There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.
“Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.” - Dag Hammarskjold
“There is no company like loneliness to keep you from being at one with yourself.” - Unknown
I’m not sure why humans feel lonely. In my own experience, we are looking for an answer to the call of our hearts. That call may or may not be answered, in a way that may or may not be satisfactory. It’s why so many people with intimacy issues turn to sex – the immeasurable closeness of the act gives a brief recourse from being alone. Finally you’re one with someone else. Loneliness has to be a top ten fear for most people. It is unthinkable. Tom Hanks could barely get by in Castaway, and at least Will Smith in I Am Legend had the dog.
I find loneliness in so many people these days – my friends, my family, people on the street. Even myself, and I’m someone who has always thoroughly enjoyed being alone. I can be shut away with myself for hours. But at one point or another, we are all lonely, be it because you’re going through something no one else can understand, or away at NS, or by yourself in a strange city where even the weather is so uncomfortably foreign that you feel disconnected from the regular rhythm of life.
This blog is about recognizing feelings like this. But it is also about positivity. Positivity as an outlook changes you, because you notice the beauty in sadness, and turn that around to create a space of only real, unadulterated happiness. With that, here are my thoughts on taking loneliness to another level, where it is striking, it is to be embraced, and it is to be turned into something else entirely.
1. Everyone needs to wallow sometimes. Humans need to be self-indulgent. Loneliness in itself has a special kind of beauty. It’s oddly romantic, that wistfulness and yearning. Feel free to enjoy that for a while. It can even spur you to create. Honestly I like putting myself there, because it is when I feel the most, and where my thoughts can take a poignant shape for things like fiction or song covers.
2. But instead of staying in that negative place for too long, to the point where you start to believe it, know when to pull back. Know at which point you need to go watch a parody on Youtube or leave the house to surround yourself with outside life. Or just go to sleep. A lot of the time I’m just tired or cranky. The dawn of a new day can make yesterday’s problems seem ridiculously insignificant.
3. Eventually I think we need to come to grips with what loneliness represents – the fact that perhaps another person’s soul can never connect completely with yours. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I don’t believe it is necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it does make you feel utterly alone in some respects. In many. In most. Speech, song or art doesn’t convey a person’s soul – not really. Not in its entirety.
But if you look at it from a different perspective, well, the one person you will always be connected to is yourself. You will always know you. So if you’ve been left alone, well, you have yourself to keep you company. Think about it. You’re pretty interesting. Why rely on the presence of somebody else or many somebody elses to determine your level of happiness? If we realize that we can always count on ourselves, loneliness would effectively be eradicated. We would continue to desire others, because humans do like company. I’m not advocating a hermitical lifestyle. But just that you should get to decide if you’re feeling good. Actively decide to love yourself.
Frankly, I like spending time with myself. Peaceful solitude is something I seek. But of course, that’s not the same thing as loneliness. Yet by experiencing loneliness, and realizing that it is an internal feeling, you have the power to turn it into peaceful solitude any time you like. If it is internal, well, don’t you have the power to change it any time you want to? it doesn’t exist outside of your mind. A feeling is not who you are. A feeling is something that can pass, and something that can be utterly yours to control.
4. That peaceful self-time can be immensely productive as well. It’s the perfect chance to develop into a better version of yourself. Take up a new language, do things that your friends aren’t that into. Spend time thinking about who you would like to be.
5. Help somebody. You never know what loneliness is until you see someone down and out with no family, no friends, and no job. Is your situation really that bleak? It will also make you feel better for doing a good deed. I am strongly of the belief that a good deed makes you feel more at peace with yourself. Do a good deed that you want to do, and that fits in with your idea of what living a good life is, because if you take action without believing in it, it will not have the same ring of truth to it.
6. Just go ahead and talk to someone. Find a friend and let them know that you’re feeling lonely, and they’ll help you take your mind off of it. You’re probably not alone. Not really. Maybe they’re feeling lonely too. You don’t have to be all self-improve-y all the time. Friends are actually there for a reason. In the end, yes, you want to be independent, you want to be self-reliant. But you don’t have to get there by ignoring the fact that you have good people who will have your back at every turn.
7. Find someone new to talk to. It may or may not be successful. But it could open you up to new experiences and the way someone else lives their life, which is always interesting. Food for thought.
Loneliness is a universal emotion. There’s nothing wrong with that. Strive to be the best person you can be, but accept that nothing natural is perfect. What natural is, is an embracing of diversity and imperfection. But it shouldn’t rule you, and let you believe that you are worthless in any regard. Take time to affirm yourself, and even let your friends stroke your ego occasionally. Yes, you can master yourself, and your internal experience. Loneliness may be a universal emotion, but an emotion is never a circumstance. Understand that you can control that.
