Why Spiritual Loneliness is Good for Your Growth

Loneliness is an opportunity for reflection, and spiritual growth. Yes, with loneliness comes a lot of sadness, yet without investigating the root cause of this sadness, we will forever assume that being lonely is our own fault, the fault of others, or in extreme cases we will find a way to point the finger at life itself.

Just like we brew up a cup of coffee for ourselves, the same way we brew up experiences of loneliness, even if all the perceived evidence suggests to the contrary.

I have experienced deep loneliness, and also deep sadness, which hindsight was my biggest blessing for learning more about myself, the things that I’m passionate about, and the kind of people I want to have in my life. When I finally cut the cord of my past relationships which were based on fear and addictive behaviors, I was left all alone.

There I was, infused with this new way of understanding life, yet not a single soul around me that I could possibly relate to. The tasteless memories of the past kept creeping up to me like shadows in the dark, and this went on for a long time. Since the door to my past had finally been closed, at least physically, it was time to relocate myself to a new environment — to get away from all that once had kept pulling me down, without ever letting go of me.

It was me who had to pull myself back up, it was me who had to let go.

Finding solace in darkness

Three years and many attempts of trying to fix the situation later, I found myself living by the Southeast Coast Side of England. When I first arrived, I won’t deny that I was in a very dark place at the time. I had just sealed some important karmic lessons for this lifetime, and I was still living on my own; lonely. Even though three years had passed since I put my past behind me, I felt haunted by the memories and emotional triggers that had shaped me as a teenager. I was in no position to feel comfortable with finding new friends, or establishing new relationships that would be based on authentic and compassionate understanding. And then the picture began to lighten up.

This spiritual loneliness period of my life that I was going through, was essentially the best thing that could have ever happened to me. And there are many reasons as to why.

Failure to connect with other people, or yourself?

If you find yourself in a genuinely unhappy place — sadness, loneliness, sorrow — and fail to connect with other human beings on a deep emotional level, what does that tell you about yourself? For a long time, I was pointing the finger outwards. I thought that it was other people who misunderstood me, and it was everyone from my past to blame about my state of abandonment that I was in at the time. I felt truly abandoned. I shed tears of magnitude that later turned into some of the best cries of my life. If there’s pain in your life and you truly cry from your heart, things will heal, and the light at the end of the tunnel will suddenly be much closer than it ever had been.

But there’s a fundamental lesson to learn from this experience. We can go live our lives and assume that it’s the other people who misunderstand us, yet if we look closely enough, there’s going to be a spiritual, even mystical, revelation that anything that we see on the outside, is the reflection of what is happening on the inside. And if there is loneliness finding solace in your being, then you should not look out of the window, pointing your finger towards another human being, and telling him that it is his fault that you are feeling this way. It’s much more profound than that. You are the loneliness, and if you don’t begin the process of making friends with it, you will always remain bitter enemies.

The spiritual dimension of loneliness

At that point, I had already been very acquainted with meditation. As you know, meditation is a technique used for self-inspection and general analysis of thoughts, and emotional patterns that we carry within ourselves.

Gradually, this loneliness started to form a new shape in my conscious experience of life. What if this lonely period I was going through was actually for me to learn something about myself, rather than to constantly feel angered that I’m feeling left alone, abandoned? How long before someone comes along and tells us that instead of blaming others, we should be asking the question to ourselves, why is it that I am lonely?

And that’s where the Heart Awakening began to manifest itself. I found myself getting a better grip at my own emotions, the thoughts that kept swarming in my mind; I started to realize that much of what I believed about people, and society, was not because it had presumably abandoned me, but because I was living my life from an outdated perspective that was conditioned into my mind based on my past experiences.

Transforming shadow with light

The learning had begun. I was getting more and more comfortable with everything that wanted to come out of my being. Whether it was anger that made me punch the walls in my apartment until my hands started to bleed, or deep confusion that often left me wondering if I’m ever going to find a way out.

Loneliness suddenly became my best weapon against the shadows that had hid deep beneath my consciousness.

Step by step I was removing myself from limiting beliefs, and old ways of thinking that kept putting me in a position where I felt like I wasn’t in control, because ultimately we are always in control of everything that happens around us, including the kind of people we hang out with, the food we put in our bellies, and the words we choose to speak.

Seeing that my past had such a big influence on the way I perceived myself as an individual who is part of a bigger world, there also had to be a lot of forgiveness for both the people who influenced me in the past, and for myself as someone who is trying to be a more loving person. Love was at this point my stronghold, it kept me centered when I would begin to fall back on difficult to manage emotions, and it would be the first thing that I felt once those emotions would be released.

