We receive hundreds of emails and messages online weekly from our lovely community members about topics they would like to learn more about. I love reading these messages. So often, what you all crave to read, tends to be issues and lessons, I, too, am working on, and of course, love to share how I maneuver it all with you.
Recently, I’ve read many messages about the topic of loneliness, and how to be okay being alone. This topic is HUGE for me. I think, if I had to compare, I’ve spent more time alone, then most people. For some reason, that’s just how my life has worked out. I grew up as an only child, so I often played in my room alone. Even in adulthood, life has presented these voids of human contact, so for a long, long time I thought this meant that there was something wrong with me. That it made me unwanted or unloved or unenjoyable to be with.
Feeling lonely is one of the most difficult feelings to process and to work through, I believe. There’s a feeling of lack, of exclusion, of unworthiness, that encapsulates you, and because you are, in fact, alone, it’s up to you to get yourself out of it. I can recall many nights where I’ve felt incredibly lonely, and allowed myself to stew in all those messy feelings, which of course made me feel that much worse. There was no power in my loneliness, only pity.
The truth of the matter now is, I really love to be alone. I crave alone time, I schedule it into my life, and if I don’t have enough of it (for my standards) I feel wonky and out of sorts. When I learned to differentiate between feelings of loneliness and the power of my own solitude, I shifted from judging my alone time to craving it.
Before I could differentiate, I would stave off being alone, for fear of the feelings that would come with it, and I would often get myself in to circumstances with people who I simply was not aligned with. So even though I ended up not being alone, the lingering feelings of loneliness persisted inside of me.
Our power is that we can make choices and we can choose who, how, and where we spend our time and energy. I can now choose to be with people who make me feel alive rather than invisible, I can join communities that are aligned rather than resistant, and I can also choose the pleasure of my own company because it’s nourishing and satisfying, not depressing and uncomfortable.
In cultivating a deep relationship with ourselves, our needs, and our emotions, we develop a knowing for when we need to be alone, and when we need to be around loved ones, and then we can act accordingly. The power is in the knowing and in the subsequent action. If you’re feeling lonely and misunderstood, get creative in your community. If you feel depleted by your social calendar, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and start to revel in your own company.
There is peace in my life, knowing this difference, and I wish that so much for all of you.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org