Don’t be afraid of loneliness

It seems instinctive that loneliness arises because we do not spend enough time with others. However, the real cause of loneliness is often that we don’t spend time with ourselves. This isn’t so much a question of how much time we spend alone, but a question of how we view this time. If we are always looking for a distraction, something to do, something to remove us from that simple state of just being, then we are bound to keep getting lonely.

So much anxiety could be avoided if we were to simply realize that being with ourselves isn’t all that bad. Instead of constantly fighting loneliness and boredom, trying to think of something to keep them at bay, try to just relax and accept these feelings. It can be a pleasant surprise to discover that then they pass very quickly, and a feeling of peace descends.

Loneliness, like boredom, does not just arise as a result of who we spend time with and what we do. It arises as a result of that sense of lack, the idea that our current situation is somehow not satisfactory, that something is missing. As long as those thoughts are present, loneliness will persist, even when we do have the company of others. When we discover that nothing is missing, that there is nothing that we have to do, then we can relax and feel complete. Do not fear loneliness and do not try to avoid it. Just accept it, be comfortable with it, and watch it pass.

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  1. Dealing with loneliness said,

    July 25, 2008 @ 9:01 am

    […] Loneliness results from a sense of lack. Usually, we make the mistake of believing that some specific condition is necessary to relieve it. Thus we have thoughts such as “I am lonely because I do not have friends”, “I am lonely because so-and-so doesn’t like me”, or “I am lonely because my husband doesn’t spend enough time with me”. The more that we focus on the perceived cause of our loneliness, the more that we amplify this sense of lack. For example, if we constantly focus on the fact that we do not have a partner, then we are constantly telling ourselves that something is missing. In this way, the loneliness is escalated. We make it seems like a bigger deal than it really is (see Don’t be afraid of loneliness). […]

  2. Aaron Agassi said,

    January 13, 2009 @ 2:49 am

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