Dear Papa Bear,
I feel like I haven't connected with anyone my entire life. I've had and have good friends, and I'm very open about myself with them regarding my feelings and secrets. At the same time, I can't help but feel a wall between us. It's been this way with everyone.
When I started making furry friends, I was able to openly discuss the furry aspect of my life, which felt wonderful and liberating. Eventually I realized that there was still some kind of barrier; even after breaking through to a deep part of me, my furry part, I still feel disconnected from everyone. Even my family, who I am very close with, is at a distance. This is not for lack of opening up; I'm very honest about myself with the people I care about, and I'm very self-aware. I just feel dissimilar, like I stand apart (in a non-arrogant way).
I'm not near as socially awkward as I used to be, and I've actually much improved. I get out occasionally, and do things with people when I feel like it, which is more often than it used to be. I'm actually moving away this Summer and hoping to get a new start with some friends, rooming with them in their apartment. The only reason I haven't tried to move yet is because some old friends have come back for the Summer, and I thought maybe I'd catch up and spend some time with them while I still can. It's nice, though it's not as thrilling as I thought it would be; again, lack of connection.
In fact, I actually tend to feel sadder with my friends around some times. It emphasizes how much we aren't really connected, how much I know I'm alone, and it can feel like a knife in the heart when it's at its worst.
It's vaguely sad to me that I can't connect, but I feel like I could deal with being alone mentally, even if I'm not alone physically, if I really need to. I've come to realize that seeking affirmation for my existence by bouncing conversation off of others isn't the way to be happy (I've given up facebook, which is a haven for that type of behavior). I would still like to connect, though. I don't really like being alone.
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Dear Blue Jay,
In the original series Star Trek episode “Is There in Truth No Beauty?” Spock temporarily merges his mind with that of a Medusan, a noncoporeal species that, nevertheless, is considered so ugly that to look upon it with unprotected eyes means certain madness. Once they merge, the Medusan (Kollos by name) almost weeps because he senses the utter aloneness of the human species because we are each encased in flesh and, no matter what, cannot truly merge with others around us as the Medusan can.
To be human is to be alone, but only if you limit your experience to a purely corporeal existence. Blue Jay, have you explored your spiritual side? You mention getting in touch with your furry side, and that perhaps that helped a little, but I think you need to go deeper. To truly connect to those around you, you need more than conversation, more than just going out and doing things together. You need to get in touch with the soul (spirit, if you prefer) that resides in each one of us.
There are many ways to do this. Many people turn to traditional religions, and this can bring you comfort, indeed. But worship of God (or pick a deity name you prefer) is not enough to keep you from being lonely. The Big Three, as Papabear calls them—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—focus on the servitude of man to God, that we need to worship Him and do all things for His glory. This is only part of the picture. The Spiritual Existence that some limit to a godhead actually imbues all living and even inanimate things around us. We carry a bit of it within each of us, and it is THIS that you need to connect to in order to have the borders between you and others that cause your loneliness to dissipate.
The ways to connect to the spiritual world around you have been known for years by the spiritual leaders who preceded the current religious traditions of the West and Middle East. I speak, of course, of pagan traditions, Wicca, shamanism, Native American interpretations of the spirit world, and so on. I would encourage you to try exploring these through everything from meditation to spiritual sex—that is, the release of self-control through the sexual act in order to achieve a higher state of consciousness. Here’s an interesting article on the subject: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Virato1.html.
Papabear realizes some of what he just said could be highly controversial. The point I’m trying to make is to explore your spiritual side more, and, through this, you will also achieve a stronger connection to the souls around you.
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