This is all Mark Twain’s fault. Mark Twain, the alter ego for Samuel Clemens, as in the man who was a humorist and once a journalist and has created many well-known characters like Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher, as in the man portrayed in countless one-person shows often played in middle schools across the US.
Mark Twain is the one who reportedly said, “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”
How do I bring this up, the question I most want to ask you?
I realize I ought to try bringing it up like I bring up many things – by asking questions and telling stories and offering you some prompts to write, journal and make things – like conversations and photos and paintings, for a few possibilities.
How do you know when you are comfortable with yourself?
At first I was thinking like this: I am not comfortable with myself when I want to ask you (or anyone, actually) something that feels uncomfortable to ask and if you are to respond, “What do you mean by that, Julie?” I am not sure I could give you a decent answer on this one.
Maybe I will forget this idea for a blog post and go along my merry little way and no one will know I even thought about writing it.
Then I remember I am at the tail end of a blog challenge which is something like a promise – and I missed posting on another day this week and after that, I forgot to add my title before I posted which is close to not posting at all so what I will do is just take a deep breath and ask you a question I don’t know how to answer myself.
Then I realized the problem I had was in this precise moment I am much more equipped to answer “how do I know when I am not comfortable with myself?” like right now, as an example.
I thought of writing right away but then I looked at the clock and realized I needed to pick up my daughter from her class so I stepped away and my mind started working on this concept again.
Here is your prompt, to write along with me – be sure to put your writing in a two to five minute container and end your writing with gratitude.
- I am not comfortable with myself when….
And now me (my turn to write)…. I am not comfortable with myself when I am smothered by fear, whether or not it is rational. This happens when I am stuck under the rock of history, the big pile of mind clutter and argument I built for far too long because I believed the “less than” and negativity other people have shoveled and I have agreed to by staying on the ground, limp and sad and lonely.
I am not comfortable with myself when I bump into people I am in a broken relationship with, someone who I believe doesn’t like me or has hurt me in the past.
I am not.. and the timer went off!
And now you… write it, now…..I am not comfortable with myself when
2. Second prompt….I felt the most comfortable with myself when I….(and now, I write) I felt the most comfortable with myself when I had the feeling of being successful, when I knew I was where I was meant to be. When I facilitate workshops and see people making discoveries they wouldn’t have made if we hadn’t joined together: that’s one example. On stage, I have felt it both in plays but also poetry performances – especially improv style poetry performance. Deep conversations does this, singing does this – being in a meditative sort of space I feel so comfortable in my own skin.
When people see me and hear me and love me anyway, I feel so comfortable in myself, with myself and with whomever I am with – whoever has blessed me with their presence.
Timer – went off.
And now you…. write it, now….I felt the most comfortable with myself when I….
Take time to write in response to these prompts. If not now, copy them into your journal or notebook or a document on your computer and give yourself the gift of time to respond. Blame it on Mark Twain if it makes you feel better: writer of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and my favorite, the lesser known Pudd’nhead Wilson.
enjoyed this and i feel the need to write this as well (for a future post maybe, or for catching up on UBC!) and i will blame it on you 🙂
Oh, I love that! What an honor to receive your blame! 🙂
Yes. How do we know? I think it takes a lot of traveling, and then some, before we know that finding joy in solitude is a great gift… and I know that you know that our mutual friend Thoreau has an entire essay on this… keep asking questions… it’s one way to get comfortable with our not knowing… Kumud
Ah, yes. Solitude is a far distance from loneliness.
So many are lonely in groups – my guess (and I am still in research mode) there may be more loneliness when disconnected in groups of other people. We are wired for belonging… and fully belonging to ourselves.
I so appreciate, also, about how we remain comfortable with not knowing when we are comfortable with ourselves. I wouldn’t label myself a brave person, but people see me as brave in part because I am willing to try things without knowing what the result will be – because I have gained comfort with myself and with not knowing. Such a gift.
Thank you for chiming in, Kumud!