Growing up in a big family, being the youngest of six with a single mom, (who in my mind was a super hero- yet was not around much since she had to pay the bills, right?) I'm surprised with how lonely and isolated I felt. From a very young age I learned that if I were to survive this world I was going to do it alone. I love my siblings, but they too had their struggles with my parents divorce. I made my own food as soon as I could reach the microwave and I mastered my own laundry by the age of five.
I admit, I had a bit of a chip on my shoulders about being so solo. This skill though, allowed me to have the courage to move to a new city at age 19, with no job, 2 boxes and about $200 to my name, so it wasn't a wash. But this doing it on my own thing stayed with me for years. And in the end, it took my own divorce to realize how much I needed other people. Being a single parent, I knew I just couldn't do it alone.
I've come to realize as well that we need other people to help us reflect who we are. I suppose we could just sit in front of a mirror and have long conversations with ourselves, but this would get rather boring, and may even land you in a mental institution after a point. Its human nature to converse, to love, to challenge. Its human nature to want to belong and be a part of a community. So why are American's so proud of their independence?
Problem number one.... this way of thinking- the individualistic point of view- is glamorized in this culture. I'm not sure where this started, but I have to believe that these people weren't really happy. If you look at other cultures around the world they are far happier than most of us who on paper should be happier. But were not.
For example, in watching the movie "The Human Experience" they went to a Leprosy colony and were shocked by the happy faces in spite of their horrific appearance and ill health. What they found was these people had each other. That was all that they needed.
Coming back to America, we are constantly bombarded with tabloids of breakup, deceit, back stabbing best friends, and of course politics (which is a whole other monster of disconnect from the human experience).
I know I can't solve the worlds problems, but at the very least I want to impart on people that the starting point of love should be with each other. I'm so grateful for the people in my life and now know that by keeping myself from others I wasn't allowing myself to grow and flourish.
So, try it. Reach out. Connect. You'll be surprised with how much your life will change for the better.