embrace loneliness

Looking at the picture above, and the post title, you may think that I’ve chosen some kind of paradox.

How can you embrace something that is so unwanted? Who wants to be lonely?

Firstly, let me point out that everyone will experience a period of loneliness in their lives; such is life that you must experience the bad as well as the good.

Loneliness is a learning curve, where we must work through it in order to truly appreciate the relationships of our lives. Indeed, I’d go as far as say that, sometimes, we have to be alone.

Yes, you read that right, we have to be alone at some points of our lives.

Why? Because it’s when we aren’t distracted by other people, when we aren’t in a position to focus on loving others, that we have the best opportunity to truly focus on ourselves.

You can’t reflect on the past when you’re talking with someone, you can’t plan for the future when you’re with a group of people.

Loneliness is the universe’s way of saying to you, “You need some time out for yourself.”

My Experience

About 4 years ago, I was suffering a period of loneliness. I was single, my parents made my decisions for me, and I had few friends to rely on.

I was pretty much a recluse, and though I told myself I enjoyed the comfortable life, deep down, I knew I was very lonely indeed.

I can’t remember how long this period lasted, but about Christmas 2007, I started to come out of my shell after reading a self-help book that changed the way I viewed things.

The years moved on and I grew rapidly to become the person I am today. But the point is that I had to experience that low of loneliness before I could appreciate the highs of today.

It’s the same with everyone – as with the caterpillar, we need to become a cocoon before we can become a butterfly, and we need to accept and move through loneliness before we can appreciate our relationships with others.

What Can You Do?

As this time of loneliness often just happens to us, usually without warning, how can we embrace this dark and disturbing time?

How can we consciously make the most of loneliness whilst it’s here?

Allow me to show you how:

1. Take The Time To Reflect

What has happened in your life so far? How did you come to be in this lonely period?

Asking questions like these whilst reflecting on what has been will help you evaluate your life situation so far.

It’s during these quiet periods that you can truly find yourself, and realise why loneliness has come to you at that particular period.

2. Look At What’s Truly Important

If you aren’t talking with a certain friend anymore, then is it as bad as it first seems?

What I mean is, was that person holding you back or affecting you in some way? If they were, then perhaps it was the universe’s way of assisting you?

Removing one friend to make way for another may be the answer, and it’s what benefits you and your well-being that is most important in your life at this time.

2. Reflect on What Makes You Happy

Seriously, what does make you happy? Do you have a hobby that you love doing?

If so, and you’ve stopped doing it, then why? Surely this hobby can help you through the dark days of loneliness, and encourage you to keep going.

If you don’t have a hobby, then what is it that makes you happy?

Even when lonely, there’s always something that makes you happy; people are always capable of feeling happiness. So find what makes you happy, and dedicate yourself to it.

3. Try Something New

Loneliness is about change, changing into a new way of life. So, by default, new things need to happen.

Why wait for these new and exciting things to come to you? Why not go out and try new things, that will broaden your horizons and help you realise that life isn’t really that bad?

Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new experiences will create a whole world of possibilities for you, and enable you to take the next step in your life.

What Does It All Mean?

Loneliness can often be a struggle, a confusing time where we aren’t sure of our own identity and purpose. We can often wonder if there’ll ever be an end to our suffering, and we can’t conceive of any way out.

But everything comes to an end in this world, the good and the bad (and the ugly).

Loneliness is there for a specific purpose – as odd as it sounds, it’s there for your benefit.

I hope I’ve helped you to realise that this loneliness is not worthless, but ultimately helpful to you. By working through the cocoon, you’ll soon become a butterfly of this world!

Wishing you all an amazing year of blossoming.

This is a Guest Post from Stuart Mills
Image courtesy of JorgeBRAZIL

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