Have you ever felt that somehow, you are a little different from others? At first you thought that everyone was like you but you come into the bitter realization that no one understands you or no one experience the feelings that you are feeling.
Eventually, you start to reject yourself- you have thoughts that you are inferior compared to other people- that you are not good enough. And so you spend your time, efforts and money to make yourself into someone that conforms with everyone around you.
But the more you move away from your true nature and self, the more lonely you will become. Yes, initially you may be happy with that level of acceptance and friends that you form- but in the quiet moments, you will always feel that you’re a phony, and that once people know who you are really are, they will just reject you. So, you numb those feelings of inadequacy with booze, drugs, sex, obsession with power, etc.
If we choose that path, we would eventually go downhill. The feelings of loneliness would increase and eventually, depression and despair would be so overwhelming- especially when we feel no one understand us or that we have been deserted at our times of need. And that would lead to suicidal thoughts.
The reason why I write this article is because I am seeing that people are getting more and more lonely in big towns, even though surrounded by many friends.
Honor and respect yourself, be a friend unto yourself
Above: Being your own friend- just like this strong solid rock in MahaPaliBuram in Chennai India. Logically it is not possible for this rock not to tumble- and it defies all odds- even gravity for thousands of years.
One of the main causes of loneliness is due to the feelings of isolation and rejection that we have with ourselves. Most of us dread the idea of being by ourselves, of eating and going to places alone. We are so worried about what others would think if they see us.
But the first step we can take in overcoming feelings of constant loneliness is to retreat and learn to be our own friend. However, please do not do that when you hit rock bottom- because that time the turmoil going on inside may render you incapable of clear thinking- in situations like this, you need professional help.
On better times, learn to enjoy your own company instead of relying on others to cheer and entertain us. Queitly go to places of interest by yourself, sit by a café and watch people going by. Restrain from the urge to read a book or type at your laptop or access Facebook via your mobile phone during that time. Just learn and sit by yourself- and if people throw you pitiful looks, ignore them.
At home, instead of constantly needing to turn on the TV, just sit quietly by yourself. Try not to occupy your mind by thinking about work, other people, your ex, grudges at others. This is important- because if you are all alone mulling over the past and letting your emotions trample all over you, you would end up more miserable. Focus on other more neutral and calming things- like your breath….breathe deeply.
It takes practice and initially you would feel the silence very stifling or boring. But after a while, you would appreciate the peace and calm that you feel, away from blaring music, people gossiping, toxicity and overindulgence in food (that may cause an uncontrollable weight problem). Trying to fit in, rejecting yourself, hating yourself would deplete your energy and lead to fatigue.
And with time, you’ll come to discover the REAL you. The gem inside each and every one of us. The voice of the heart that we have learned to silence in the past just because we had wanted to belong in a group or to be accepted. And with that realization, watch as your hidden talents and skills emerge- because when the water is no longer muddy, you can see the bottom. I believe each and everyone of us are born different- and most often, we discover hidden abilities within ourselves at times of solitude and peace.
When you do feel that you are useless and inadequate at the quiet moments of the night, it could be perhaps you have been too disconnected from yourself to see your true beauty inside. We may feel that the whole world had left us down and people whom we thought are friends suddenly had no time for us- but in fact, it all began when we let ourselves down…when we know we have opinions and beliefs that differs from others but then, we rejected them because no one understands them. If we have never let ourselves down, people who let us down would not really get to us.
Similarly, when we genuinely enjoy solitude and learn to enjoy our own company, somehow people would find it uplifting to be around us. It’s a great feeling to no need to pretend to be someone whom we are not. In fact, it is liberating.
We all would feel lonely once a while. It’s normal- sometimes, it may even be hormonal. If you are truly comfortable with yourself and feel lonely sometimes, you’ll just let that feeling past. Within us, there are happy and unhappy emotions coming and going all the time. The problem is when we grab hold of that unhappiness and spin endless tales on them. Instead, learn to let it past- just like when you are sitting on a bench and watch someone pass by- just let it past. And in no time, you will be okay.