Loneliness is one of the most difficult feelings humans can experience. It’s rather a state than a feeling as feelings are fleeting while loneliness often feels like an ongoing sting in the heart.
Usually, when the human mind and body have a negative experience, they tend to avoid repeating it, and that happens by breaking it down into bits and pieces. So let’s do that and ask the right questions.
A familiar feeling
Is it the absence of company? How many times were you surrounded by friends and family, but beneath their voices seeps this feeling that you’re alone?
Or you were at a party, and suddenly you have the urge to escape.
You go to the bathroom to check your socials or even reply to those text messages you’ve been postponing for days.
Looking down the wrong roads
So if loneliness is not the absence of company, then what is it? Loneliness is the absence of connection to self which is usually the last place we look for companionship.
We typically focus our attention on the outside world, forgetting that it’s nothing but a reflection of our inside world.
Imagine spending all your time with someone, but you never talk or listen to them.
This is how most of us go by in life, never connecting with ourselves, who is our constant companion by default, while chasing the highs we’ve been taught that other people and external things can bring us without checking within to see if there is a space for all of that.
This pursuit usually leaves us disappointed cause people rarely hold space to be our authentic selves.
There’s also the fear of disconnection and judgment that pushes us to modify our actions, even our personalities, to fit in.
If someone treated you, talked to you like you do to yourself, would you love that person, would you like them, would you even want to hang out with them.
This is it.
This is where we start. Try and bridge the gap between you and yourself. You can start by creating a safe space within yourself where you can just be and show every emotion in the book without harsh judgment or constant modifications.
Treating yourself gently as if you’re dealing with someone you love or a small child.
Install the belief that you are a vulnerable human being who will make tons of mistakes yet deserves connection and companionship.
Accept your imperfection and understand that genuine connection requires you to be real, not perfect. Live, as the famous social researcher Berne Brown puts it, wholeheartedly.
This isn’t easy to do, but it’s the foundation for feeling connected and whole. This is where your loneliness will turn into solitude.