Back in the days, as I was going through the first stages of loneliness
, I was constantly struggling with a mental and emotional trap. Again and again, unknowingly, I was caught in between two “cog wheels”, reinforcing each other.
The first cog-wheel, was the pain and the overwhelm of chronic loneliness in itself. Like a mantra, I was saying to myself, confirming it all day long: “I’m lonely… It hurts… It never stops…”. The only way I thought it could stop would be by someone out there loving me. This was the dream, the need, the longing: “If only there was someone that was there for me. Someone for whom I would be the most important person in the world. Someone that I could overflow with my love too.”. That was the other cog-wheel.
One pain adding to the other, one cog-wheel turning the other round. Me, stuck in between these two, dragging myself through lonely summers and New Years, Sundays and then all the rest of the week, convinced I was the only lonely person in the world, the pariah. I was sure that everyone else was happy, together.
As I learned later, it was very far from the truth. In fact, a significant number of people that struggle with loneliness are married and have a family, here at Solo Souls too by the way. Did you know that?
Anyhow, knowing it back then wouldn’t make any difference. It did not, in any way, prevent me from wishing over and over and over again: If only the lost love came back. If only a new love showed up. If only…
What I didn’t realize at the time (and wouldn’t like anyone telling me either, I imagine) was that not only was I stuck in loneliness — I was clinging to what kept me stuck.
I was clinging to the idea that a relationship with someone else was the only way to be happy and the only way out of loneliness. Even if that very idea caused me even more pain, I had to hold on to it. It was my last hope. I didn’t have anything else, I couldn’t see any other way out.
The myth of a happy relationship that would finally liberate me and make me happy, prevented me from drowning in despair completely. Of course I clung to it.
When I finally started loosening that grip on an impossible dream, it wasn’t in a pretty way. No one came to save me and no one knew of my suffering. Loneliness wasn’t exactly something I’d proudly share with other people, back then. That part of me too was invisible to the world.
I started letting go of the dream of someone out there saving me simply because, after endless disappointments, I no longer could keep that dream alive. After decades of resisting what looked like a perfectly hopeless reality, I just didn’t have anything left in me that could continue the fight. So I gave up on love.
Love itself did not give up. It never does.
As I stopped resisting my reality love came in. Not in the form of a prince on a white horse, or a princess on a dolphin for that sake. In fact, there was no form to it at all.
It was a feeling, a inner change happening out of the blue. It was, sometimes, an enlightening bliss out of this world. It was, at other times, just an experience of peace, of joy, of care for myself.
It was, at first, like a rare visitor staying for no more than a few hours. But then over time, it became more frequent and for longer periods of time. Eventually, love moved in and loneliness moved out. And it’s been like this since.
It has enabled me to truly enjoy living alone and also truly enjoy living together.
In case loneliness is an issue in your life, let me say this:
Whether you can feel it right now or not, the ultimate source of love is within you. It’s waiting for you to give it permission to flow, even when you’re alone. It’s asking you to receive it with as much joy as you’d give to someone else.
I also know that until we’re ready to let go, we’re neither willing nor able to put all our faith into that love within. Even if, in theory, or from glimpses perhaps, we know that beneath the pain, the thoughts, the desperation, the emptiness – it’s there.
I know how hard it can be to hold on to something so immaterial. In our culture, it’s natural and understandable to expect love to come in the form of a relationship with someone else, rather than a relationship with oneself, or a relationship with love itself. It’s natural to keep the loneliness loop going.
But even so, it is not impossible for change to happen, and for you to discover that love is there with you even when it doesn’t look like it at all. It’s not impossible at all.
If you’re ready for it, consider starting on a transformational journey, with me or if someone else. If you prefer smaller steps at this time, here’s what you can do now:
Watch the wheels
Be present, mentally, emotionally and creatively. In other words, when you experience loneliness in whatever form, when you find yourself caught in the loneliness loop one way or another, try to be aware of. Without judging (there really is nothing there to judge!), notice how it feels, how it thinks, what it does. Express it creatively if so inspired. Let that set you free bit by bit, one turn at a time.
Practice being alone
Create tiny spaces where love can shine in. It can be as simple as this:
Please share your thoughts and this inspiration with friends, in the communities you’re part of, on social media and in comments. Someone out there will be glad you did! Thank you!