Some of my best friendships over the years have included a lot of silence. Reading together in the same place, but not speaking. Interestingly, we often equate quietness and silence with loneliness. But loneliness is different.
Loneliness might just be the most powerful emotion. It sneaks up on you. Sometimes it slowly, quietly, hollows you out before you even realise it’s presence. And it can be ever present even when you are with a crowd of people.
Change makers are often working with people. Lots of people – diverse people. We are ‘known’, but also not known. Change makers tend to show only a part of ourselves to the world. We try to meet others where they are at so the others feel seen and heard.
However, this can result in loneliness for the change maker. Therefore, one of the greatest and most important things a change maker can do is find the others. Find a community of people who we can work with, be with, and sit with. Find others who ‘see’ us fully. Not just at work, but at home too.
Being lonely makes being a change maker extra hard. And change is hard enough. Find the others, find your people. The choice is up to us.
Recently I watched two videos of a motivational/change speaker. There were saying that after being in a stadium, hundreds of people. He found himself in a uber going home and did not know how to deal with the loneliness. Luckily for him, his wife had prepared a surprise dinner. When he got home, close friends and family were waiting for him. On the other hand, he went to a gas store and bought chocolates to eat while going home.