loneliness and impatience.  Daily, we find ourselves rushing to attain "that" dream, that vision of happiness that fits all our little checkboxes of love-list requirements.  We might have friends, we might date, we might even have relations, and although we find might ourselves surrounded, perhaps, by people having a good time, we are still filled with loneliness.  Loneliness perhaps is not so much our hearts being alone, but our hearts being still.  We look around at others, measure and compare.  Why not me?  What am I doing wrong that I don't find love, or keep love?  When is my turn??  I want my turn.

This is part of the human condition.  When I'm not careful, I do the same thing myself.  I don't do it so much in my love life, at this point, but I certainly extend these feelings of uncertainty to other areas of my life.  When, when, when?  If I'm not careful, I too "lose" or give-up the available moments of love currently present in my life.

"When" is a frequently misused concept of space and time.  I don't want to come off like a time management wonk; that would only add one more thing to our list of things to worry about.  For example, "As soon as I better manage my time, I will be able to etc, etc, etc."  No, let's not do that to ourselves.  When it comes to giving time to love, "now" is the best time.  At the same time, I have folks ask me, "How?  How do I do that?  How do I find love?"

The are many ways to find love.  The most radical, and sensible, thing for me to do when I feel rushed and impatient is to let go.  I let go of all the concerns that are accumulating in my mind, because in that frame of mind, I cannot possibly clear the list of mounting concerns faster than my mind is adding on to it.  Instead, I clear my thoughts, examine what it is I claim to love, (ideas, activities, & interests) and I give them some time.  Or, I just clear my thoughts.  Period.  I sit down, visually let the thoughts pass overhead, and don't attach myself to any of them by pulling them down to ponder.  I spend some time in that silence.  I know in time my heart will "speak."  Yours will too.  In this sense, it's more about opening up the way so love reveals itself to you from "inside-out."

Don't let a day go by without finding, creating, or cherishing something that stirs your heart, or that whispers deep from your soul (from within yourself).  There is something special about the heart's song.  It resonates and harmonizes with others.  It creates a call to which other hearts can respond.  Heart stirring efforts create a work of their own making, not work that is intended to primarily satisfy or impress others; yet it will beneficially impact others.  This kind of work in action creates feelings of inner worth and satisfaction not at the discretion of your boss, family, or friends.

The call of the heart is an inner vision, the steps leading up possibly to some of the same images you have dreamed or fantasized about.  Actions of the heart might be collecting the materials you need to design your product idea, it could be going out with friends with a more open attitude to accept people as they are, it could be the work you put into starting your day with exercise, whole foods, and affirmations. Actions of the heart are expressions of spirit, whether, aspirational or inspirational. And if they are going to be worthwhile, then at some point they will cause you to be perspirational. (Ha!  Get it?)

The call of the heart is the courage to act differently than you have up to now, to not walk in the same pattern you have for the last few days, weeks, months, years, not because someone wants you to, but because you want to.  Love in your heart leads you to consider a different set of values in your mind, a different way of looking at yourself; not neccessarily what your religious institution promotes, not necessarily what your social group thinks.  In fact, the stirring of your heart enables you to face your worst fear, facing yourself.  You might need to open your mind to new or different ideas or perspectives, or make new friends and associations.  Or you might realize you need to better cherish the older relationships you have.  Still, you might find yourself unavailable to the same people who expect you in your usual place, obliged to their assessments on your life.  That's a good thing.

Life can feel filled with difficulty and we can take ourselves way too seriously.  We often prioritize all other needs before our own (because "we have to") and spend only imaginary hours anticipating the life and love we want.  For some reason when we place "finding love" first on our priority list, we feel like we are potentially risking everything else.  That, right there, is the rub.  Society makes us absolutely fearful of risking making a living in this world.  Somehow the primitive mind didn't have that to worry about.  Love and connection improved civilization.  We are absolutely afraid to:

  1. risk being able to support ourselves financially to pursue notions of love.
  2. risk looking like we don't have all the answers.
  3. risk looking like we don't fit "the mold."
  4. risk looking like a fraud if we ruin the image we want others to have of us.
  5. risk looking weak from being vulnerable.
  6. risk being in our little, safe comfortable spaces.
  7. risk being held responsible for our actions, and errors.
  8. risk feeling in control.
  9. risk being a sucker for love.
  10. risk being hurt.

I have felt these same turbulent emotions along the way, but I can't think of a single incident in my life where I made a risk for Love and it caused my world to crash around me.  I've made risks for money, and have lost money.  I have made risks with false pride and lost friendships.  I have made risks for the conditional "it-needs-to-be-done-this-way-to-work" kind of love and subsequently experienced MAJOR heartache and loss.  I have made risks for lust and, eh, you win some you lose some.  Be careful.  But my risks in Love have delivered nothing but huge payoffs.  Working toward a union of ideas and practices which make the relationship feel full, yet selfless, has been worthwhile in spite of the the scary and unfamiliar experiences that came with it.  I want more of that, not so much for the material gains but for the whole, healthy way it makes me, and others, feel.

Loneliness is an insecurity and a stillness of the heart.  We can try to romance or sex ourselves into the heart.  There's nothing like stirring it up below the waist to get hearts beating.  That practice easily mimics the feeling of a love connection.  We can try to spend our way into the heart.  It gives us the achievement and security fix we crave.  We can try to feed happiness into our hearts because it equates the loving feeling of nourishment, and there are still more, other, manipulations.  Or we can try to ignore loneliness altogether.  But the only way to overcome the loneliness, the fears, and the life associated with it is to listen to the heart, follow it, and be nonjudgemental of what it prompts us to do.  Mostly, we need to be patient with our hearts (ourselves) as we walk out its fulfillment.  Before love - and sometimes again - is loneliness.  Be quiet, be patient, and listen to your heart stir.  It's making Love.  And there is no time like the present for making Love.