Releasing old emotions of loneliness

Ask anyone to define the spiritual journey, and you’ll hear answers ranging from practical, to exotic, to completely batshit crazy. I like to stick to the former, since living a simple and uncomplicated life is what makes my cheeks lift up in the moment of joy.

Loneliness is not something that we talk about openly in the world right now, better alternatives such as addictions, anger, and ignorance exist, and because they’re so widely exposed to us on every step of the way, we believe that instead of addressing our loneliness, we should be looking out for new ways to patch our emotions up, until something better, or worse, comes to us.

Nobody is born lonely. Your mother, your father, your siblings — they’ve all cared for you deeply during the process of upbringing, yet somewhere during your journey towards adulthood you were exposed to new ways of thinking, new ways of understanding, new ways to relate to people.

Rabbit Island, Kep, Cambodia
Rabbit Island, near Kep Town, Kingdom of Cambodia

You learned about the poor, the middle, and the upper class, and how neither of them can live with each other comfortably. You keep walking your steps until one day you realize that none of it is able to define who you are, because who you are is much bigger than the perception other people have of you.

Friends will pat you on the back for saying the right thing to defend their viewpoint, but do your friends ever pat you on the back when you tell them that you’re going within to understand yourself better?

They will think you have gone crazy, because to them the process of self-discovery is dull. They instinctively know that it would take away some of their perceived freedom, which is nothing but a huge misconception about the path of spirituality, and the path of understanding yourself.

We cannot take away something that makes us who we are, but we can learn to give ourselves the attention we need to learn about the things that make us truly happy, from a completely unconditional point of view. If that means being lonely for weeks, months, or years at a time — then that is perfectly fine, because regardless of the present moment situation, we know that we’re doing service to ourselves.

Loneliness isn’t talked about

It’s vital to understand that feeling lonely because you aren’t together with your partner or your family is different than being lonely because you feel that nobody understands you, in that scenario you’re simply not understanding yourself, and there’s something standing in the way of you feeling joy of life.

Everyone gets lonely at some point in their lives, but depressive loneliness patterns need to be addressed with conscious understanding that it is possible to shift your false perspective on life.

Finding people to relate to is still difficult, and most of the time you will get recommended to go see a therapist, it isn’t a bad choice as long as you’re not being prescribed any medication. I found that meditation has acted much like medication itself for my own battles with loneliness, and to be able to talk about it so freely is the clear result of the progress I’ve made so far.

I’m going to leave this space open for you to connect with me or anyone else from the community, and if you’re having some critical troubles with understanding the unfolding of your authentic self, then ask a question or share your views. I’ll be happy to answer.

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  1. I thank you for this I almost let this slip by me and then I click on it and began to read the more I read the more I wanted to read I been thinking about trying to find me and this gave me insight on alot that I had been going in the wrong direction but after reading this I can go forward I have issues in my life but I know that my god will guide me along with you I will be fine it’s so much I can say but I have to say CV a little now and more the next time thanks again and have a blessed life

  2. Alex, I am completely enjoying your blog. As a huge Tolle “fan” your posts resonate with me. Keep writing, sharing, and doing what you do…it’s good to know like-minded people are out there!

    1. Thank you Karen! It’s been 4 years since I’ve kept this project in my heart, and I’m beginning to move in the direction where I’ll be able to spend more time and energy on it. Very exciting things are coming in the future! Thanks again for stopping by.

  3. Alex, this article has ‘hit the nail on the head’ for me. Two years ago I stopped participating in harmful addictive behaviour(alcohol) and left a relationship which had become pretty toxic. Since then I feel I’ve begun a journey where everything feels like it is opening up in a spiritual way and it feels exciting- however, as you have described, I often feel alone with this and have sometimes found myself looking to find others who might understand or who are having the same feelings/thoughts. (at the start I found AA amazing but I now feel that I don’t want to focus my energy on alcohol/abstinence etc anymore- that’s been my starting point of my journey but now I want to spiritually grow).
    Your article was reassuring ,in that feeling alone at the moment is nothing to be scared of and is actually ‘part of the process’.Some of the methods you mentioned(eg remembering my childhood ‘way of being’) it turns out I’ve been naturally doing this – I somehow felt a strong compulsion to start writing about my early days, family, etc(I was fortunate to have a loving upbringing) and, while doing this, I’ve reminded myself about what I was like, things which made me laugh, cry, friends I had(some are still there, hanging on , thank goodness!), and my relationships with my family.
    Many thanks and I look forward to reading more! x

    1. Alison,

      thank you for the heartfelt comment, and great job by beating your addictions. I was in a very similar situation myself up until the age of 20 — alcohol, drugs, toxic relationships. The whole lot.

