“You can be far away inside, and far away outside.” ~ JonArno Lawson, Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon
Loneliness is a state of mind, you can be surrounded by people and yet be the loneliest person in the room. On the other hand, you can be living alone and yet feel happy and not lonely; you thrive in solitude.
It is the inherent nature of human beings to have a sense of belonging, a community or some kind of support system. But sometimes life plays out differently, we have a choice of either writing our own story or depending on others to write it for us.
The need to be with someone all the time?
I have often asked this question to myself with an attempt to decipher why my mother feels that living alone is an ordeal.
The loss of my father has left an irreplaceable void in her life. It left her feeling depressed, disoriented (initially) and a loss of interest in life. There is a dire need within her to feel belonged, to be with someone (Even if that someone doesn’t talk), it is just a physical presence she seeks.
“I can’t live alone, I don’t like it,” she often expresses. Loneliness kills her, which probably stems from some kind of deep-rooted fear. The moment she has to be left alone in the house she is in a state of despair.
Fear of being with oneself
One of the reasons a person is not comfortable living alone is fear – either fear of facing their own thoughts, insecurities, fear of darkness (nyctophobia) or of dying and so on.
We are a product of our own circumstances, choices, unexpected events that life throws at us. On our journey, we consciously or unconsciously, hold on to insecurities and fear as a crutch and in turn it becomes an obstacle on our path of self-realisation.
We experience loneliness when we have lost the connection with ourselves, and we look outside for something that only we can create internally.
“No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life.” ~ Nietzsche.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to overcome those fears that have resided in us for years and grown roots. We have to shake the foundation of this fear to be happy with ourselves.
There is a beauty in finding oneself in a world filled with challenges and where people prefer to keep themselves busy rather than face their demons.
Separate your feelings from your thoughts and beliefs
We are the creators of our feelings. “I feel lonely, I don’t have friends, nobody likes to be with me.” These are some of the random thoughts that we often ask ourselves that manifest into feelings of loneliness, sadness, depression etc.
Delve deep within the forest of your mind to find the treasure you seek. Ask yourself questions such as – What do I believe has created this feeling? What created this belief that nobody likes me? Am I not worthy enough?
When we separate our thoughts/beliefs from our feelings, we get to the real reason for experiencing loneliness, and we realise that it was an illusion after all. These thoughts are further expanded in the video below.
“Only you can make the change, you can change your mindset. Changing the mindset changes the chi energy in your body. Keep your intentions clear… as you think so shall you be. Separate feelings from your thoughts. You are the creator of all your emotional feelings, you are not the victim of them.” ~ David James Lees, Taoist master.
With this knowledge we can change our thoughts and create new thought patterns, and alter our feelings.
Being in solitude – How can one feel comfortable with themselves?
“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
Solitude has always been my good friend, it gives me a sense of freedom where I am not bound by time or the humdrum of life. I notice the movement of my thoughts, my mind becomes my faithful servant and not a master.
Feel nourished by solitude instead of being destroyed by it.
Hermann Hesse once wrote – “In each one of you there is a hidden being, still in the deep sleep of childhood. Bring it to life! In each one of you there is a call, a will, an impulse of nature, an impulse toward the future, the new, the higher. Let it mature, let it resound, nurture it! Your future is not this or that; it is not money or power, it is not wisdom or success at your trade — your future, your hard dangerous path is this: to mature and to find God in yourselves.”
In solitude, we learn to engage with the shadow and be enriched by its wisdom in showing us our true essence. As loneliness only makes us lose perspective and our balance.
We have to be willing to sacrifice our suffering and focus on not being carried away by the rigmarole of our own thoughts. We have to love ourselves, and if we don’t, then what is it about us that I don’t love.
As David Lees said, “Love and truth comes from the same seed. If you aren’t truthful with yourself you can’t love yourself. ”
The moment we take charge of our own lives, we realise as Henry David Thoreau stated, “I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
Girl on the Bus Unknown