Since I spend a lot of time on my own and I have not been in a relationship for a while, loneliness is something that has been brought to my attention recently. Being single in your mid thirties is more acceptable than it used to be but still, attending a wedding or festive occasions will swiftly remind you that there is something ‘strange’ about it, according to many.
There is something that I realised about this feeling. I do feel lonely from time to time. But it still can happen despite knowing that I have lots of friends or even being in a relationship. Any time that I feel particularly lonely, it is not any different circumstantially to when I do not feel that way. In fact the only difference really is what I am doing inside my head.
You see, being alone is something I am comfortable with. I like my own company and prefer it to being with people in many cases. But the truth is that when I spend too much time thinking, sometimes this leads me down a path which is not necessarily full of joyful thoughts and ideas. In other words, spending time by myself can go in one of two ways. Either I love it or I spend it dwelling on non-useful things.
Here is the point. If you feel lonely, first accept that the loneliness is not about your outside world. You probably have just as many people in your life who love you in both circumstances. It is about getting comfortable with yourself and not needing something outside of you to make things okay. The more you like spending time with yourself the less lonely you will be.
This means reminding yourself of how amazing you are, treating yourself to things that you like, taking care of yourself and being as great as possible. Recently when I felt this way, I did all that and it helped me so much in feeling better. My own advice paid off.
It paid off not because it is a clever ‘trick’ but because loneliness is a product of us feeling less connected to the world and to others. We must not forget that we are part of this world and starting with self-connection always helps. We can be alone and in those times that we feel lonely we can look to ourselves while reminding ourselves of the people in our life who love us and who we love. Sometimes it’s not about having more people in your life but appreciating and acknowledging the ones that already are there.
And if you are single, you can always feel the freedom of living life on your own terms while looking forward to the amazing feeling of being with someone whenever that happens. To me, all this is the answer to loneliness.