In such chaotic and vexing times, emotional security, and even when alone not feeling lonely, seems a core value or, at least, aspiration.

When I think about EBT and why I love it, that's what comes to mind. I have vivid memories of feeling bone-chillingly alone, like one night right after going to the gynecologist and hearing that women "my age" who have this "thing" usually have cancer and usually die from it.

This was not the best of evenings for me, and given that my three children were grown, I was divorced, and it was a dark winter night, I made the worst mistake. I searched for the problem on the Internet, which was enough to have me sobbing into the wee hours of the morning.

It turned out to be something else, what now escapes me, but it was that loneliness, which got me thinking. Why wasn't I lonely anymore? The dark years during that time made me go deeper emotionally and have countless spiritual breakthroughs and "God Help Me" moments. The EBT tools are intimacy tools, connecting me to the deepest part of myself, the last room in the house of this one and only.

Yet I don't think that's enough. Our EBT community is growing and I have my own EBT community. There is Michele, and we're on different coasts, but make connections when we need them. There is Arinn who lives nearby, and we have a heart connection, and Bonnie, my husband Walt, and several more, about eight altogether.

These connection buddies share my values - the seven rewards and the tools, and keep the connection process safe, playing by the rules of connecting messages. Most of all, they know I am committed to them, and that there are no questions asked. If we need to do a Cycle, we are there for each other.

As I look back now, I remember my Cycles with my buddies as high points in my life. When we had a provider retreat a few years back, just when my mother died, I was supposed to give a talk to launch the event. Yet I was at 5. I looked over at Bonnie and said, "I need to do a Cycle." We went to a room down the hall and when I needed to sit with my feelings, she understood. Then I "popped" and started crying, then laughing, then feeling so much love for her . . .

Recently another buddy and I caught up late at night. She was in the grocery store after a long day of work, and I was triggered by a really scary family situation, but after five or 10 minutes, love was flowing. Loneliness evaporated.

This is my hope for 2021, as we move to a new life after COVID-19, that more people discover that they have emotional security. They can be with all their authenticity and slip-ups but there are a few other people, "their people," who are their EBT community, and therefore they know that they have freedom from loneliness.

What a wonderful way to conclude this year, but with the vision of never being lonely again, and being one touch on your app away from finding someone in your circle of support who says to you, "I need to do a Cycle," and know that in a matter of a few moments, affection, joy, caring and joy will flow.

It's a great way to live.