Loneliness: My Personal Journey


I have been living alone and single for the past 3 years and for the most part I am good. I have come to appreciate the alone time. It is in the alone time that I have been able to pursue my passions, meditate, pray, and really get in touch with my spiritual being. I would be lying however if I said I never get lonely. I have tons of friends and family who love me dearly. They surround me. So, I’m not really alone. That tells me that the loneliness comes from within.

How can one feel so lonely while surrounded by so many? How can one feel lonely despite the fact that they have a spouse or partner?

I was in an 18 year beautiful relationship, so I understand what it feels like to share that intimacy with someone special. It is an attachment that I believe is desired by most. I also understand the importance of being alone even when the loneliness feeling gets overwhelming.

I had been fine for a couple of weeks. Feeling grateful, blissful, happy, and at complete peace. Then suddenly, while walking out to grab a bite of dinner tonight, it hit me. “It” being that thought and subsequent feeling of loneliness. This is a cycle I allow myself to go through albeit less frequent the more I come in line with the truth that I am really not alone.

So, I am sitting here in this restaurant writing, while allowing the loneliness phase of the cycle to be with me once again. Writing has been incredibly therapeutic for me during these times. I am however determined to not stay here in this feeling of loneliness for long. Being aware of the feeling, coupled with the immediate expression of gratitude, has allowed me to shorten the amount of time I spend with this feeling.

I believe loneliness is part of our human experience and something we all go through at some point in our lives. As a result of that belief, I am learning the importance of not berating myself during the loneliness phase of the cycle but instead accepting that it is a normal human emotion.

A great truth for me was the realization and discovery that we are all connected making it impossible to be alone. Even with the knowledge of this truth, loneliness still invades me to the core at times.

I will continue moving forward toward my quest. My quest to not be free from the experience of human emotions like loneliness, but instead change my reaction to the feelings.

I would love to hear your stories about loneliness. By sharing, you may help someone dealing with that emotion to understand that they are not alone either. None of us are. Spirit is always with us.

Peace and love,






We tend to ask for many different things in our life. We want a new house, a new car, and more money. We want more happiness, more patience, and more tolerance. We want to find that special person to share life with.

We ask for many things but are not always prepared when the answer shows up. We pray for patience but then get frustrated when the traffic is slow and we have to wait. It is the perfect time to practice the patience we prayed for but we end up angry and frustrated instead of thankful.

We pray for the pollen to go away because it is making our allergies act up but then complain about the 3 days of rain that is washing the pollen away.

Many times we pray for our families to come together, then adversity hits that brings the family together. If it had not been for the adversity, perhaps the family would have never come together but we end up complaining about the adversity.

We must be aware and willing to accept what we ask for when it shows up and however it shows up. I have also come to realize that we may not always get exactly what we want, but we will always get what we need.

I am finding that often the opposite of what I asked for shows up to test me. It is the perfect opportunity to put into practice what I ask for. For example, when I start my day off asking for more love and tolerance, everything that is unlike love and tolerance will often show up to challenge me. It is my perfect opportunity to practice the love and tolerance I asked for.

Without the challenge, we cannot perfect the skill.

We get our prayers answered but are not always aware of the method used in getting the answer. Be grateful for the slow traffic. Be grateful for the adversity. Be grateful for all the rain. They are all giving us exactly what we ask for.

What are you asking for in your life?

Has it shown up and you just were not aware of it because it did not look exactly as you thought it should?

I look forward to your feedback.

Until next week,



Repeating the Pattern

Ever think about why we repeat the same negative patterns in our lives over and over again? Why does the alcoholic continue to drink after three DUI convictions? Why does the person in an unhealthy relationship keep attracting the same type of person over and over? Why does the smoker with lung cancer continue to smoke? Why does the person with a potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease continue to have unprotected sex?

Ever stop to think that these patterns are meant to be learning experiences for our lives? In other words, that situation in your life will never go away until you have learned the lesson it came to teach you.

I often think about my beautiful, precious mother. She was married to my dad for 25 years before he transitioned. For the sake of family I will just say, it was not a healthy relationship. My mother endured a lot. She unfortunately repeated the pattern with her second husband. It was almost an identical situation. He was unfaithful. He was sick and needed a caretaker. Once again my mother stepped in and played the part.

Why did she repeat the pattern by choosing the same type of person as opposed to someone who would cherish, adore, and take care of her? Again, why do any of us repeat the same patterns? Could it indeed be that we did not learn the lesson the first time around?

Despite my awareness of this situation, I have still repeated the same patterns over and over in many situations and circumstances in my life.  I have grown to belief that some patterns are generational and therefore consequently handed down from our parents and others in our lives.

How can we break these patterns?

I am using a few conscious methods to work on breaking some of the negative patterns in my life. I would like to share them with you.

  1. Recognize the Pattern: Being aware of the pattern is the first step to breaking the cycle.
  2. Be willing to change by learning the lesson: We must be willing to look at and examine self in an effort to grow and not repeat the pattern. It has been my experience that a desire and true willingness to change is essential for breaking the negative patterns.
  3. Take a look at how your life is and what you would like to change: Take time for self-reflection to really go deep inside in an effort to know and feel what you want your life to be like.
  4. Do not blame yourself or others for how your life has turned out: Blame blocks our growth and learning. It is not a blame game. It is about learning from the experience of repeated patterns.
  5. Assess your environment. Is it healthy or does it lend itself to repeating the same patterns?
  6. Change your thoughts:  Take control of your mind.  Change your thoughts from I can’t to I can.  Start believing that you are enough.

