Loneliness is crippling and you don’t have to be alone to feel it. It can be silent and the seed of emptiness can grow within you without you even realising it. People love to bury it deep and either escape reality or put on a mask to cover it up. There are several factors that influence somebody’s willingness to seek help from themselves or from the outside world. I come from a culture that frowns upon those who talk about their mental health and those who try to seek help. The traditional desi remedy to any problem is- “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. If it ain’t related to your basic survival, if it ain’t related to you procuring your everyday meal, if it ain’t related to your grades, if it ain’t related to what others in your social circle think of you, don’t fix it. But what happens if “it” is broken? Have you ever asked yourself if you could tell it is broken or not? If “it” is broken, if you are emotionally wounded and you don’t attempt to fix it, your basic survival is impacted by it. If you don’t have a job, you can’t buy yourself food and you end up starving. If you can buy yourself five-course meals every day but cannot have the will to reach for it and eat it, you still end up starving. When your physical hunger is not satisfied, you starve and die. When your emotional hunger is not satisfied, you could still emotionally starve and eventually want to take your life.
Aside from cultural aspects, there is this habit of comparing your troubles with others. Let me blow your mind when I say that being grateful has nothing to do with some people having it worse in their life than you. Being grateful means to be content and thankful for our blessings AND to not dismiss our pain because when you dismiss it, you are undervaluing yourself (your most valuable blessing) , which contradicts the idea of feeling grateful. Over the course of time, the habit of shoving your pain down your gut can either make you mentally explode some day somewhere or can pressure you into adopting unhealthy coping strategies that you eventually pass on to your children and/or friends. When there is no one you know has it worse than you do, what happens? Most people would feel like digging a hole in the ground and staying there, I know I did. It can make you feel isolated in this world and guess what, no one has the exact same life path as you. It doesn’t make sense to say, “oh don’t feel bad, that person has way worse than you” or to say, “There are people starving out on the street, so you shouldn’t be feeling depressed about your life”. Feelings arise first and then thoughts are associated to feelings. That is why you cannot control a feeling but can control your way of thinking. So, it doesn’t make sense to dismiss what you FEEL based on the assumption that your feelings are illogical. They are meant to be illogical, that is why they are feelings. You are a human spirit, not a machine. built on logical reasoning.
For the longest time of my life, I have felt lonely, which, at a point in my life, had exacerbated my already existent emotional burden and eventually led me to my spiritual awakening. Loneliness has been the longest relationship of my life. She and I have been through a lot together and after a decade or more, I finally understand her. Now, we are so in sync with each other that we know exactly what the other wants. Some people tell me it’s sad but although I WAS sad about it for a long time, I feel like it has been a very interesting journey for me. My intention to help myself feel better led me to explore the inner workings of my mind and the unspoken meaning behind the events of my life. I realised that loneliness gave a greater meaning to my life. It made me want to dissect that feeling of loneliness which showed a sense of disconnection from this world. Throughout my teens and my 20s, I remember feeling misunderstood and I never felt like I belonged almost anywhere and with almost anyone. I now know that it has led me to a point in time where I reinvent myself and choose a life vastly more meaningful than the life I had imagined for myself earlier.
So, what to do to not feel lonely? There is no single perfect solution because it really depends on the reason you feel lonely to the extent that it affects your normal activity. For some, it could be fear of abandonment because their expectations were not met by someone in the past which caused them a lot of pain. For others, it could be that at some level they feel like they are not enough for them to maintain a state of mental wellbeing and harmony because they compare their social life to that of their peers . Sometimes, the reason is so deeply hidden that one could have a seemingly perfect life but the underlying cause of suffering was probably from past life traumas. The list could go on and on. I hesitate to give you any quick tips to cope with loneliness because there aren’t any quick tips and if they were, they are evasion strategies and I believe the only real way to cure loneliness is to identify the root cause and work from there. Having said that, there is one valuable suggestion I can give you and that is to be willing to sit down with your journal and process your pain. Help will reach you! If it doesn’t, please ask for it. You don’t have to be brave if you physically can’t be brave. There are plenty of kind souls on this planet who are qualified and who would help you ease your pain. If you feel alone at feeling lonely, don’t be because I am here writing this to let you know that you are not alone. I am connecting with you virtually to tell you that it will pass and you will find peace and happiness or at the least, a way to work with your deeper emotional wounds. If I can battle loneliness and live to see the light, you can and anyone can!
Picture: Royalty-free, sourced from http://www.unsplash.com.