“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” – Robin Williams
I find this quote to be one of the most profound quotes.
We often define loneliness as being alone, not being around anyone else, being solitary, being single, being by ourself. The dictionary definition says that loneliness is lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
When we rethink what loneliness actually is and dig deep into the roots of loneliness, what it really means is being disconnected from others. It is the disconnection in our lives that creates the feeling of loneliness and being alone. What this means is that we can be in a room filled with people and if we aren’t connecting with them we can still feel alone.
Just because we are with someone does not mean we are connecting with them. Just because we are having a conversation with someone does not mean we or they are not feeling lonely. If our mind is wandering and we are wishing we were somewhere else, if we are still thinking about work or the kids instead of being in the moment with the conversation we are in and the person we are with, loneliness will occur.
Loneliness is not about being in the company of others, although that is what we come to think of it as. How many people stay in relationships so they will “not be alone” or for fear of loneliness, yet when they really sit down to think about it they feel lonelier more times than not.
Anytime we do not feel as if we are the priority in our partners life, we will feel lonely.
I often hear from people that they felt lonelier when they were in their marriage than when they left, although many people have a great fear of being alone in life. The trouble is that even if there is someone walking through life with you, unless it is a connected relationship, you will feel as if you are alone, as if you have no one to talk to.
So where does this fear of being alone come from? When does it become easier to stay in a relationship for fear of physically being alone only to end up emotionally alone?
Emotional solitude has become a huge issue in this day of electronic information, where we often disconnect from our true human relationships only to connect with the social media platform sitting in front of us.
Many relationships are being destroyed by this.
The real question becomes, how do I connect with others, so I do not feel lonely?
- Connect with yourself
- Go out with friends
- Do things that will make you happy
- Join community groups
- Do a kind deed for someone else
- Put down the electronics
- Be present and in the moment when you are with others
People and connections are all around us. Make sure you make others feel seen and connected, and in turn you will start to feel that connection as well.
Jessica Ehrenworth, M.A. is a counsellor/consultant, empowering you to co-parent peacefully, reduce conflict, heal and learn to love again. You can find her at www.jessicaehrenworth.com or join her in the supportive facebook community www.facebook.com/groups/parentingthroughdivorce or on twitter at www.twitter.com/jlehrenworth