Pleasure, Pain and Loneliness

First, there is this captivating quote that I heard yesterday while watching a movie.

Pleasure helps you  forget.

But pain forces you to hope. You tell yourself “this can’t last.”

Russell Crowe in Tenderness


None of the words in the above quote is new to us. But it amazes me how some people can arrange random words into statements and get something that beautiful and meaningful.

Then, there is this amazing poem about loneliness. A lesson on how to enjoy loneliness instead of whining about it.



How To Be Alone by Tanya Davis:

If you are at first lonely, be patient.

If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find its fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books, you’re not supposed to talk much anyway so its safe there.

There is also the gym, if your shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.

The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and silver wear. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.

And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no ones watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after-all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings.
Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of never happened had you not been there by yourself.

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

You can stand swaffed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relived, keeps things interesting, life’s magic brings much, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it.

If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

There is heat in freezing, be a testament.


14 thoughts on “Pleasure, Pain and Loneliness

  1. That is really good! Lots of wise nuggets within (didn’t watch the vid, just the words here)

    I recommend lonely single Americans to become Big Brothers or Sisters. Impact the life of a kid, it brings perspective.

  2. U knw Jaraad, I saw that vid. b4, it made me think a lot!

    ==> “Pleasure helps you forget” I`m not so sure bwt that! I think we substitute a feeling with another, we never forget, we just move on AS nothing happened; but deep inside we know otherwise! 😦


  3. Very inspiring! Part philosophy part how to!

    2 works come to mind, Albert Camus on hope, and the present, past, and future (in his Essays); Anthony Storr’s Solitude, on the importance of alone time for creativity. The latter, by a British psychiatrist, is also an essay in striking contrast to contemporary US notions of the importance of being an extrovert, and having “friends”, being “busy” and overtly exuberant all the time.


  4. Kinzi,
    Yes, I agree.

    It is indeed a growing experience but eventually should even grow bigger when shared 🙂

    That is the beauty of this quote; we can temporarily substitute pain with pleasure or we can suffer pain to grow our hope.
    First time I watch the video was from a Jordanian blogger couple of months ago. Since then I have been watching it again and again. Her voice is also very beautiful.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Glad you mentioned her voice; I felt it is very beautiful and soothing.

    I believe we need both solitude and companionship. Back home in Jordan one can’t be alone even if he/she wished to. Our culture demands social responsibilities that are sometimes very taxing. On the other hand, being alone all the time is not a virtue. Thanks!

  5. “But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.” ….. lovely 🙂

    And yes, her voice is beautiful….thanks for sharing it with us 😀

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