It is easy not to feel alone but it takes an effort not to feel lonely.
These are two different things and two different scenarios. Being alone is more of a state so it makes it easier to distract yourself by either texting a friend to come by your house or have dinner with or by logging into your Instagram account and check out the pictures of your family or friends.
In other words, you can be alone but still feel connected.
Being lonely is a feeling of being alone. That is how I would describe it. You can hang out with your friends and family, but still feel lonely and this is where most of us struggle with.
We feel disconnected and we feel a void.
Being able to accept loneliness is something that we can equip ourselves with today and will always come in handy specially in a crisis such as what we are facing now.
I would say that more than half of my personality is an introvert so transition from a 14 day quarantine to work from home then to a lock down did not come so hard. I can stay up in my room the whole day, whole week or I guess on this case now apparently even a month but once in a while I just need to refill my energy by going out and about.
I do not consider myself at all 100% introvert but neither I do not consider myself as an ambivert.
I live miles away from my family. I live alone and it has made me feel several times inevitably lonely and sometimes existentially questioning life.
Here are the things that works for me whenever I feel the void.
- Look outside
There is a hackneyed expression where we should always look inside first to be able to understand a situation and that is looking into yourself before all things so you can understand better. I say to this, sometimes because we were instructed to always look within, we forget to come out and see what is outside. Because we always talk about the ‘self’, we forget the importance of balance.
Externally we need to see things on a different perspective and when we do, this is where looking back in retrospect plays an important role.
Have you had this feeling when you suddenly understand as to why you had a problem? you realize it made you better and was able to help you grow resilience? That is what looking outside means. Being able to see things in a different light. Do not think of loneliness as something negative as we were made to believe that it is. “Those that hurt, instructs” as what Benjamin Franklin said and where there is pain there is growth. As banal it may seem, everthing is happening for a reason and understanding why the external forces needed to occur connects everything together. It helps to answer questions we had internally and as a result creates an assurance to ourselves that we are in the right track in life, serving as a compass that we are on the right direction.
- Be lonely to be ready to be lonely
There is science behind this. It is the same behavior when we chase someone we like, we text, call, we pursue and get nothing, reciprocated but the moment we stop texting and calling, they come back. The moment we cut the chase and pursuit, surprisingly things take a turn. This seems counter-intuitive that is why space is very important in our social lives.
If we apply this counter-intuitive concept to overcome the feeling of loneliness, instead of avoiding it and running away from the idea of being lonely, we give the energy to the universe of being ready for immersion.
We are adaptable creatures.
Notice how many days and quick it will take you to be used to this. Download a new app now and in a matter of three days you are savvy in navigating the functions. It is practice that is key and anticipating what to expect.
If you practice anticipation because you have visualized the experience of it, your mind is tricked to have already anticipated the feeling of loneliness and thus it gives you a head start before even experiencing it.
3. Learn to trick your brain and master it
I feel that a lot of us has not yet mastered our selves.
We know what we want, we know what displeases us but most of us does not know how to command our mind to follow instructions from us and with this, we have not yet truly mastered our self.
The book by Ekhart Tolle, The Power of Now discusses that we have two selves, we have the self and we have the mind.
Reason why sometimes we may utter, “I cannot live with myself any longer” “I hate myself, I hate you”. This is as if we unconsciously refer to ourselves as two separate beings.
Most of the time, our mind is more powerful than our ‘self’ that we follow what the mind commands.
You might have heard about people saying ‘guard your thoughts’.
Thoughts can lead to actions to habits to character and since we are creatures of habit, it is easy to build character in a span of days.
So my point is, when you master into commanding your mind to follow instructions from your self, then it is easy to capitalize on that advantage.
How does this help? Ever wonder why you get this instant feeling of happiness when you have achieved something regardless it being an easy task. Example, when you struggle to get out of bed but then you tell your mind, “NO I will get up now and I will do it” and once you were able to do it and have seen that it resulted to something beneficial e.g., you see a tidy bed, you instantly feel a boost of confidence and sometimes you have just ignited a bolt of energy into your senses. No one says no to an easy defeat and regardless it being easy or not, we still overcame something.
The three steps above will only work if you are ready to embrace loneliness and when you do, be ready to be tested by the universe.
Notice how suddenly you get all the invites to dinner the moment you declare that you want to cut on eating so you can lose weight? Notice that you suddenly get a text message from your ex just when you have finally decided to give up chasing? It is the energy that you vibrate that sends off a signal.
So observe, immerse to anticipate then finally practice to master command and take control of your emotions. Always, achieve to have an exciting, quality and abundant life!