For the complete version of this story, check out:

Punk rock, great expectations and the circles of my life

Do you ever find yourself feeling lonely? We all do at times, I suppose, and we don’t have to be alone to feel it.

We might be blissfully married with kids, have a great extended family, and a broad circle of friends, yet still feel, at times, that human connection is lacking.

I used to be rather naive. I used to believe that I needed to be 100% aligned with everyone in my life in order for my relationships to be ‘meaningful.’ You can imagine how burdened with expectation my relationships were!

When I realized this wasn’t reasonable, let alone achievable, I started easing up on the demands I placed on those close to me and I began to stretch myself beyond my inner circle to find other means of connection.

– Related reading: Want more joy? Look for happiness in your own backyard

I had come to understand that when I was feeling lonely, it was typically because certain needs within me weren’t being met by those in my immediate circle for whatever reason. And so I reached out to women’s circles. I reached out to networking groups. I tapped deeper into the yoga community in my neighbourhood, and I talked to every dog owner willing to give me and my silver pooch the time of day!

I found like-minded people to share authentic smiles and words with, and those exchanges felt genuinely meaningful to me. Still, the moment they were over, they were over. They had served their purpose. I had sought out and received what I needed and then, mission accomplished, returned to my inner circle — the one that really matters, right?

Wrong.

During a recent trip to New York, I came to realize that both my inner circle and outer circle matter equally. While I may place my trust more heavily in one than the other, both play a valuable role in my life. Together, they fulfil me and make me whole.

I talk more about this epiphany and the experience leading up to it in this article I wrote for Elephant Journal. Here’s the link again:

Punk rock, great expectations and the circles of my life

If you’re feeling lonely, I hope you’ll consider revisiting the circles of your life.

Viv for today xo


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