I can count on one hand the amount of people I’ve met that are really certain. I’m talking like certain of every aspect of their life, be it personal, academic, career-wise. And these are the people that really have my respect. Because nothing is more attractive than sureness. Sureness is intrinsically linked with self-confidence.
I mean, you can be sure about wanting to try this out, or this. Sure that you want to achieve x goal even if it is something as abstract as gaining inner peace. But being totally, unshakably certain is very, very rare.
It’s such a rarity because certainty is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever come across. Being the top student at whatever subject never meant that I knew I would do well for exams. Just because I love singing doesn’t mean I know if I’m particularly good. It can (and does) feel like everything is that little smidge out of reach. What decision will be the best one to get you what you want? The one that makes the most sense may not be the most fulfilling or rewarding etc.
And that’s hard. Teenagers are especially prone to this, being at a stage where they have to transition into adulthood, where decisions have longterm ramifications. But even after, so many just float through life, never hitting the mark hard enough. Never being certain.
I am well on my way to achieving certainty. Not the ideal yet, but on several occasions it has worked out very well.
1. Visualize, visualize. I always revert back to this point, but I can’t stress how well it works. The images trick your subconscious into believing that it is the truth, and once the subconscious holds it as truth, it goes after your goals in any way it can. I also hold the belief that the universe hears you, and picks up on your vibrations. It is essential to find solitude, at least twice a day. Otherwise you would most likely never find the inner quiet you need to really make it real for you. Imagine how every detail looks, feels, smells, and most importantly, invest in the emotional aspect. Feel that overwhelming joy at the result. On of the definitions of certainty is inevitability, and that which is destined to occur. If you can make the future real to your subconscious, make it a fixed fact, I believe you can make the future yours.
2. But a lot of people don’t know what to aim for in the first place. This is okay too. So try asking yourself what you really want. I like entering deep meditation to experience a higher version of myself, where the experience is saturated by such a deep sense of familiarity and safety that you exit it with an answer that you knew could only have come from deep within yourself. You don’t need to seek it from an external source, because you should know yourself best.
3. If the above doesn’t work for you, making a practical pros and cons list does well too. I like writing things down, it makes everything clearer. However, I am a person who likes to feel their decisions, so I’m more inclined to soul search and do what feels right. If this other approach feels good, then roll with it. Then go on to make a decision after allowing yourself time to hee and haw.
4. Research. Use The Google Machine to see what other people have done in similar cases. Just maybe not Yahoo! Answers.
5. Talk through it with people that you trust. There’s always that one friend you can turn to for sound advice. Maybe a couple of them will help you get different perspectives as well. I know on a lot of occasions you don’t want to burden other people emotionally, or feel like you shouldn’t broadcast the most intimate parts of yourself (that came out oddly), but friends are there for a reason. It is healthy to have friends, and it isn’t healthy to bottle things up with only your own mind to overanalyze the situation. Your friends may even surprise you. They know you pretty well, and the suggestions they have could be so correct and obvious that you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. Or perhaps you did, but it takes someone else to voice it and make it concrete for you to realize it’s the right course of action.
6. This might be a revolutionary concept, and seem like circular logic, but just decide to be certain. Tell yourself, “I am certain.” This is a bit like the visualization, except that all you have to do is state it as a simple fact in your head that you will be certain about x. This is foolproof. It is not about the outcome of the situation, but that overwhelmingly sure knowledge that you will make a concrete decision, and that it will be the right one. It’s a feeling of certainty that you want to achieve, which can be the most powerful and essential thing that you require to make the calls about the details. Turn on the certainty switch within yourself, and just decide to stop being unsure. There is no thinking to be done. Decide to be certain.
7. A combination of all of these things should work. They’re not meant to be used individually, although you can pick and choose based on how you function as a person. Perhaps you are more down to earth, and not into my sort of New Age mentality. But the more measures you use, the greater the chance of success. And why close yourself off to one option when it could very well work for you in ways that you never expected?
What you want to get is the rock-solid sense of self-belief that you can sense in certain people. They aren’t necessarily gifted because of circumstance. It might help. But you can change your circumstances if you believe for a fact that everything is going to work out for you. The reaching of your goals become indisputable. Your sense of self becomes unquestionable.
I’m not entirely there yet, but I will be. That is definitely for certain.
Look within, thou art the Buddha.
A positivity blog centred on achieving inner peace. I talk about empowering yourself to live a vibrant, holistic life, as the choice is yours to make. Meditate deeply, and often. Once you find yourself, you find the key to happiness.
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