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.
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.