Overcoming Loneliness – Part Two

by Mark I Myhre on January 29, 2014

 

Transform Loneliness Into A Fortress Of Solitude

Transform Loneliness Into A Fortress Of Solitude

In the last article on overcoming loneliness, I talked about extreme cases of loneliness, when it seems like it’s eating you alive.

And I mentioned that to start healing it, look at your beliefs and attitudes about emotions in general, and loneliness in particular.

Because you need to take the mystery out of it. Don’t let it stay bigger and stronger than you. Get some perspective. Understand it better so you can start taking your power back from it.

 

But what if it’s not eating you alive? Instead, it’s more like –

1. You’ve been dealing with loneliness as long as you can remember…
2. You intuitively know it’s going to be with you in the future…
3. You don’t like it, you don’t want to feel it, but you just sort of live around it…

What if loneliness is just a constant companion you have to put up with? And all you want to do is make it less of a problem? In other words, it’s a threat, but it isn’t killing you.

If loneliness is your constant companion, there’s a good chance it’s your root emotion. Which means, it’s going to continue to be around.

In this case, your goal involves healing your relationship with it, so it becomes more of a whisper than a shout. You feel it from time to time, but it’s not threatening; it’s more of a place of retreat.

Your goal involves making loneliness into a place of solitude. Sort of like the ‘man cave’ concept. Remember, even Superman had his Fortress of Solitude. Surely we mere mortals can learn something from our superhero.

Do you see what I’m saying here? You’re going to be turning an annoyance into an empowering ally. Rather than something to fear and avoid, your loneliness can be a safe environment where you can be held and loved and nurtured by your soul.

Rather than the pain of loneliness, you can experience the regenerative magic of solitude.

It involves three rather ambitious steps:

1. Understanding your current relationship with loneliness and what it means to be lonely
2. Be willing to embrace the feelings of loneliness without the stories of loneliness
3. Consciously inviting your soul to help you transform your loneliness into solitude

So, it starts with understanding, just like the last article on extreme loneliness. And understanding starts with an honest appraisal of your current beliefs and attitudes about the emotion of loneliness.

If you won’t take an honest look at your current relationship with loneliness, then you have little or no chance of changing it, and you will continue to suffer from it.

Most people have so many stories about loneliness they’re not even aware of. And the stories get in the way of cleanly feeling their loneliness. Stories such as:

“If I’m feeling loneliness that means there’s something wrong.”

“If I’m feeling lonely that means nobody loves me.”

“I’ll be abandoned.”

“I can’t depend on myself.”

“I’ll end up all alone – I’ll die alone.”

Most people don’t want anything to do with loneliness, and indeed use many inventive ways to avoid even thinking about it – much less feeling it. It’s almost like if you even think about it, you might get stuck in it. The mere thought of looking at your loneliness seems repulsive.

I urge you to fight this urge! The more mysterious loneliness remains, the more it will be a problem in your life. See, you’ve already got a relationship with it. Everybody does. Doesn’t it make sense to know what your relationship is all about?

“Well, I’m living with this other person. We’ve been together as long as I can remember. But I have no idea what kind of a relationship we have…”

Would you really put up with that in another person you were living with? Wouldn’t you want to know what kind of a relationship you were in? Wouldn’t you at least be mildly curious?

Well guess what? Your relationship with loneliness holds no less value or importance than your relationship with a spouse or lover or roommate. You’re a lot closer to your loneliness than you will ever be to another person. Think about it. There’s no comparison.

Understanding your relationship with loneliness is vitally important. And if you really want to understand it, then you’re going to need to write out your beliefs and attitudes about it, at the very least.

Here’s what I’d do: take out pen and paper and start free-associating with the concept of ‘me and loneliness’. Just start writing out whatever comes to mind as you think about your loneliness.

If you don’t know where to start, then write down – ‘I don’t know where to start…” And just keep writing! Let the thoughts flow! Let the feelings flow! Give yourself permission to think and feel about your loneliness. Give yourself permission, and then act on it!

This isn’t hard, once you get over the initial reluctance. You might even end up liking it. Or, if you’re like me, dozens of pages turn into hundreds of pages which turn into thousands of pages. Not just about loneliness, but about everything that has impact in your life.

The key is to get started, and to give yourself permission to write with abandon, without censoring or editing what you’re writing. Don’t judge what you’re writing – just write!

This first step helps you understand your current relationship with loneliness. Your relationship is framed by the stories you tell yourself about it. You see? Loneliness itself doesn’t dictate the relationship. YOU DO.

