Loneliness is one of the biggest taboos in our culture.
I’m currently connecting with other loneliness experts around the world. Collectively, we approach loneliness in many different ways, from scientific to spiritual, from educational to therapeutic. And yet, as different as we all are, we all agree on the same observation:
No one wants to talk about it.
April Joy Ford, author of “You Are Not Alone”, shared with me that according to a recent survey one in three Americans feels lonely. And still, no one talks about it.
It’s a bigger taboo than depression or stress. It is, after all, Okay to say: “I’m stressed out”. Or even, “I feel depressed”. But it doesn’t feel Okay to say out loud: “I’m lonely”.
I know that I didn’t say it to anyone back in my lonely days. I didn’t say it to my family. I didn’t say it to my few friends. I even didn’t say it to my mentor and healer. I would say I was sad, angry, confused, tired… but I would not use the “lonely” word.
It’s because it feels like something to be ashamed of. As if it’s your own fault. As if you’re lonely because something is wrong with you. It’s so not true! but the feeling of shame is convincing enough to silence almost everyone.
There are some amazing pioneers in the world, such as Sean Seepersad, founder of Web of Loneliness trying to change that and bring loneliness into our awareness as culture.
And change is coming, even if slowly. We’re starting to at least talk about the loneliness that is part of old age. And, there is so much more to it.
Loneliness is existential.
It’s a fundamental, motivating aspect of the human journey and we absolutely should be talking about it! both as a culture and as individuals.
I know, it’s easy for me to say now that I’ve overcome it. I realize that, and I apologize if I make it sound easy. It’s not. But it’s worth the effort!
The good news is that while technology and social media increase loneliness in some ways, they can also help address it in other ways:
You could, for example, join a private group or forum that you resonate with. Even if you don’t know what to do with your feelings of loneliness, voicing them is a big step toward connecting with others and, eventually, towards finding solutions.
Or, if you feel you’re ready change, if you feel it’s time for you to start turning loneliness to lasting love and joy, talk with me, here.
Remember, you are not the only one feeling that way – and you don’t have to go it all alone. Let’s connect!