open, Renee Heigel, Love Yourself Naked

This is written to the part of you who feels a bit lonely at times. You actually may not even realize you have the feeling because you’re used to doing something else to distract you… checking the phone, playing games on your phone, eating, surfing the web, working or shopping… The holidays are going on. You might be married, a parent, a business owner or a stay at home mom… You might be an entrepreneur, a coach or leader for others… Lonely isn’t an exclusive feeling to one group or person. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or what you have going on.

This time of year is a time to give and receive. It’s a time for gratitude and humbleness. It’s a time to remember our family and friends and to be present with them. Instead… what are we doing?

We’re running around checking off a massive list, stressed and feeling slightly empty. And what are many of us doing? We are feeling lonely in our walk through life.  No wonder why we gravitate towards more snacks and sweets during a time when we feel this way. It doesn’t help that we are surrounded by triggers of holiday cheer, cookies and cakes either.

Social media is changing our relationships and I’ll share more on that on another blog, but it only magnifies the lonely many feel. We can be in a marriage or surrounded my friends and feel completely alone. I saw a woman stand up in the middle of a crowd of 5,000 people last month crying on the microphone that she felt so lonely and depressed.  She said she had no one. She was then told to take a look around her… Her eyes completely shifted as she realized she was lonely and surrounded by 5,000 people and her teenage son standing next to her.  She saw that she wasn’t alone and she had a choice in that moment on whether or not to reach out… I’m sure there was a fear of reaching out.

I bet that lonely feeling is pretty comfortable after a while. I bet, for her, feeling lonely gave her a sense of security, even though it was hard.

For the past 24 months, I’ve poured myself into research on… sugar addiction, addiction in general, dependence, cravings, desires, the body’s anatomy and systems, our emotions, subconscious beliefs, new nutritional studies, insulin resistance, fat burning chemistry… blah, blah, blah.

I won’t bore you with the research and instead I will share vulnerably with you on how this affected me. I’m a recovering sugar addict and workaholic. I realized recently that for the past couple of years I’ve literally poured myself into this work with sugar and therefore even working longer hours to do it.  Not too mention, as I research sugar, I’m talking about it daily and seeing pictures of candy bars, donuts and cookies regularly. I call these triggers. So I’ve been purposefully exposing myself to the triggers, which in the past, lead me to uncontrollable sugar eating and work habits.

I’m definitely “human” with my work ethic ways… I’ve  had my share of late nights working this year, but there was a profound difference for me. In the past I used “work” to avoid “life” or “relationships” or “community” or “myself”.

I believed I was so damn lonely in the past that work became my friend. Work became my cover so I didn’t have to feel lonely.

As I type one of my last blogs to you for the year, I want to express that I’m proud of me. I have been a great recovery student of my own sugar game and I’ve done it while being challenged along the way. In 24 months, I’ve had deaths of friends, I’ve moved two times, I got a concussion, had surgery, learned big money lessons, rear-ended someone because I was texting and driving, got audited, learned big boundary lessons and a huge lesson on standing up for myself, went through a divorce, lost friendships, I learned how to get angry and express it properly, found toxic black mold in my home and had to move suddenly, learned how to date people after a divorce, I’m running my business as a single mom to my amazing 4 year old, I’m trusting the money will flow as an entrepreneur, I fell in love deeply when I wasn’t looking to, I’ve had less time with my son due to my divorce…

This isn’t a bitch session, oh no!  I’ve had more than a couple dozen amazing things happen this year from all of those experiences. It’s taught me to rise and to open. And you know what else? I didn’t find myself going back to sugar, crappy eating or avoiding with work during these times. There were moments I was tempted… I’m not perfect and happy about it too.

In my past, I believed I was so damn lonely that sugar became my best friend. Back then, I used the entire tub of mint-chocolate candies to try to hide my lonely.

Now, let me be really clear… I’m human. Um, I know I’ve said that already, but sometimes I forget that I’m human. Seriously. Can you relate?  So it helps me to remind me that yes, I’ve gobbled handfuls of popcorn and tortilla chips. I’ve eaten entire chocolate bars and mindlessly eaten too many of the cookies my son and I made together.

But when I look back I did it openly and I didn’t feel lonely.

I feel full and amazing and supported. I feel whole.

I remember the times my old lonely belief would creep in. I would notice the feeling and remind myself that I am never really alone… all the hard moments, they all worked out… all of them.

I  prayed a lot when making the extremely hard decision to divorce. I asked God to just crack me open. “Please, just crack my heart wide open!” I learned to be careful what I asked for… I should have asked for a gentle opening of my heart. A crack is what I got and it was painful but you know what I learned to stay open in that lonely pain.

I really learned to fall completely in love with myself.

I became my own best friend.

Lonely had a purpose.

Lonely was the catalyst.

Lonely wasn’t the problem!

It was the solution to my evolution when I opened to it and stopped using sugar and work to cover it up.

Tweet: “Being lonely isn’t the problem, it is the solution to your evolution” @reneeheigel #loveyourselfnaked

I navigated the past 24 months by opening up and when I didn’t think I could take another thing… I opened up more.

We live in environments where we multi-task, we are exposed to social media regularly, advertisements, the internet… our attention spans last only like 11 seconds or something.  There is scientific proof that these things actually make us more lonely!

As you experience the holiday season, I want you to know… you are not alone in your loneliness and you are surrounded my love. This community is here for you and you must be reminded that your loneliness has a purpose, open to it.

Oh and stay away from other lonely people, they won’t help you. Browsing Facebook won’t either.

Leave a comment below and share your wisdom or lonely moment.