Dealing with Loneliness, Whether You’re Single or Not
Why You’re Not Alone in Feeling This Way and How to Go Through It
Have you been experiencing feelings of loneliness lately? You’re not alone.
The word itself has such a dreary feeling. Lonely. Alone. Lonesome.
But what I’ll be talking about in this post isn’t that. In this post, loneliness is the completely normal state of mind and heart that comes about when you realize no one is experiencing your reality exactly like you are.
Your day to day life, your experiences, your inner thoughts, your whole journey are observed by the divine awareness that is you and can be experienced by no one else.
For others to be a part of it, relate to it, and empathize with it, we use a vehicle called language. And so much richness and depth can be lost during that translation. After all, our hearts can feel the universe and back, but our words are sometimes two dimensional. Just like you see on this page.
I’ve been feeling this way lately, even though I have a loving relationship, a close family, and a circle of friends I trust (although I haven’t seen family or friends as often as I would like because of the global COVID-19 situation).
What I’m trying to describe here is part of being alive. It’s a shared human experience. Some are extremely gifted with the skills of connection. Where someone can so fully describe how they are feeling and thinking, bringing what is unseen to be seen. Same with people who are gifted storytellers. The receiver can really get inside the plot, like they were living it too.
This past week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the upcoming retirement of my parents to Canada. They’re going to be full time grandparents in Calgary. It’s the first time I’ve ever been more than a two hour drive from my parents and I’m 31 years old. I’ve always felt comforted by the idea that if I wanted to see them, I could easily drive up and be there before the length of a normal movie is over. My mom is moving at the end of this month and my dad sometime in the spring next year, and it really started to hit me. It felt like an invisible cord was being softly tugged at. Like the remaining attachments I held on to as a child were somehow still there. I’ve done so much inner work around my childhood, my relationship with my parents, and everything in between. I still do. I say things have never been more peaceful than they are now. I guess I can say I’m ready for this change. But I definitely shed a lot of tears one night last week, feeling the reality of change.
I spoke to my younger brother and tried to describe how I was feeling. He shared that he went through this detachment process earlier than I. And that he’s on the other side of it now.
I think what makes humans feel “un-lonely” is knowing people who make them feel like home. To me, that’s my family and my boyfriend, his family, and a handful of friends. Each one sees me in their own way, and I see them. Not one person plays every single role. As a collective, they feel complete. And yes, I still feel lonely at times in the sense that my divine awareness is my own and no one else’s. Maybe on the other side, when our earthly and limited bodies are no longer keeping us boxed in, we will all finally feel completely connected and the overwhelming sense of love will be the very vibration making up the atmosphere. Until then, I feel glimpses of that love in the most simple of moments, and continue to walk the road.
How do you deal with the loneliness that is a beautiful part of the human experience?
Create Shared Meaning
Creating shared meaning is one of the best ways to live through loneliness. To me, what this means is making sense of your life, your path, your goals, and your reason for living, and ideally sharing that with someone else, so you can both live that out together. I feel like this is what people want when they get married- someone to build shared meaning with. But, it’s not only for romantic relationships. If you find yourself single in this season of life, you can create shared meaning with yourself and for yourself, while sharing your ideas and heart with people you trust. So it becomes your own promise to yourself right here and now, with a trusted person as your witness. Not only does the other serve as your accountability, they can also be there to celebrate with you in the fulfilment of dreams, desires, and hopes, and will also be there in the darkest moments. This isn’t limited to a life partner in the marriage sense. This can be a friend, a family member, a mentor, or really anyone you feel good walking alongside.
Live Everyday Moments with People
Just like creating shared meaning, you also get through loneliness by living everyday moments with others. I am on a group chat with my younger brother and his girlfriend, in a chat with my boyfriend, one with my family, with my boyfriend’s family, and a couple friends. These are the day to day moments- photos, articles, videos, cute puppies, interesting Reddit threads, latest news, interesting ideas, inspiring stories, talks about TV shows, music, and movies, and so much more. These make my day. You get to be involved in each other’s lives without needing to be in the same place. I love details. Sharing all the little things that happen can make you feel so supported, listened to, and loved. I know nothing beats face to face interaction. But when that’s not really possible, FaceTime, phone calls, and texts are the next best thing.
Be with Your Divine Self
Aside from sharing everyday moments with people, the most healing way to get through loneliness is by getting to know your divine self. The part of you that is one with God. Discovering the more mysterious and hidden depths of you is something everyone does at some point in time. Some go through it younger and some later in life. Sometimes it happens when you go through something life threatening, you lose someone, you experience tragedy, you go through a spiritual awakening, you reach the highest highs of life, you overcome adversity, you have children, or some other really impactful event. Some of the most magnificent people to observe, listen to, and be with, are those who spend time with their divine self. You can see the level of love, acceptance, ease, and flow in their life. This amount of love and “okay-ness” is so contagious, it makes you simply relax and settle in. That’s who I hope to be. In the process of becoming, I spend my alone time getting to know my divine self, unpacking all the dogmatic layers instilled in me from my upbringing and my cultural and societal influences. It’s quite an adventure… one that requires no plane ticket or advanced planning. Just stillness.
I know the pangs of loneliness will still come up from time to time. Even when my house is full. The sweetness that remains is knowing that this is a shared human condition. And you can get through it by creating shared meaning, living your everyday moments with people, and being one with the divine.
Thank you for reading this and I hope you walk away feeling more seen and known. For more support on your journey, subscribe to my emails here.