I sat at the top of Primrose Hill, watching dusk settle over London, and was struck with two overwhelming feelings: gratitude and loneliness. I was filled with a sense of gratitude for the amazing vacation I was on, the gripping view in front of me and the ability to live the wonderful life I have been given. Yet the loneliness sunk in like an anchor. I felt the weight of it in my heart in a way I haven't in years. I've been seriously single for the last 7 years. And these years have been pretty incredible, I honestly wouldn't trade them for anything. I've come into my own in a way I never would have if I was in a relationship. I've developed the sweetest of friendships, had the best adventures and struggled my way through some difficult days that strengthened me for the better.
But as I sat on this hill, breathing in fresh air and watching London glow, I was faced with holding these two feelings at the same time. I felt guilty for being lonely, I have so much to be grateful for, why can't that be enough? My gut reaction was to push away the feeling, to not give it any heart space, but I knew that wouldn't make the situation better.
The reality is, my loneliness doesn't make me ungrateful and my gratitude for this beautiful life doesn't wash away the loneliness that creeps in.
I'm only a whole person if I give myself permission to feel all of my emotions. That means joy and fear and disappointment and gratitude and loneliness. That means letting myself sit and breathe and recognize what my heart is trying to tell me.
The truth is, we will feel all of these things, often all at once, that's how we were created. We are beautiful walking contradictions. We are highs and lows and full and empty and we are constantly shifting. And that is okay.