I was recently asked to give an impromptu seminar on loneliness. I flippantly agreed in the moment and for the hour before the presentation, I was overcome with a heavy sense of fear. All that suppressed “stuff” was coming back!
The fear, the anger, the insecurity, the self worth issues, the supposed shame of my adolescent suicide attempt…
With trepidation I walked into the seminar room and warmly greeted the people waiting for me. Then, as I started to speak, ask questions and engage with people, everything started to come together, the seminar had a life of its own and we all held on and enjoyed the ride!
We found that there was a difference between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness was agreed as being a time when you are contented with being yourself in the moment. At this point, loneliness was agreed to be a feeling of loss or lack when one is alone.
The discussion deepened and we explored why there was a difference between the two. We concluded that the problem arose in us when we compared ourselves to other people or circumstances. How we feel about ourselves when we are with another person dictated the amount of loneliness that we felt. It had very little to to with us at all! This explained why we feel alone in the company of others!
The simple solution to this would be to change the way we see and feel about ourselves. This will automatically change how we feel about ourselves in relation to other people. Try doing a simple meditation every day. Sit quietly some where for ten to fifteen minutes and be alone with your mind and your thoughts. Suspend all judgement and expectation for those few minutes, be humble and gentle with yourself, just allow yourself to be who you are right there in the moment. As you repeat this meditation, you will notice that your loneliness slowly changes to aloneness and that life becomes more satisfying.