Everyone who feels alone has their own justification as to why they think that is. The good news is, regardless of your own justification, the solution is still the same.
What you will not learn here is the typical outside-in approach such as making friends or building relationships with others. Although that is important, it is not the foundation.
In the inside-out approach we will focus on you, and you only. However, I will admit, there’s one little surprise at the end that doesn’t involve you.
The perspective of a cancer caregiver, here’s my reason for feeling alone
When I first started dating Allie (my wife), she had already had chronic Leukemia for 9 years. I had very little experience in understanding someone with cancer up until then. I mean, my grandmother had a brief run-in with breast cancer, which she survived thankfully, but I was not part of the inner workings of what went on behind closed doors.
Once I started dating my wife there were no doors, they were blown off. I witnessed an entire roller coaster of emotions in a world that I had yet to understand. I had to lose my identity of who I thought I was in order to start becoming a new person, one that can understand this all-new world.
It was during this transition period of losing one identity and moving toward another, which at that point you could call the unknown, that I started getting very confused about who I was.
“Why do I feel so lonely?”
All I knew is that I was very uncomfortable, I was starting to view the world differently, and I felt like the only person who could understand me at that point was an older work colleague at the time who had lost two wives due to cancer. I am very grateful for this person to this day. Unfortunately, I would still feel lonely.
I would attempt to talk to my family and friends and walk away feeling completely and utterly alone. They were still living in the world I used to live in. Although I could understand the world their thoughts were coming from, having lived there most of my life, I felt they could not understand the new world I was living in, and I could not blame them as thankfully they had not had to endure what I had up to that point.
I was feeling alone and quite frankly I didn’t know how to be alone without feeling lonely. I felt like I didn’t really belong
That has all changed now though, and I will explain how you can get there too.
To this day I still feel most people don’t understand me or how I see the world, but I no longer feel alone
Are you asking yourself “why am I so lonely?”
Human beings are social creatures, we crave social contact with others. This is perfectly fine until you use this social contact as a form of self-acceptance, relying on others to accept you or understand you in order for you to accept yourself.
Without self-acceptance, you will feel like you don’t belong, you feel rejected by society.
What happens when you feel like you don’t belong? You start to feel very lonely.
When you don’t have a strong foundational relationship with yourself you will see others’ misunderstanding of you or lack of interest in you as rejection. When the truth is that if someone doesn’t understand you or is not interested in you, and THAT IS OK, it does not mean there is something wrong with you.
The relationships you have with others are only as strong the relationship you have with yourself
Here’s how to not feel so lonely
What I did, and what I suggest you start with is cultivating a loving and accepting relationship with yourself. Once you have this, you have the foundation to build loving and accepting relationships with others. Even if you don’t, you will always have a loving relationship with yourself, you will never feel lonely again.
It is having a loving relationship with yourself that will allow you to be alone without feeling alone
This a path you must go down with an open mind. I can tell you from personal experience, there is nothing more rewarding or exciting than truly getting to know yourself. Self-discovery is a fluid lifelong journey, you are always transforming. What you want one day you may not want the next, and that too is OK.
If this gets you wondering what you should do with your life then I suggest you start with the following post as you will come across questions that will initiate this process for you. What Should I Do With My Life?
Here’s what to do when you’re lonely
This may sound extremely simple but I urge you not to overestimate the power of its’ simplicity. Nothing in life HAS TO be complicated or complex.
What I suggest you do when you’re lonely is start spending quality time with yourself
Quality time does not consist of mindless activities such as watching t.v, surfing the web, returning texts or emails, or any other mindless distractions that take you away from being fully present with yourself at that moment.
So what do I mean by quality time?
I mean nourishing your soul and nurturing your relationship with yourself. This could be:
Something that reminds you of the infinite love that always resides within you.
Something that reminds you of the infinite joy that always resides within you.
Something that reminds you of the infinite peacefulness that always resides within you.
For example, some things I personally do to nourish my soul are meditation, read books on topics I’m passionate about, spend time with my dog, write, workout, and Yoga. I workout 3-4x/wk and the rest I do daily.
What are you currently doing to nourish your soul and nurture your relationship with yourself?
If you feel you are currently spending quality time with yourself yet you still feel alone then it would be a good idea to re-evaluate how you are spending your time with yourself.
Does what you’re doing when you spend time with yourself remind you of the infinite love, joy, and peace that reside within you?
Are you 100% present during the time you spend with yourself?
If you answered no to either one of these then it is time to make an adjustment.
How well do you know yourself?
Do you know what reminds YOU of the infinite love, joy, and peace that reside within you?
Who were you as a child?
If not, then think back to when you were a child. As a child, you were on a self-discovery mission daily. Your mind had yet to be contaminated by all the worldly influences surrounding you on a daily basis.
When you were a child, think of all the things you did with your alone time that you absolutely LOVED to do, things that brought you immense JOY, and things that made you feel at PEACE during your toughest childhood memories.
You are still the same person as you were then, the only difference is that now you feel separate from yourself like you’re a stranger to yourself, hence the loneliness you feel. Who wouldn’t feel alone living with a complete stranger that you feel doesn’t understand or know you? You are that stranger to yourself.
Self-discovery can be fun or frightening – it’s up to you
I can assure you from personal experience, a journey of self-discovery can be very fun and enlightening. The best part, you control which one it’s going to be depending on which thought you choose to believe.
Self-discovery is fun once you realize any frightening thoughts you may come across are just thoughts, they aren’t you
One last thing…Get a pet
My dog loves me unconditionally every single day, no matter what. He does not judge me, he always present, and he accepts me for who I am. We can all learn many things from our pets if we just observe their approach to life.
Additionally, a pet will bring you a sense of companionship while you work on developing a deep loving relationship with yourself.
Enjoy your journey of self-discovery and never feeling alone again!
I encourage anyone to share their experiences with loneliness in the comment section below, you will not be judged I can assure you that.
Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.