loneliness is the beginning of awareness
Loneliness is complicated. It can be a new city, new job, low self esteem, social anxiety, depression…sometimes it’s none of those things, and sometimes it’s all of them, sometimes it’s brief and sometimes it’s long lasting, sometimes it makes sense why and sometimes it doesn’t make any sense. It comes in very different forms thus there’s no clear definition nor a particular cause or cure.
It’s almost always referred to by the sadness that comes with the lack of human interractions. At least that’s what you find when you look it up on the internet, but it’s not entirely true. It can hit after a beautiful day spent with friends, and it’s not the kind of thing that goes away if you ignore it.
For me it was around the times when I was constantly surrounded by people. Although I always search for hashtag me time as an introvert survival instinct but I still feel incredibly lonely afterwards. Like some kind of void deep inside me. My brain suddenly decided to close itself off from the vulnerabilities and the messiness of relationships with other people. I imprisoned myself in those thoughts and feelings and I accepted it until that bubble became my comfort zone. I never knew why I was feeling all those things and I learned later that when you are feeling lonely you never know why and it seems like it doesn’t make any sense, but as soon as you finally come out of that bubble it makes perfect sense, because you simply were blinded by your loneliness, it makes you see life through a lense that doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.
It’s very hard to describe all of the above to other people when you can’t understand it yourself even when you desperately want to relate to someone other than yourself in order to feel less lonely. At the end how can we describe something that is so abstract and deeply complexe. We can also be hesitant to talk about it because how much does our pain even matter when there are people out there starving? And that in many ways is precisely the problem, because we don’t give ourselves the permission to openly talk about it, we don’t let ourselves have the vocabulary to. Even mentioning it implies failure and defeat.
The closest I got to understanding loneliness is knowing that it’s a consequence of living a life that is not alined with our authentic self. Doing something that we don’t really like, which makes us meet people who don’t have the same interests as we do and that creates a disconnect with our surroundings and perhaps even with ourselves. It gets more confusing when we try to talk ourselves into wanting what other people want just because it feels wrong not to want it and we should be grateful. We can feel lonely even if we were doing something we really liked, because we’re human. We live, we learn, we grow and we change. Sometimes we realize these things after we invest ourselves and our time in them. But it shouldn’t stop us from pursuing what we love at that time. I think that’s what makes life interesting….curiosity. The need for self exploration and the pursuit of mental clarity. It’s how we get to know our values, what brings us joy and what doesn’t, what scares us, where do we find peace and what are our priorities especially now that the speed of which things can suddenly end has never been more visibal. It might not be the case for other people and they will be just fine, and that’s why loneliness hits differently.
Here comes the importance of knowing yourself. If you don’t explore more of who you are you’ll get dragged along in life and you’ll end up in places where you don’t want to be leading a life to begin with. In fact life will be the one leading you in this case. Furthermore understanding yourself doesn’t only include knowing your qualities but also your flaws and the things you need to improve which helps understand other people and that just makes life so much easier. It doesn’t only make it easier to navigate through all the shallowness but it also welcomes to build deeper and meaningful connections with others.
What i’m going to add now is far from “revolutionary” but I think the key to beat loneliness is doing what we want to be doing not what we were expected to do trying to please others at the expense of our own happiness, make decisions based on what we want to make out of our days not on the sort of norm that everyone around us is trying to follow, whether it’s on a sociatal level or just in our families. We should know that there’s no accomplishment here, it’s a life long journey, and feelings of loneliness are just the beginning of awareness of how much of the life we want to live we’re living.