      I’m glad that you’re able to recognize that a part of you is experiencing a deeper awakening to your own truth, to your own authentic way of being. It’s a very special journey, and while it presents challenges, anything worth having (like inner-peace for example) is worth ‘fighting’ for. Fighting in a sense where you recognize that the past doesn’t define you as a person, and that better days are not so far away.

      Keep in touch, lots of love.

  4. Hello, thank you from Belgium for your article. I deal with loneliness for a lot of year. It’s so powerfull in my heart when I try to feel it that I start to shake and the emotion make me feel I will be desintegrated from inside.

    And like you say, I have realize that there is really anyone or anything that can fulfill the hole in my heart. So sad, because I have try anything, and became addict to some things just to try to not feel the emotion because I can manage it.

    I am now 33 and with better understanding, I try to feel it and go in depth. But I can’t, too powerfull. Your article help me because it give me motivation and confortation that there is no other solution. Even when I am with family or people I love, I feel alone, like if there is the hole in my heart between people and me.

    Thank you for sharing, it’s great to read that !

    1. Michael,

      sorry to hear that you’re feeling that way! Remember that all painful experiences become something beautiful eventually, always! I was stuck with a lot of loneliness for 3 years! During that time I didn’t do much but focus on my meditation practice and try to understand myself and life better. I used to be an addict also, which I will write and share more about as my own growth matures, and once this project has taken off more.

      Try spending more time out in the nature, even if it’s only one or two hours a day — it will help you tremendously!

  5. You lied to me there is nothing but loneliness I call the angels and god names to enter my life for my sake and to mere with god but nothing fucking happens I fucking done with this spiritual shit i have been spiritual since December 22 2012 the day after the so called mass big awakening, which was just a devil calling, I fucking hate archangel michael my love for him was never real because he is either a asshole or not real At all, nothing good comes my way EVER I feel totally abandon from so calle god and other highly spirits as well as abandon by my family I just really wanted love and light and money in my life so that I can change this world from its cruelty and stop the bad people in charge of this society and laws, but I just want to help them destroy it now, and it’s all GOD fought He DID this to me… for putting me here and don’t let me get started on my so called higher self which I just don’t believe in… You lied to me as well as the others

    1. James,

      to change the world, you have to change yourself. I am sorry you are struggling with this right now, but remember that being in this phase in your life is your biggest blessing. I am sure you have had days already where you feel divinely inspired, and very loving in your heart area. This is the process that many of us are going through right now. You’re not the only one, and I have struggled greatly over the last 4 years with dealing with my own shadow aspects, and beliefs that kept me from being my authentic Self. While spirit guides and archangels are certainly there, and in fact always with you, it’s also just as important to look inside of yourself and recognize the patterns that are making you feel frustrated and angry. Don’t be so hard on yourself and take things one step at a time. Don’t feel bad for taking time to yourself, it’s a gift not a curse. Love, light, money, all these things will naturally start to appear in your life once you make the choice of being patient with things, and understand that sometimes it takes a little time for you to get what you need in life, which often comes down to you making some adjustments in your life as well.

      What is it in your life right now, that is perhaps stopping you from fully connecting with your inner-voice? Reflect on that and take appropriate action. I wish you all the best, and know that everything will pass in due time.

  6. Dear Alex, thank you for this post. If I’m honest it mirrored half of my journey of loneliness but not all of it, maybe you could shed some light for me on the other half. I’ve spent a year and a half looking at myself, unfolding all the questions to why I was how I was and embracing my loneliness as a key moment in my life to growing and better understanding myself…. the trouble is it’s not bringing me any steps forward, I now feel like I’m stagnating in the same place, I’m still soul searching and applying all the lessons I’m learning about myself but relentlessly evening after evening I find myself alone. If you ever met me you would be shocked because I’m the most sociable person you could meet but I have yet to connect of find someone undertaking the same inner reflection as I. I don’t feel i can relate to anyone anymore though i still learn and remain open to anyone i meet…. no body gets it, everyone around me seems to be a drone and my perspective seem to leave people in awe but not on the same level … that’s the hard part.

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