Let me be clear, we are co-creators of our own lives. I have found it important to be a conscious creator.  We must ask ourselves the hard questions about why we keep repeating the same patterns.

Many people live their lives reacting to the events around them without taking time to examine their own thoughts and actions. I have found myself repeating the same patterns due to my own thoughts and actions. It is my intention to break the cycle and embrace newness. To begin to be more aware of my thoughts and actions and the repeated patterns that I am creating, in an effort to break the cycle.

What patterns are you repeating in your life?

Have you been able to break some of the patterns in your life and if so, how? Share your own stories about breaking negative patterns in your life. I look forward to your feedback.

Until next week, be blessed and don’t forget to enter your email address (vinceshifflett.com/blog) to receive my weekly blog straight to your inbox.

In Gratitude


Romantic Companionship: April 9, 2017


It seems I’ve spent quite a bit of energy and time over the past year thinking about what I want a companionship to look like for myself. Understanding that people have many different ideas and thoughts related to companionship, I ask myself the question, “What feels best for me?” What definition of companionship will best allow me to continue to live the life I love? There are many different types of companionships such as the companionship I share with my dear friend Greg. For the purpose of this writing however, I will be referring to romantic companionship.

It has been my experience that my romantic companionship was disturbed and broken with the hospitality of thought to religious beliefs or simply to pre conceived ideas about what a companionship should look like. I have asked myself, “What does it mean to have a romantic companion?” Does it mean commitment? If so, what am I committing to? Given the research on the amount of infidelity and divorce, it is apparent to me that this is an issue not discussed openly among couples.

I grew up with the thought and belief, as many of you did, that you meet Mr./Ms. Right, you marry them, and you stay married to them forever, making certain unrealistic vows written by someone else. So, I was living my life based on someone else’s idea of what the companionship should look like as evidenced by my commitment to the vows. That is the right and normal thing to do. Right? Then it dawned on me. Why am I putting myself in this box? Why am I limiting myself to the vows written by another? For example, who says that you have to cohabitate with your companion? Where did that idea come from? The amount of infidelity and divorce has me wondering if that is the best idea. I am just thinking outside the little box that I have allowed religion and society to put me in.

So, after much meditation, observation, and talking with others, I have a better idea about what is best for me. It is my opinion that it is never the role of a companion to tell his or her mate what they can and cannot do or what they should and should not do. They are not your parents. They are your romantic companions. It is instead a companion’s role to love, respect, and support at all times and in ALL things. Even when you do not agree with what your companion is doing. Each person is an individual and must take their individual journeys. Again, the companion is there to love, respect, and support. I have found it best to just allow a companionship/relationship to be, without any interference from what society says it should be. By allowing your companion to just be, you stand in full acceptance of whatever being looks like for them. Not trying to change their thoughts or behaviors in anyway. Again, it is their journey and I will hold their hand through that journey without judgment.

My romantic companionship may not look like yours and that is okay. The main goal is to live the life you love and not be put in a box or limited by another. I had my life before I met my romantic companion and they had theirs. It is important for me to continue to live my life and they theirs with a commitment to love, respect, and support each other on our journey together yet apart.

What is your idea of a healthy companionship? Are you trying to make sure you fit into the model set forth by religion and society and if so how is that working for you? Your comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated, as this is a topic that could obviously benefit from more thought and discussion.   Thanks in advance for your input and thanks as always for taking time to read my Weekly Sunday Blog.


Hurt: April 2, 2016

Dear Readers, sorry I skipped out on you for several weeks. I found myself juggling many balls at once and made a decision to take a short break from my Weekly Sunday Blog. None-the-less, thanks for joining me again. I always look forward to your feedback and the ensuing discussion that helps us all grow and learn on this journey of life. So, welcome again.

This week I would like to share a few of my thoughts and experiences on the emotion, hurt. There has been many songs written about hurt and many stories told of hurt. There seems to be a natural tendency to blame others when we are hurt. I have even found myself portraying the victim and carrying a “victim spirit.” What I’ve discovered is that hurt comes from within and not without. I have found hurt, like many other emotions, to be a gift, howbeit a painful gift. It has worked to create growth in me to the degree that I have allowed it to.   Hurt is not meant to create fear in us. I was finding myself afraid of being hurt again. I realized that the fear, brought on by the hurt, was keeping me from living my best life.

On a personal level, I was noticing that I had a little fear around meeting someone else and entering into a committed relationship again. It’s not that the previous ones were bad but there is hurt involved in break-ups. Who wants that? So I found myself holding on to the hurt and remaining somewhat guarded with my emotions. I am training my mind to think from a different space in an effort to get my hearts desire. And believe me, it is a work in progress for me. For me, letting the hurt go also released the fear and has allowed me to meet some beautiful people as a result.

In Summary, I believe hurt is an important emotion for us to feel. It can teach us many lessons if we allow it to. It’s the allowing that has been problematic for me. It is a journey for us all. Feeling down is one of the many side effects of hurt. It is probably the one I experience the most. There will be ups and downs. If we never experience the down, we would have no appreciation for the up. My intention moving forward is to embrace the downs, understanding that they have the possibility to yield amazing ups. I am grateful to presently be on the up and up as I continue to live the life I love.

What hurt are you holding onto?  Who are you blaming for “hurting you?”  Let the hurt go and move forward towards the bigger things God has in store for you.  Let the hurt go for your own inner peace and optimal health.  I look forward to your feedback.

Peace and blessings