Profound loneliness seemed to come out of nowhere one day.
Long gone were my days of isolation, my inability to climb out of my emotional cave—it had been years, since I wanted to run for cover. I had a full life, plenty of friends—both male and female—dates, growing my business in a new direction and I had wonderful clients.
I wondered, what was this loneliness? Had it come from the decision around marriage? I had decided that I really couldn’t see the point of marriage for myself for several reasons.
Perhaps, it was the finality of the decision?
I did not consciously recognize, I was cutting off opportunity by saying “no” to something that hadn’t even arrived on my doorstep. Stating my non-interest in marriage, I was offering myself a truth, rather than trying to fit into an ideal created by someone else or society.
Marriage didn’t resonate with me—after all, I was still saying yes to entering into a relationship with a man. I still desired deep connection and true partnership with a mate—just one without a contract.
I was confused—what was the source of this profound state of loneliness? Then it hit me. Could it have been the unavailability of true partnership, with myself?
How was I disrespecting my boundaries? How was I unalignment with acting in ways I want to live—rather than being stuck in autopilot? What was I doing that said “no” to me lacking self-love?
It became clear as I sat with it.
Often when we wake in the morning, we have a sense of dread, or anxiety or some other pain—slight or massive in weight.
In the past I attributed this to what was going on outside of me. I figured it was a situation or relationship that I didn’t want to deal with and yet, I noticed as things resolved outside of me, there was still a hint of feeling that all was not well.
Until the day I woke up with loneliness smacking me in the face.
I speak to many people who feel the same way, believing it is the circumstances outside of them, which are creating this unease—the feeling of the roof caving in or believing they are alone whether they’re in a relationship, or not, something that feels ominous, they may not see.
We may spend years trying to figure out how to fix the outside, so the inside feels better.
It won’t work, we remain lonely, until we become our own best partner. We stay stuck trying to fix the constant unwinding of life, the unforeseen and the blatant challenges, but it never impacts the inner relationship we have with ourselves.
I know this one well.
We create it, not just through actions of disconnecting and not communicating with others but first by disconnecting from our heart, our standards and desires.
Loneliness comes from our sense of lack. What we want may feel impossible, we feel victimized or not in control of ourselves and think this is the cause of loneliness. We feel our worth is small and we have to accept far less, leaving us clamoring to fill the empty void.
It’s a misperception we created many moons ago. The key to breaking out of the loneliness is in our hands, which is a relief and yet, requires our commitment too.
To move past this loneliness, into true partnership, means we are taking total responsibility for ourselves. At the same time, we can look at our relationships that are they providing mirrors into our souls?
Asking ourselves the following will help unearth the source of our perceived loneliness.
If we’re in an unkind or toxic partnership, where are we unkind and toxic to ourselves?
Often, our self-talk is as bad or worse than our mate’s words. We may feel we must be punished for all of our mistakes or perceived bad experiences, so we continue to stay where this is what we are fed.
What if we have a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable, isolates and keeps us guessing?
It’s time for us to look where we’re afraid to be hurt or how we isolate our true feelings by lying to ourselves and others. We may think we want change but what we want to change also changes from moment to moment, because in reality staying stuck in this paradigm keeps us in the familiar landscape. We stay lonely and don’t look at ourselves.
The gift is to tell the difference between what is right for someone else and right for us. Just because we want something, doesn’t mean someone else wants the same thing in a relationship.
Where do we feel misunderstood, victimized, and helpless to change anything?
Often, we don’t actually pay attention to what our heart wants. We are waiting to be rescued from our situation. We’re not respecting our dreams, our wants, desires and taking action to attain them, so we blame and stay in a victimized position. That way we won’t risk the unknown disappointment and stay where we are familiar with the pain.
If we want true partnership outside of us we need to get clear on what is going on inside of us. The more attention we give to our inner world and taking care of our business, the better we will feel and the loneliness we feel will decrease.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Tracy Crossley
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock