A Cure for Loneliness
Chris Rock once joked about relationships. "You are either bored or lonely." Funny yes. True? Well absolutely depending on your state of mind and how you see life.
I read not long ago, that what ever we do we regret what we didn't do. I am pretty sure it was the excellent Alain de Botton quoting one of the wise philosophers from times past. You see if we decide to go out, we regret we didn't stay and rest. If we choose to be in a relationship, we regret not being single. And so on.
These are thoughts all centred around loneliness. Perhaps you don't suffer from the plague of feeling loneliness but I can tell you that it can be an awful curse on ones life. It doesn't matter if you are in a relationship or not. Or in a crowd or not. Or busy or not. That sinking feeling of being alone and lonely can take the wind out of your sails.
There is a few ways to define loneliness but lets start with the feeling or the emotion.
It's the state of being isolated and disconnected leading to depression or a sadness that can be quite overwhelming. Perhaps it is my personality or environment that lends itself to sadly staring out into the distance at times, feeling utterly alone, disconnected from the hustle and bustle of modern society.
Perhaps it is unique to those who think too much. Or feel too much? Or perhaps it is living a life that is counter community or extrapolated from society. Whatever the case loneliness can bite really hard.
What is the cure for loneliness?
From experience I can tell you it is not being in the most congested of spaces, the busiest at work, the most amount of friends or social interactions.
The cure for loneliness in my experience is a wonderful recipe, that if applied, brings a great joy into one's heart.
- Being Grateful - When you are feeling lonely, it is because you have looked inward and become insular. You are feeling an emotion of isolation and disconnection. But this resonates from being inward. If only we can train our minds to look outwards in this time and understand the world as a whole. When we see the whole world and its state then we can be grateful for what we have in our own lives. The wonderful blessings that we have versus what others have in their lives. This is positive outward thinking and turns the lonely thoughts and feelings to compassion and care for others.
- Mindfulness - How often we get sucked into our own mind and it becomes a reality. If only we could learn to meditate and listen to our minds. See our emotions for what they are. Just emotions. Just thoughts. These states are temporal. It is impossible in this lifetime to experience the highs without feeling the lows. And loneliness is just one of them.
- Love - Love comes in lots of shapes and forms. The Greeks have 6-10 definitions depending on who you read and research. The most important of all of these is Self Love. In that time of loneliness, when we are feeling disconnected and cut off, what if we can learn to fill ourselves up with self love. To care for ourselves. To rest our minds and our souls. To look in the mirror and know that there is a great person looking back.
- Purpose - The stronger your commitment to your purpose in this life; the smaller the bouts of loneliness are and the shallower they feel. This is because when you utterly committed to your purpose, you know how little time you have to achieve things and reach the best version of yourself. Those lonely feelings are limited as you are too full of the passion for getting things done, helping others, seeing places, painting, writing or whatever it is that is your thing.
- Acceptance - Loneliness is a normal feeling that comes and goes. To survive as a species we are drawn to others in the community and drawn to the opposite sex to procreate. The feelings and emotions need to be accepted for what they are; signals and magnetism for the purpose of survival of the species. It is also important to accept pain and suffering because this is how life learns, this is how we grow, this is how we become strong.
The cure for loneliness is not rushing off to the nearest bar, signing up to the closest club, madly connecting with people by social media or cracking open the 3rd bottle of wine. In my humble opinion is being alone, being grateful, being mindful, having love, following your purpose and finding acceptance.
With this approach we learn to be strong. We grow as individuals.
Pour great waters into your cup; so they may flow over to others. A rich life; enriches others.