Have you ever felt left out? It does not feel good.
Have you ever experienced loneliness during the holidays?
Many people find this to be the loneliest time of the year.
Everyone seems to be going somewhere, meeting someone, doing
something exciting and there we sit. Doing nothing, nowhere,
NEWS FLASH! That’s your choice! Oooh, does that sound a
little harsh? It is not. It’s the reality of the situation.
Sure, you may wish that one group had invited you to join
in and that saddens you. There’s a big question, though.
Think about this story. I love it. It was told about Leo
Buscaglia, the well-known therapist and author and it has
always stuck in my mind.
Some people in his class rushed to him one evening and told
him that a young man had committed suicide. They were so
moved because the young man had left a note saying,
“I am so lonely. I am going to walk across the Golden Gate
Bridge and, if no one smiles at me, I am going to commit
“Isn’t that sad?” they moaned to Leo.
Leo thought for a few minutes and responded,
“Yes, that is sad. However, I have a question. How many
people did the young man smile at?”
Sometimes, we leave ourselves out. We think others are
responsible for our happiness, for our self-esteem, for
our self-confidence, for our sense of belonging. No.
Lovely though it might be to have someone to blame, it is
our responsibility to build the life we most want.
I looked up the word ‘include’ in the dictionary and found
that it actually means “to take in or comprise as part of
Do you see yourself as part of the whole or apart from
the whole? If the group does not invite you in, invite a
group to you. I know that makes it sound so easy and that
it is not always easy to think that way. Your feelings may
OK, you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? When your
feelings are hurt, take action. Tell the ‘hurter’! How can
anyone know what hurts you unless you tell them? Do you live
in a colony of mind readers? Of course, not. Do you think
and act as though you do?
No one knows how you feel unless you tell them. And,
sure, even when you tell them, there are a lot of folks who
just don’t listen! That might happen, but, do take
responsibility for telling folks how you feel and what you
want. After that, it’s up to them. How they respond tells
you whether they are actually the kind of people with whom
you would want to be included!
Take responsibility: you have to do your homework, your ‘own’
work first! Examine yourself. Have you treated the person
well? Have you demonstrated willingness to be included?
Have you expressed a desire to be included? More importantly,
have you included them?
You are responsible for teaching people how to treat you.
Take that responsibility seriously.
Do not get caught up in ‘victim’ thinking! You know that
“Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me.
I think I’ll go out and eat worms.”
Whoever wrote that song needed a mental makeover. Yes, it
could have been just a fleeting thought in the songwriter’s
mind–and I sincerely hope it was–,however, some folks
make it a lifestyle! If you ever feel like a victim and
then take no action to remedy the situation, you’ve just
become a volunteer!
So, begin now. Take action. Be inclusive to be included.
By Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, San Diego, CA.
Founder Spiritual Living Network
All rights reserved worldwide.