A Psychologist Explains The Real Reason You're Lonely & How To Love Being Alone
With the challenge of social distancing, many people now have to spend time alone, and many are having problems with it. We are social beings, and we are meant to connect with each other both physically and emotionally, so of course it's very challenging for many, especially extroverts, to be alone.
Yet it's vitally important for all of us to be able to be alone with ourselves and still feel peaceful and full within.
The true secret to beating loneliness.
While connection with others is very important, even more important is connection with ourselves—our soul—and with our higher power. It's this inner connection that takes away the inner feeling of loneliness and emptiness. In fact, without this inner connection, even connecting with others can leave you feeling alone and empty, which is one reason people turn to addictions such as food, alcohol, drugs, TV, social media, and so on.
Self-abandonment is the true source of feelings of aloneness and emptiness. It happens when you ignore your feelings, judge yourself, numb with various addictions, or hope someone else will take responsibility for your feelings. When you focus on truly connecting with yourself rather than abandoning yourself, you might discover that you actually enjoy being alone.
Sometimes people feel this inner connection with meditation, yet often when they are done meditating, they again feel the alone and empty feeling of inner disconnection. With social distancing, it's important to be able to maintain your inner and spiritual connection all day.
How to create your inner connection.
You can do this at any time. You don't need to be sitting in meditation or doing nothing to start practicing inner connection.
Tune into your feelings.
Take some deep breaths and shift your focus from your mind and into your body. Get present in your body and scan your body, noticing any tension, tightness, numbness, emptiness, or fluttering anywhere. Breathe into these feelings.
Instead of trying to avoid any of your difficult feelings, move toward them, imagining that they are your inner child—your feeling soul self—communicating with you through feelings. Feelings other than peace and fullness inside—such as anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, or emptiness—are the way your soul lets you know that you are abandoning yourself.
Recognize the ways you are abandoning yourself.
Ask yourself what you're telling yourself and how you are treating yourself—how you are abandoning yourself. What self-abandoning actions or beliefs do you have that are causing you to feel disconnected from yourself? Allow the answers to come from within—from the less-than-peaceful feelings.
Visualize your higher self.
Once you understand what you are doing to self-abandon, visualize your higher power or an older, wiser aspect of yourself, your higher self. Ask, "What would be loving to me right now?" Open and listen for the answer.
The answer might not come immediately, but if you stay open, the answer will come. Spirit is always here guiding us in our highest good, and opening to learning with your higher guidance will eventually let you know that you are never alone—that you are always being guided toward your highest good.
This is so helpful in learning to love being alone.
Take the actions guided by spirit.
This might mean starting to do something creative: writing, drawing, inventing. It might mean listening to beautiful music. It might mean going out in nature, if you can do so safely. It might mean catching up on work. It might mean playing with a pet or even getting a pet. It might mean reaching out virtually to connect with loved ones or help someone else. It might mean looking to what we're eating to see how we can better support our immune system.
There is much to learn about what is loving to you, and what better time to learn it than now? You will also find that the more you learn to connect with yourself and your higher guidance, the more you will find joy in connecting with others virtually. This is because, instead of trying to get your emptiness filled, you are already filled with love and can receive great joy from sharing your love with others.
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Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of nine books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God? and her recently published book, Diet For Divine Connection. She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding.