The cure to loneliness. It's as simple as 123 (but still not easy).

Loneliness: A particular flavour of sadness that all of us feel at some point in our lives.

Many people assume that loneliness
comes from being alone.
But actually, some of the times I have felt the most lonely
has been when I've been in a group,
or in a crowd,
literally surrounded by others.

Loneliness does not come from being alone;
it comes from feeling alone.
Or to be even more exact;
it comes from feeling disconnected.


Example: I do not feel lonely
when I am wrapped up in
the beauty of the trees in front of me,
the sounds of the birds calling to one another around me,
or the expansiveness of the sky above me.

When I feel connected to nature,
even when no other person is around,
I do not feel lonely.
Maybe, because, with my connection to nature,
I recognise that I am not alone.
I am surrounded by, you might say,
God's creatures.

So now that we're clear on what loneliness is,
and what causes it,
let's talk about what can cure it.

It is my personal (and professional) view
that no emotion is bad.
None of them.
Not even the ones that feel awful.
Emotions are there to tell us something.
They are our messengers.

So if loneliness isn't bad,
and it wants to tell us something,
what is it trying to say?

Connect, my love.
Find a way to connect with the soul of another.
Do that now.

Loneliness tells us
that we have spent enough time alone
and it's time to seek another.
That other might be a puppy dog,
or a garden we lovingly tend to,
or a friendly neighbour.

It could mean we need to pick up the phone
and call our best friend,
or pause long enough
to have a deep conversation with our partner,
or go and visit our family interstate or in another country.

Loneliness can so often be cured
by reaching out and connecting with another.
Sometimes it is literally that simple.


But what about when we chat with another person
and still feel empty inside?

Then we can ask one of these questions:

  • Did I just need more time with them? or
  • Do I just need to find more people to talk with?

If the answer is yes to either of these questions
then you know you need more volume of connection.

And sometimes it's not that.

Sometimes we can hang out with others
for hours and hours and hours
and still feel flat,

In that case, there's a good chance
that you weren't hanging out with the right people.
They weren't your kind of people.

We all need to hang out with people
with whom we share common interests.
We need to be able to talk about things
that are important to us,
that are meaningful to us,
that are interesting to us.

So if you're feeling lonely
and don't have people around you
who like the things you do
it might be time to find some new friends.

Maybe they're here on Hive.
Maybe they're other parents at your kids' school.
Maybe they're at your local religious or community group.

loves many of the same things you do.


And if after playing with these ideas,
and trying these things out,
you still feel lonely
maybe it's because you aren't
allowing yourself to be really real with people.

We can't truly connect with others
unless we get a bit real,
a bit honest,
a bit vulnerable.

Connecting with others,
even acquaintances in the street,
requires having an open heart,
it requires us to let the other person see
at least a tiny bit of who we truly are.

And this is the biggest reason
I think people struggle to make real connections with others,
because connecting requires being vulnerable
and if we let someone in they might hurt us.

Vulnerability takes courage
and I think that the more we curate our lives on social media
to only show the beautiful bits,
the harder it gets to reveal the other human bits.


And while the social media sharing options
have just grown and grown
over the last 10-15 years,
a worldwide pandemic
caused us to retreat even more.

We were already afraid
of the online version of people,
then we became afraid
of the in-person version even more.

Forget about shaking hands,
the way so many of us used to connect.

Forget about kisses on cheeks,
the way so many of us used to connect.

Forget about short or long hugs,
the way so many of us used to connect.

Touch became scary
and so we stopped touching one another.

And masks?
In some places,
more than three years on
they're still being worn day-to-day.

How do you connect with another
if you cannot see them smile?

So maybe that's the forth
or fifth
or seventh reason
(however many I'm up to now as to why)
we struggle to connect
and therefore feeling lonely:
because we've spent so long hiding behind a mask
that we started hiding our hearts too.


So whether it's reaching out to someone,
or choosing to stop hiding,
or choosing to be a little more human,
a little more real,
a little more vulnerable,
whether you decide to pick up the phone,
or get on a plane,
or go join a new interest group to make new friends,
whatever you do to cure your own loneliness
give yourself a pat on the back.

But also know, the cure for loneliness
is only ever a temporary cure,
because loneliness is a normal human emotion
that will come and go as it is needed.

My aim in writing this rambling post this evening
as I sit stretched out on my couch,
listening to kookaburras laugh
and hearing the wind move through the trees
as the sky slowly changes colour before my eyes
as another day disappears from sight,
is to share some thoughts
that I pray will be useful,

This post was sparked by the question
asked earlier this week in the Ladies Of Hive Community
on the important topic of loneliness:

Why are there so many people who are lonely?
Why is it so hard for people to make real connections when almost everyone wants to make real connections?

I hope I've answered these questions in a way
that brings light to the hearts
of those who feel alone,
hope to the minds of those
who feel disconnected,
and actionable steps to those who refuse
to continue to feel lonely
when there is no need.

Please remember,
the world is full of wonderful people,
people who are waiting to connect
with the wonderful person that is you.


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