Loneliness is Distance
The feeling of loneliness is easily correlated to emotional distancing; both from others and from a Higher Power. In our modern world we are often taught by professionals to remove people from our lives that are negative or who diminish our sense of self. We are directed to avoid people who directly/verbally attack our self-concept. As a therapist I have repeatedly recommended this myself; getting away from sick toxic people is vital to healing and growth. Truth be told there are times when being around certain people can actually make us feel lonelier than if we had no one around at all. We have all known these types of people and we all probably have evidence to support this statement. The fact that we can feel lonely around others may actually be evidence that the feeling of loneliness is actually an illusion as most of us live in close proximity to others and have to actually work hard to find peace and quiet away from others. Additionally, for those who quit using there is a sudden decrease in social connections as using “associates” are avoided.
So what do we do about it once we have cleared away the negativity, the users and the hate filled people? Eventually we will have to replace our pool of significant people; redevelop our social connections.
We all get hurt by undesirable elements and that is just unfortunately, a fact of life today. But we must take risks to forge new relationships along the way or we run out of connections and lose the sense of being a part of the human race. This is not to say that we need to have people around us to feel OK. Quite to the contrary most well balanced people seem to have less of a dependence on their interactions with others to feel content. As long as we operate on the notion that we need others to not feel loneliness (a level of co-dependency) then we will continually come up short as the humans around us will more times than not fail to meet our unreasonable needs; they’re human and most people struggle to fulfill themselves yet alone others. That takes a special breed.
We must find avenues to become SELF-FULL-FILLED. Once we do learn to meet our own emotional needs our relationships with others then become bonus interactions and blessings; not a prescription for OK-ness.
The truth is however that a full life includes the option to connect with others on a daily basis. I need to be able to call my friends to chat or too invite someone to hang out. Even if we don’t go we benefit from at least knowing that we were invited to a recreational activity or family celebration. (But we should get out of comfort zone and go.) Thus, in order to have these types of options we must continually cultivate our connections to positive people. We must take risks.
The solution to loneliness is thus quite simple; connect to more people then you distance yourself from. A friend doesn’t have to be someone we have known for years or decades. We can invite someone to join us for lunch. Ask a co-worker about things other than the job. We feel connected when we know stuff about others; so learn something. Don’t say; “How you doing.” Ask people; “How you doing?” Get the answers. Let people know about you; for real. Fellowship with others on as many levels as you can, down as many avenues as you can. Join a new church or return to an old one. Go to meetings. If you want to feel connected to your community then volunteer in your community. Develop and forge ties beyond electronic media. Call the person you’re texting and devote some real time really talking; getting to know them emotionally. Hear their emotion and respond back with emotion not emoticons. While your on the phone make a face to face date. Support and encourage others. Do things for others and you will be pleasantly surprised how most people respond in kind. Have a party at your house and before you know it you’ll be invited to theirs.
Ultimately most people find the greatest cure for their feelings of loneliness is knowing that there is a spirit in the Universe that is with them at all times.
You are never really alone unless you want to be. If you want to be alone and you are then you are actually achieving the goal to be distant from others.
KNOW THIS…. DISTANCE IS ALWAYS A CHOICE
Finally: YOU MUST BUILD AND DEVELOP THE FELLOWSHIP AND CONNECTIONS YOU CRAVE. They don’t develop themselves.
Emmanuel S. John