Finally, I stopped, and there it was, that dreaded feeling of loneliness. That feeling I kept running away from by filling my days with work and training, and stuffing the gaps with emails and facebook.
It took me almost by surprise. Suddenly there was no work obligation, no study to be done. Plans got cancelled. My agenda was empty. In the space created, facebook could no longer fulfil the longing I had to connect physically, intimately, joyfully.
As I felt the emotion rising I flashed through a list of people in my mind wondering who I could reach out to, to make a plan, to fill the gap. I reached for the chocolate!
As the sense of loneliness sank deeper, tears rolled down my face. A tiny voice inside cried, “poor me, on my own again, what’s wrong with me.” I felt a vast emptiness within me. It hurt. And yet oddly, at the same time, I was aware of the exquisite purity of the emotion running through me and I could enjoy how deep I was feeling.
Many of us spend a lot of energy hiding from loneliness and avoiding the dark emptiness where life seems to have no meaning. Much of the time it seems we are completely unaware of and stubbornly resisting this driving force behind our actions. We cleverly mask the fear with busyness, social events and giving more of ourselves to ensure we feel needed.
There is no shame in feeling lonely. We all feel it at times. We can be surrounded by loving people and still feel lonely. Other times we can be totally alone and not feel lonely at all. I believe that to feel lonely is to be human and a beautiful emotion that allows us to connect to our true social nature and longing for connection.
Daring to feel the loneliness
What would happen if you stop next time you notice the loneliness creeping in and allow yourself to feel that vast emptiness within you, just for a moment?
For me it feels like dropping into an abyss. My heart sinks painfully inward. I feel hollow, vulnerable, like I am this tiny soul, alone, crouched in a ball of despair on the floor of infinite emptiness. My mind plays games with me – how I’ve created my suffering.
But then as I let go into that space, rather than fight it or fall victim to it, I find myself surrendering to its grandeur. I gradually start to connect to the power and longing of my open heart. I start to realize the immensity of the space, like a blank canvas, ready to receive whatever colours, forms and patterns I dare to co-create with life. Suddenly I am aware of infinite possibility. The space transforms from hollowness to creative potential and freedom and I bask in joyful awareness.
Inevitably, this is closely followed by a slap of fear and limiting beliefs! And I’m back! The emotion has moved freely through me but I have touched my Soul, I have felt my depths, I have connected to my longing. If I dare, I have the internal fire to take inspired action.
Let the loneliness move you
It is important not to linger in your pain body, wallowing in victimhood, drowning in the drama. Sometimes we can get addicted to this. That’s not healthy either.
Feel the emotion fully in your body with a sense of curiosity. Love it for what it is, pure emotion, without analysing it. Let it move freely through you like a wave and let it go naturally. Let your emotions actually move you. To be in your body at the same time as to witness the big picture is the practice. And I admit, it is not always easy!
Get clear on the longing that arises out of your open heart.
Send that longing out to the universe in whatever way you like (a silent prayer, a journal post, acknowledging it and sharing it with someone, an offering….).
Use the fire of your longing to take one immediate inspired action step. Courageously step out of your comfort zone. This may be to dare to express your loneliness and vulnerability to another. Ask specifically for the support you need from others. Get some proper hugs. Follow the longing to actively create authentic, heart open, joyful relationships and community.
Re-commit to honouring your inner guidance system, your truth, your Soul wisdom (i.e. by following it).
Meeting your Soul
To connect with ease and grace to your loneliness, I believe, is to meet your Soul. I’ll say that again, so that you can read it slowly!
To connect with ease and grace to your loneliness, I believe, is to meet your Soul.
Perhaps then we no longer need to fear and run in circles to avoid the emptiness. We can even enjoy it, knowing the power it has to inspire us and ignite our true heart’s longing, the basis for all manifestation.