Philisophical Musings

of an agnostic polyamorous heterosexual artistic soul

Loneliness – Where is the handbook?

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If you are human, you have known loneliness. Probably many times. As a child, being separated from your mother or father, for even a few minutes, can feel lonely. Going to a Prom Night without a date can feel lonely. Even the fact that you might be in a relationship with another person does not give you a free pass on loneliness.

There is a lot to be said about loneliness, and just trying to find your way out of it can present challenges which only seem to intensify the feelings. I am just becoming an expert in the realization that it is loneliness in my own life that I am fighting. I have a way to go before I could ever hope to shed any wisdom on dealing positively with loneliness. Right now, I am reaching out for any form of help which is within reach…mostly family and friends and what I read on Internet. I might choose to submit myself to more therapy in the near future, but only once I have cleared some of the cobwebs blocking my view.

 

Today, I came across an article, How to be alone, on Salon.com and I liked some of the ideas I read there. For example, Author Judy Ford says:

“We are born alone and die alone, and deep within our souls we live alone. No one else ever abides in our skin. If we haven’t yet come to terms with this ultimate truth, we are scared out of our minds to be alone.”

Further, she suggests some ways of battling loneliness: getting creative, push yourself to try new things, admit your loneliness to others and “getting cozy with the gaps”, those empty spaces between your plans. Ford suggests that “to experience wholeness, first we experience the void”

I have a brother, whom I love greatly, who has always been telling me the same thing: Get used to being alone. Allow yourself to simply “be there” by yourself. Only once you can be comfortable (happy?) alone, can you really be happy in relation to others.

Here is another little group of words which resonated with me: “You need to feel like you can get support and give support”. That comes from the book “The Happiness Project” written by Gretchen Rubin. Her take is a little different, in that she feels strong relationships are essential to happiness in life. Her emphasis isn’t on learning to be happy alone, but rather recognizing what level of social interaction makes you happiest — and it’s different for everyone: “Maybe you don’t have a sweetheart, but being around a lot of other people might make you feel happier even if you wish you had that. I think people sometimes aren’t very aware of how much they need to be around other people.”

It is clear that for me, being around people, or at least one other person, is very a very basic need I have in order to truly be happy, but, I am starting to realize the necessity of learning to also be alone, to accept quiet moments when you only have yourself to talk to. We won’t always have the option to be around other people 24/7…and maybe we don’t really want that. But often it seems this is the default with which many of us are raised; as soon as no one else is around to listen to us or pat us on the back, we freak out and get desperate.

In the last days, I have come to realize (or rather, have had my nose rubbed in the reality) that I am acting desperate. I am terribly lonely. I am stuck in my head. I only talk about myself to others. Poor poor me. And I try to force relationships which normally should grow on their own. It is not easy to come to the realization that you are lonely and that the only person who can get you out of that space is…yourself. But it will have to be done before I can move on to bigger and better things…or relationships.

 

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Written by Philoman

January 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

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