Loneliness is a word that elicits all kinds of emotions. It’s that one word that has you feeling before thinking.
I’m fascinated by word association. Being alone, isn’t the same as being lonely. Nor is being lonely the same as loneliness. And yet, loneliness can be a trigger to something long past and have little to do with how we feel today.
I equate this to the smells I experienced when travelling around the world. It brings back a flood of memories both pleasant, odd and foreign for me. That’s called, Olfactory memory.
I was running with a friend of mine where she asked; “What where the 3 times in your life that were most profound for you?” The turning points. As we talked, she noted that it was when she was 6 months and 3 years old when she experienced feeling abandoned and unloved. To this day, despite her brilliance, her struggle has been to feel connected and wanted.
As a result, she tends to overcompensate by bending over backwards to help others. In addition, says yes to things, even when it’s not the best fit for her. She loves the ‘high’ of being wanted, needed, and accepted. I get it.
So, you see, we’re fighting with our limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging thoughts, all the while trying to overcome and/or come to terms with our demons. Our hurt feelings.
Life is a journey. A confusing, messed-up, rollercoaster of a ride that if not careful can have you spiraling. We’re all just trying to figure it out. Moment by moment.
When you feel lonely, you may be one that tends to isolate yourself, and cut yourself off from the world. I know when I’m feeling lonely, I need to incorporate a few strategies. The first is to recognize that I’m feeling lonely and then start to open myself up to taking a more active role in life.
I’d like to offer these steps to help ease the loneliness you may be feeling. I know this helps me:
- Gather your thoughts and acknowledge where your barriers
- Turn loneliness into an ally. Practice opening into it. Say; “Bring it on” and then see what happens. What comes up for you?
- Get curious. Open up your wide-angle view and embrace what’s going on in the world. When you’re out for a walk, rather than close yourself off, embrace the world. Shift your body language. Chest open and walk tall. Be on a mission to experience more.
Most importantly, be present. It sounds so simple and yet it’s really difficult for a lot of us. We tend to either live in the past or project into the future.
Know that all we have is right now. Own it.
Loneliness is a state of mind. We have a choice to reset our mindset. It takes work. And yet, it’s worth it. Start embracing where you’re at, and what you’re doing. If it’s not working for you … start taking action toward making some changes.
One life. Many emotions. Pick the ones that work for you. Embrace the ones that suck and make them your friend. Eventually you’ll find that all of these feelings that you’re having are temporary.
The sun WILL come out …..