Loneliness is an interesting subject. What is it really? Sometimes there is nothing more appealing than a chunk of alone time and other times it seems like an unnatural torture brought about by the forces of evil. What is it that makes the difference? What is it that transforms dream state into nightmare time?
Hate to say it one more time, but it seems to be us. Coming home and being alone is a neutral experience. For one person it is a big sigh and for another it is a torture chamber. It is the attitude of the person that makes the difference.
My daughter and I have been talking about this a lot lately as she has recently ended a relationship and for the first time in several years, she is now living without the significant person that filled her nights and days in a very important way.
She is ready to write a book entitled “Being Single Sucks!” I, on the other hand am totally clear that nothing is more horrible than being in a relationship with the wrong person. I would way rather be alone, than be trying to tell myself that something so wrong is so right, while I am expending one more ounce of energy trying to ‘keep the beast at bay.’
So what is my point? Loneliness isn’t a state of condition, it’s a state of mind. When we know that we have chosen the alone state, either for integrity’s sake, for growth, for peace of mind or whatever else you might have desired; you need to remember that you created the current condition. You choose it and it really happened with your permission. If this is the case, then why not just reap all of the growth from the situation rather than going into victim and whining ad nauseam.
If you are suddenly alone there could be several reasons and potential outcomes for this state.
- You are now able to learn new things about your strength and capabilities.
- You are now able to give to yourself, nurture yourself and love yourself.
- You are being given time to work on growth and a very important life issue.
- You have time for introspection and growth.
Other reasons certainly exist and if you take a quiet moment and think it through, you’ll start to get in touch with them.
What is the ultimate difference between the possible dream state and the potential nightmare of alone time? I think it boils down to where your head is and how you spend the time. Obviously, even in this age of technology, there is only so much we can experience when we are totally alone. Physical contact is limited, and having a listening ear from a significant someone, is definitely impaired. So what is the good news? What is the upshot of this info?
Simple: We learn to lean on ourselves. We learn about our own capabilities. We lose our dependence on the opinions and values of others. We have the opportunity to really see who we are, what we think and what we are capable of doing.
If life has tossed you the ‘alone time raft’ then take it and make it beautiful. Think about all of my single mom clients who never have a spare minute alone, who are looking at years of raising children and prioritizing everyone else. If you are lucky enough to get to luxuriate in the tub via candlelight for hours on end, count your blessings, take a deep breath and appreciate what you have, because trust me, this too shall pass.
When life calls on you to be alone, use the time to rise up child, discover who you are. Get into gratitude, make plans with the girls, join the groups you always wanted to join and suck the juices out of the opportunity.
Do we learn more when we are in relationship with someone else? Is being a couple a greater learning platform than being single? I don’t know. I think maybe we don’t learn more…we just learn different.
Bottom line: Whatever life deals you; know that it is for your growth and highest good. You helped orchestrate it and you will grow from it. Yes, I know sometimes the only thing you can honestly exclaim is “Growing Sucks!” I have uttered the words myself; but ultimately even life’s worst experiences are for our good and our growth. Even though sometimes it’s tough, isn’t that why we came to planet earth. We’re all in this soup together!