How to Transform Loneliness into Joyful and Inspired Solitude
In today’s busy world, where cities are getting bigger and bigger, where we can easily travel to every location around the globe, where we are working in big open spaces and are surrounded by lots of people, amidst all the noise, we are getting more and more lonely.
How come? I often hear my friends say something like “I need someone to spend my evenings with,” “I get so lonely,” or “When will my girlfriend/boyfriend finally arrive?” I know many people my age who still haven’t found their life partner (I’m 34 at the time of writing) and are looking for him or her. And the “looking” is often accompanied by emotions of impatience, unworthiness, shame, guilt, or even fear. We compare ourselves with other people; we doubt or blame ourselves for not being “good enough,” and so on. We dream of a time when we won’t be as lonely anymore, but will instead have a loving partner next to us with whom we can share beautiful moments, go on vacations, and ultimately enjoy our lives more fully.
Well, that is quite an illusion. Nothing in the external world has the power to satisfy us and make us happy for long — be it the most magical and wonderful intimate partner (which they never are, being mere humans, as we find out after we start living together and everyday life sets in again). The feelings of loneliness and the ever-present underlying neediness and incompleteness are not just a result of us spending an evening on our own. Without someone beside us.
The main reason loneliness and negative emotions exist in us is that we haven’t been truly connected with ourselves and haven’t even BEEN ourselves.
I still vividly remember some moments from a couple of years ago. It was a time at the beginning of a loving relationship and I was overflowing with all the strong, beautiful emotions that usually accompany such periods. And yet I clearly remember certain moments, when I suddenly felt the need to spend time on my own — whether just to have a walk in the park or to spend a few days in the mountains. I recall that, whenever I decided to do so, my partner couldn’t really understand and found it odd — after all, we had been falling in love with each other, had just started living together, and wanted the two of us to spend more time together.
And yet these moments of solitude felt so right, so full of life and joy. I remember strolling through the park and, with each step, moving more deeply within myself. I was totally immersed in the moment, not missing anything — surrounded only by vibrant sounds of nature and blissful sights. The mundane had faded away completely. I was no longer occupied with my intimate relationship, and even forgot I had one. In these moments I knew who I was so clearly and it felt good — there were no thoughts running through my mind but just a sense of deep inner peace. I was rooted in the core of my being — from where complete harmony arose. If I have to define this state of being in any way, I should say it is the farthest away from loneliness. Yes, indeed I was away from anybody and only by myself, and yet I was whole and complete like never before.
So do we feel loneliness because there is nobody in our lives at the moment or because we have not discovered or have lost touch to this vital dimension within, from which true joy and love arise?
Too often our minds take us over and sabotage us by dwelling in interpretations, judgements and labels of people, events, and situations. They may project negative mental images of us as victimized, lonely, and unhappy. Instantly then, this gives rise to corresponding emotions and further pain and accumulations from the past. But is all this actually REAL? Are we able to not identify with and completely lose ourselves in those thoughts and images? If we are, what else is left there?
Through acknowledging and saying yes to the reality of this moment we can transform the “loneliness” and “victimhood” into joyful solitude. But what is the reality? It is quite simple! It is not the STORIES and coloring of the mind, it is much more immediate and direct. It consists only of the present moment and entering it more fully has the potential to liberate us. What do I mean by that? Try to find out for yourself now…
What is HERE and NOW for you at the moment of reading?
While you are looking at your laptop or phone you are either sitting, standing, or lying somewhere. Breaths are coming in and out of the body. You may be able to sense your clothes touching your skin or where the chair supports your bottom and back. Feel all sensations that are there in a relaxed but alert way. Be fully present. Notice all the sounds arising near you or in the distance and the silence which surrounds them. See how they spring from and dissolve back into complete silence. If thoughts appear in your mind notice them but let them flow in the background not drawing your attention.
Do you feel lonely at this moment?
Probably not, especially if you were able to tap into a deeper dimension and lose your restlessness for a moment. What you don’t realize is that it is possible to always be rooted in the deeper dimension and live your life from there. Then suddenly life becomes more pleasant and joyful and you don’t need anything else external to make you feel complete. And then, probably a beautiful soul will arrive one day into your life and share the journey with you. But that is only a secondary addition to the ultimate joy of living in connectedness with Oneness. In your innermost essential nature, you know you are whole and complete already.