For some unknown reason, or karma, I have led a fairly socially isolated life. It’s not that I sought out solitude and lack of support, it just seemed to naturally evolve that way for me. I can remember way back to my first social encounters as a very young child, and I was usually the odd one out. All the way into adulthood, I have usually been the one not included and left out. It wasn’t just socially that I frequently found myself adrift on my own. The theme of not belonging has manifested throughout all aspects of my life in spite of being in long term committed relationships. The upside of so much time alone, is that I have come to understand that loneliness is not something that can be healed by the presence of another person. Loneliness is a mirror that we hold up to ourselves asking to be seen. Seen by our souls, minds, hearts, and spirit. Solitude birthed another theme and huge gift in my life: personal growth and spiritual exploration.
As is usually the case, it took facing my feelings of inadequacy, lack of worth, and rejection to begin to forge a genuine relationship with myself. My continual efforts to expand my awareness, to grow and open spiritually, energetically, and psychologically, have forged a path. A path to a sense of inclusion. An awareness that I belong to something more than my physical environment and lifetime of experience. Even as I hit middle age, it was clear that I could not rely on external validation for support and comfort because it just wasn’t there. So, I had a choice. I could continue on with my pursuit of changing myself in order to be more accepted, or I could realize that I cannot control how another perceives me and accept myself first. This is no easy challenge, and it is one that I think will remain throughout my lifetime. However, I can say that I have found support, guidance, and a sense of belonging from spirit. I may still feel physically and socially isolated from time to time, but I rarely feel lonely.
Loneliness is not the same as missing someone. Loneliness implies a lack of satisfaction, fear of being alone, and pain due to separation from others. Separation anxiety, feelings of abandonment, and lack of worth can stand out when faced with being alone. However, it is separation from our own selves that create the root cause of suffering and isolation. How can another satisfy our yearning to feel complete when we do not feel complete on our own? Wanting another to ease pain and suffering that we can only heal ourselves is an unfair expectation to place on one another. And, it is ripe with opportunities to disappoint and blame. The energetic consequences are abundant due to unspoken desires and judgments that are sent out to one another. I know from experience that one can feel lonely in spite of being with someone, so it is not simply about physically being alone.
The more intimate and genuine my relationship with myself is, the deeper my relationship with spirit and beyond is. I have learned to rely on spiritual guidance and support. I try to befriend myself, and treat myself with the same loving kindness that I seek to reflect to others (naturally, I’m still working on that one too!). I rest in the peace and grace of knowing that I am never truly alone. I foster faith and trust in my ability to provide that which is mutually beneficial and life supportive in the most appropriate manner; even if that means isolation and lack of physical and social support.
These days, due to the energies that I sense, I sometimes wish I could be alone! Some days, it’s like a parade of beings passing by. Many I have disappointed and are seeking something that I cannot provide. Others, like spiritual guides and teachers, are abundant with light and well-being. Regardless of how we may feel, we are never truly alone. There is no true separation as we are all connected. Befriending our souls and authentic selves creates healing and wholeness. Loneliness evaporates. Light prevails.