If you were in a relationship with another person, wouldn’t you secretly like to be the one who makes all the rules about how the relationship will proceed? You’ve already done this with your loneliness.

You’re the one who’s set the rules about how you and loneliness will interact with each other. You decide. You’re in charge here, not your loneliness. And you have already made the rules, long before today. By taking the time to process out your thoughts and feelings, you get a better idea of what those rules are. Rules that you set up.

See, if loneliness is a threat, that’s only because you made it that way. Admittedly, with a lot of help from the unspoken beliefs of society in general… since you’re been threatened with loneliness your whole life.

“If you don’t behave…”

But still, you had to go along with the threat. You had to buy into it. Don’t feel bad, though – we all did! Everybody gets programmed by the threat of loneliness.

Thankfully, you have the opportunity to break the mold here. Just imagine how few people in the history of the world have ever worked with their loneliness in a meaningful way, like you’re about to do. Kind of gives you goose bumps…

Anyway, your goal here is to get a good understanding of exactly what your threat of loneliness entails. For example – ‘I’ll be all alone, nobody will like me, and I’ll die alone, and I’ll spend all eternity alone.’ Or whatever it might be.

Then what you want to do is to condense all your processing about loneliness down to one sentence, or one short phrase. Condense your fear of loneliness to as few words as possible, that still carry the maximum impact. Make it a ‘sound bite’.

Second Step: Separate the Story From the Energy of Loneliness

You want to separate the story – the threat of loneliness – that you condensed above, from the energy of the loneliness itself. Then, you want to feel the raw energy of the loneliness, rather than the story about loneliness.

I’m going to gloss over this step here, in this article, because it deserves an article of its own. Maybe two! But for now, understand that whenever loneliness comes up, we usually go by default to our story of what it means to be lonely, rather than feeling and letting in the energy of loneliness itself. Which, by the way, is not such a bad thing to feel.

One thing I’ll mention here – we go to our story WAY faster than the speed of thought. You see? It happens faster than we can consciously think about it. However, if you already know what your story is, then you’ll be ahead of the game.

We’ll get into that more in a future article.

Step Three: Create Your Fortress Of Solitude, And Go There To Feel Your Loneliness

Now, the fun part! Once you’re able to feel the pure feelings of loneliness, then you’re well-equipped to create your place of solitude. Actually, you can create it before… but it might be a little harder to ‘make it real enough’ – since you might still see loneliness as something undesirable, rather just an energy to be felt and integrated with.

Let’s play a little game here. Let your imagination run wild. If you were to create a ‘place of solitude’ – an inner sanctuary where you could go to – retreat to – to be with your soul… what would it look like?

It could be like the picture above… but keep in mind Superman didn’t need long underwear to be comfortable in minus 50 degree weather. It could be a (warm!) place in nature. It could be simply a sphere of nurturing energy, like mine.

For me, I envision a caramel-colored sphere of warm nurturing energy that’s very pleasant to be in. My soul is the sphere. So, it surrounds me, while I get to feel safe and secure and loved inside her.

How do you get your soul to help? ASK!!! I can assure you, she’s been waiting for you to ask. In fact, your soul is always looking for ways to move closer to you and help you and love you more.

Your soul is REAL.

Anyway, I’ve created a place where I can be alone, in solitude, with only my soul to keep me company. A place where I can lick my wounds and be loved as I am held by my soul. My place of solitude also functions as a place of healing. A place where my soul can help me heal, by taking away the fears and pains and residue of the past.

I encourage you to create your own place of solitude – surrounded by your soul – where you can go to feel lonely, or anything else you want.

I couldn’t have made it this far without a TON of help from above. Here’s one way you can get that help as well. You could even do this step first, although you might have better results from doing it after the first two. The choice is yours.

As always, if you want to talk about any of this, just contact me.

And please help me spread this message by clicking the buttons below. Everybody needs a fortress of solitude, don’t you think? Thanks!

 



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Francis January 30, 2014 at 3:57 am

I always enjoy your messages and often forward them to friends. I’ve always felt immune from feeling lonely. To me it is more of a freedom from having to please or appease anyone, a freedom to be and do what I feel like anytime. I have never felt alone when there is no one else around. We are never alone.

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Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel) January 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Hi! Mark I. M.,

Thank You Very Much, In Advance, For Showing Us How To Overcome Loneliness. You Are A Good Man And Hopefully My Friend. And A Good Friend, At That!

ALL THE BEST TO YOU,
LESLIE

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