The Many Ways to Isolate

The author, Barbara Sher, says “Isolation is the dream killer.” She says it’s not your attitude or your skill level or your work ethic.  My book would not be published now if I had not been a part of a group that encouraged, prodded, and supported me for the last year.  Had a chosen to pull away, I know my book would not be done.  The romantic idea of a writer ensconced in a Parisian garret plonking away writing is the worst kind of myth.  I doubt ten books have been completed that way.

Yet, knowing this, I still find myself in the habit of isolating.

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days without pirate attack

I laughed out loud at myself this morning when I thought, “If I can just make those amends, then I can be left in peace.” I really thought that. La! My ego is so stupid sometimes.

I looked up the word isolate (because that’s what I like to do) to see the origin of the word. Thank you Online Etymology Dictionary!

isolated (adj.) Look up isolated at Dictionary.com“standing detached from others of its kind,” 1740, a rendering into English of French isolé “isolated” (17c.), from Italian isolato, from Latin insulatus “made into an island,” from insula “island” (see isle (n.)). English at first used the French word (isole, also isole’d, c. 1750), then after isolate (v.) became an English word, isolated became its past participle.

I realized I can island myself with a lot of other humans around just by thinking of myself as different/not-as-good/better-than them, too.

My days and evenings could be filled with activities, yet I could just be isolating in a more subtle way.

I insulate myself from my own feelings when I want nothing more than to be alone so I can eat.

I stand apart from humanity whenever I make someone “them” and put me with an “us.”

To quote Paul Simon, on Sounds of Silence, “And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.”

I said in my book that no one can complete a Hero’s Journey alone.  I know that is true. I know that life is layered with Journeys. I know, too, that isolating is always the results of an ego-identity desperate to be right and special.  To feel that it must make me feel separate.

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2 comments

  1. Pingback: The Many Ways to Isolate – Exploring the Magic of Your Hero's Journey
  2. Wilimena the dense

    Brilliant post. When I am scared–when I run, hide and isolate–it only gets worse and worse. So glad for the people in my life who remind me, hey–you can stop doing that now.

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