Saturday, February 14, 2009


Saturday night has been granted the official status as the night to be out and about, but on this particular one, I look forward to an evening of complete comfort ensconced alone in my cave. Busy with activities all week long in the outside, it is sweet reward at last to have no plans but the simple choices of my own, no place to go but to be by myself alone and content.

My mind abuzz with thoughts aplenty to write down, and fingers itching to play, I want no distractions. Home in spare moments this week, I have picked up and swept out, creating a semblance of order. The fridge has enough to satisfy the appetite. All duties for the moment are set aside.

Looking hard at both of my marriages, I can admit to trying unconsciously to fill a void in my life with the love of a good woman. Each for sure had many qualities to be adored, but I approached these relationships confidently, not realizing there was a very deep hole in my heart that no amount of outside passion could fill.

Not until we are comfortable with our own selves can we truly love and receive the love of another. Only when we have become our own best friend can we be a true friend to another.

This is difficult to understand when so much of our upbringing is focused on friends, family and companionship. Ideally, we see our parents as partners and lovers, providing a secure and stimulating home life, creating family. From an early age, I became very aware of the assumption that I would have and do the same.

So much about high school concerns the status of being coupled, or at least in the right group of friends. So easily we can feel left out. For very few being alone on a Saturday night is something comfortable, not a mark of failure.

Occasionally, I have felt this pleasure of being alone, but usually just short of utter contentment, it has been tinged with a sense of “making do”, or biding time and hoping I plan better next weekend.

Between marriages twenty years ago, I spent many months alone at night, Springsteen or the Dead blasting in the darkness as I jammed along, believing in bliss. I crossed the country fifteen times in eighteen months, creative with adventures, but hoping all along romance would strike me like lightening, almost as if I thought it could save me from myself.

So it was a year ago, living in a cacophony of creditors, relations and friends, that I finally recognized the need to hear my own voice. The silence as I renovated this apartment was at first deafening, over-whelmingly frightening. Doors were closing fast, important people felt abandoned; my questions grew more intense with every breath.

And equally, a calm breeze cooled my fears, a quiet breath of self-assurance re-asserted itself. Less defensive, less reactionary, my thoughts settled and ignited at the same time. As fear receded, imagination blossomed. I remembered the sense of awe and wonder, the pure joy, of a little boy who saw a mysterious and wonderful world in reach before him.

To the pain of some and bewilderment of others, and the encouragement and congratulations of still others, I have embraced the courage to leap into my dreams. Bringing along the best pieces of myself and welcoming any dear ones and new friends to join me, I go boldly forth into the future.

But I could do none of this if I did not first pause on a night such as this—no matter what night of the week—and get peaceful with myself as my own best friend and companion, content to be alone.

Please share with your friends


Anonymous said...

"...and get peaceful with myself as my own best friend and companion, content to be alone."

Sometimes it fills all the requirements of moments....contentment.

Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

I so hear where you're coming from about being our own best friend and loving ourselves before we have the ability to love another. It's something which I've struggled with my entire adult life. I'm working on it.

Another beautiful post Kip, very thought provoking.

Laurie said...

Funny thing about people and love relationships. It seems they work out the best, and are the healthiest, when we want the other person but don't need them. I believe it is only from a sense of being complete in who we are that we can offer ourselves to others. When we look to others to complete us, we get all screwed up.