The first thing Rich does when he gets home is turn on the TV and grab a beer. Jan leaves her computer running so that she can check her email as soon as she walks in the door. Five days a week, Joe hurries home so that he can change his clothes and meet friends; his other 2 days are filled with frantic activity and nightly parties. Lindsey leaves music playing all day so that when she opens her door she does not have to face silence.
What do all of these people have in common? Loneliness. They avoid quiet, alone time at any cost. In the silence, thoughts emerge that are painful, disconcerting and frightening.
Loneliness is something that we all experience. We felt it for the first time as a baby, when we were left alone in our bed. It came again as a child when all our friends wanted to be with someone else, and again as a young adult leaving home to be on our own.
For some of us, it comes more frequently. You may experience it when you want to be with someone who is not available. Perhaps it hits you when others have something you want, but do not have yourself. That feeling of loneliness can strike even when you are surrounded by others.
Loneliness is a Part of Life That Cannot be Avoided
People usually avoid being alone. When you are by yourself, there are no distractions to prevent you from seeing inside of yourself, and many do not like what they see. It's a time when you could feel shame about who you are, grieve broken dreams, and listen to the criticism leveled on you from your Harsh Inner Critic. You believe the messages without question because they have been there all your life.
Many people look inside and find no self, no sense of worth, and no meaning. They think they see emptiness, when what is actually there is a dark hole filled with pain and self-deception. The self-deception says, “I am worthless and I have no meaning.” This is a lie that comes from childhood and is manufactured and populated by the Harsh Inner Critic.
What Can You do When You Feel This Way?
There are no easy answers. Changing this perception and belief takes work and time, but it can be done.
To put in simple terms, the perception is changed by connection. Simple yet very, very complicated. It begins by making a connection with yourself.
Complicated because it means you have to face the feelings inside and get to know your true self, not the self whom you have been told you are and whom you believe yourself to be.
Questioning Negative Messages
It means you begin to question all the negative messages you have about yourself, question all the negative feelings you have about yourself, and find new perceptions about who you are. In order to feel connected, you need to feel heard, understood and that someone cares about you. In the process of learning to know yourself, like yourself and even love yourself, you must first hear yourself which means you have to cut out the noise and the distractions long enough to listen.
Yes, it will be painful, because you are going to have to wade through the old painful, untruthful stories you have inside so that you can hear the truth of who you are.
You do this by listening to the messages inside but not believing everything that they say. Think of how you act with that friend who tells you stories about themselves you know are not true. Treat these messages with the same skepticism.
How to Begin
The best way to begin this process is to keep a journal. As you listen to the messages from inside, write them down. When you try something new, listen to how you feel and what you think. When you participate in an old activity, pay attention in a new way. Be with friends or acquaintances in a way that sees the interactions with new eyes.
Write it all down without judgment. Don’t try to tell a great story or write a wonderful article. Instead, allow yourself to write using phrases or sentence fragments, draw a picture or paste something that grabs your attention.
You are collecting evidence to tell you about the things that are missing inside of yourself. It will be an adventure. Need help in your search? I can help, call me at: (919)881-2001.