Getting Up Close and Personal With Loneliness


Imagine getting inside an elevator and the person who you would go out of your way to avoid, gets in behind you. All of a sudden, the elevator stops between floors and the internet connection has been lost. Pretending to use your phone to avoid the person is not an option (GRRRRR!!!!)

Now, what if the person you’re trying to avoid is someone who is with you 24/7 for life: yourself.

How do you keep running away from your worst enemy, if it’s you? It’s exhausting just thinking about it, isn’t it?

In today’s society, the moment most of us have free time with nothing to do, anxiety steps in and we seek some sort of distraction from being alone with ourselves. Whether it’s flipping through our smart phones, shopping, food or busyness or engaging in some colorful activity such as gossip, complaining, blaming and so on.

Why are we so afraid to be with our own company?

Is it because when we’re alone we feel lonely? And, the very thing we use as a distraction gives us a sense of meaning and belonging?

I’ll use myself as an example to explore these questions.

I’m not an expert on loneliness. From my own experience and talking with people from different cultures and backgrounds, I have come to realize that everyone at some point or another will feel lonely. This includes people with a very active social life, or a very successful career.

When Loneliness Strikes

I remember one of my dreadful encounters with loneliness. It was the first time my husband and I visited our dear friend in Morrogacho, Colombia. At first, being there took my breath away. We had a spectacular view of a deep green landscape of mountains. The silence was deafening, which sent a chill down my spine. I felt like a kid in wonderland, trekking along the trails in nature and admiring the magnificent sunsets.

Then, after five days, the clouds rolled in and the rainfall became heavier and heavier. The main road to the house and surrounding trails turned to heavy mud.

By the second day, my moment of awe turned into my worst nightmare. I was stuck in the house, with no internet, no TV and nothing to do but stare at the walls. The rain became the only thing I could think about; I complained about it and blamed it for my misery.

It was like fear came knocking at my door and said, “She’s not home. I’m breaking in.” Then, it invited all his negative friends for the biggest party ever in the space of my mind, my heart and soul. Let me tell you, it was one noisy party.

I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that it’s a good thing my husband and my friend were patients.

On the third day of constant heavy downpour, both of them approached me (as if walking on egg shells) to ask if I wanted to go to the market. One look from me and they both understood it was best not to insist that I go.

Right before they walked out the door, my friend said something that struck me like a bolt of lightning. “But we need rain. Nature needs rain. It’s what gives us life and lets nature blossom. That’s why we have this spectacular view.”

When Alone, Treat Yourself With Kindness And Understanding

I was left sitting alone on the couch, starring out the window at the dark sky and pouring rain. His words had brought my mind at a standstill. My attention completely shifted to inside myself. In that attention, it was like I showed up to break up the party and fear said, “Oh no! She’s back.” Then, it turned to his little negative friends and said, “Let’s get out of here; party’s over.”

In the silence of my mind, I had come to understand something deep about myself. The problem was not the rain. The darkness of the heavy clouds was not to blame for my loneliness.

I had used complaining and blaming the rain to distract me from facing the truth that I felt I was losing my worth and sense of being alive. I had nothing, absolutely NOTHING to do. So, how could I have been of any value if I wasn’t busy doing something?

In Nothing, You’re All One (Alone)

In this understanding, I felt a warm embrace around the root of my loneliness. I closed my eyes and was enthralled by the sound of the rain and my own breathing. I felt relaxed and absorbed with the beauty of doing nothing and enjoying it. And, I found comfort, security and peace with my own company.

I opened my eyes and looked out the window. I felt an immense joy to be there and was grateful to witness the magical, invigorating forces of nature. I had developed a more loving relationship with myself and with nature.

The rain continued for two more days. This time, I saw its beauty. When I accepted my emotions and let myself feel them, a beauty within myself shone through to where I was and what I was doing. I no longer needed to depend on my surroundings or any distractions to feel confident in my worth.

Yes, I’ve had other moments of loneliness since then. It’s not always easy and sometimes it can feel like a burden. But, I learned a wonderful lesson about moments of feeling lonely. It’s that:

Loneliness is your inner beauty trying to manifest itself. It needs your loving attention before it shines through your being.

I know it’s not a pleasant feeling. I know it’s easier to just numb it down with some external distraction. But, this relief is temporary. The more we run from it, the stronger it gets.

It’s not to say that we should sit on a couch all day and do nothing. Enriching our relationships and making new connections are vital to our well being. Our daily responsibilities and life’s work are important to keep thriving. But, it starts with building a loving relationship with ourselves.

Be Your Own Best Friend

Next time you’re alone, with nothing to do, try closing your eyes, pay attention to your breathing and feel whatever is going on inside.

Every time you do this, you give the pain of feeling lonely the attention it’s craving. Loneliness becomes an opportunity to take a deep dive into your soul and understand yourself, without judging or criticizing.

You deserve to give yourself this warm, kind attention and allow yourself to be heard and understood. And, you will never be frightened of being alone because you will be in the company of your own best friend.

When you build this loving relationship with yourself, you effortlessly build confidence in being yourself and discover what gives your life purpose.


  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
This entry was posted in Power to Let Go and tagged , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *