Loneliness – Part 2
Yesterday, as I struck the match to light the candle for my morning prayers, I was unusually present - so much so, that I totally absorbed the different sounds that a match makes on the journey from being struck, to lighting up fully. It reminded me of the dial-up tone that we used to hear when we would connect to the internet - but now, of course, we’re always connected.
Always connected; it’s what spiritual teachers regularly talk about - how we’re are always connected to Source, to God, to Yahweh, to the great architect of the Universe. We are not separate. We are one.
So why is it that I can feel so alone sometimes? How is it possible that I don’t always remember that I’m connected to this enormous reservoir of unconditional love? Why am I inclined to look for solace outside myself, even when I know that it can only be fleeting?
Because, as a human being, I am both so smart and so silly.
According to American poet Marianne Moore, “the best cure for loneliness is solitude”. I am inclined to agree.
You see, it’s not that we need to connect with other people, rather it’s about our dire need to (re-)connect with ourselves. It’s about acknowledging, understanding and validating our own needs and wants, so that we reside comfortably in solitude rather than loneliness.
And what exactly is the difference between loneliness and solitude? When you’re lonely (assuming you recognise the feeling in the first place), you’ll be inclined to do things that you wouldn’t choose to do from a space of solitude. You wouldn’t drink poison when you’re parched, right?
Given that we seem hard-wired to distract ourselves from the void of being on our own, how do we go about liking ourselves when we’re by ourselves?
By being willing to be in a liminal, or in-between, space - one where you forget about figuring it all out, and focus on what you love. Anything at all.
Binge-watching Netflix, losing yourself in a good book, catching up with an old friend, eating chocolate-chip cookies, taking crazy-hot baths, educating yourself on YouTube, planning a trip away, tidying up (Marie Kondo eat your heart out), or even taking yourself out on a date.
It’s about being alone, rather than being lonely, and then enjoying it so much, that you won’t settle for anything that lowers your vibration - all because you enjoy your own company.
And it’s then that the strangest thing starts to happen: people start calling you wanting to hang out, even when no-one is really going out - all because the Universe picked up the subtle, but very noticeable, shift in how you perceived yourself. It’s truly magic,
So even though it’s a process, and a precarious one at times, it is so worth it.
I guess in some circles, they call this loving yourself.