Learning From Loneliness

 

     Humans are social beings.  Evolution has taught us that survival of the human species requires adapting to the environment through shared, group efforts.  Societal values promote group membership, belongingness, and social connections.  Humans can experience a sense of loneliness following the loss of a relationship, moving to a new geographical area, or other forms of separation from familiar circumstances.  Furthermore, loneliness has gained attention during these pandemic years, because so many people have had no choice but to confront the uncertainty and powerlessness which can be created by loneliness.  Many individuals are also experiencing increased anxiety and social isolation which have added to the loneliness of the pandemic. 

     You may have been taught that loneliness is a state of being which should be avoided, which is synonymous with sadness, or which should be overcome.  However, sitting with the restlessness and shame of loneliness CAN BE the journey to increased mental and emotional clarity.  By simply accepting loneliness as a transient state to be observed, not endured, you can use this experience as a valuable opportunity for personal growth, inner strength, and wisdom.  Rather than perceiving loneliness as some sort of problem to “solve,” you can view it as a time frame for improving your introspective skills and goals realignment.  Through loneliness, you can gain self-discipline in your daily life, because you are not distracted by another human being’s wants and needs.  It is very common to feel frightened by loneliness and to seek unnecessary activities or unsupportive people as attempts to escape or mask your fear.  However, this process is only grasping at external forces to fill an internal void.  Being distracted by unnecessary activities or unsupportive people can prevent you from learning or growing from your loneliness.  On the contrary, you are sinking deeper into the toxic emotions which are often related to being lonely. 

     Being lonely is the perfect opportunity for tapping into your true higher self and into a heightened sense of inner security.  Loneliness tends to create a panic and a desperate striving to fill your time with unproductive or self-destructive behaviors.  However, you can use this space with yourself to redefine your goals, create new goals, increase your faith in yourself, and create a new sense of inner contentment and self-awareness.  When you wake up in the nighttime or in the morning and feel alienated, rejected, scared, and, yes, alone, you can reframe these experiences as golden opportunities for knowing and loving yourself on a much deeper level.  You may try to seek a solution, or an end, to your loneliness, but the reality is that no human being can guarantee an end to feelings of loneliness.

 


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