Befriending Loneliness

If you find yourself feeling lonely, it is the perfect time to find yourself. Loneliness is the basic suffering of life. It is the fundamental discomfort of being alone with yourself. It is confronting your core discontent. Friends and lovers can’t rescue you from loneliness. They can only distract you. Loneliness will continue to seek you out until you make friends with it.

To make friends with loneliness, you have to welcome the feeling. Although it is an uncomfortable feeling, it is there to show you something wonderful about yourself. When you notice loneliness, you can neither give in to it, nor run away from it. You have to confront it. If you give in to it, you will feel miserable and imagine a long sad life ahead of you. You will imagine that you have personal deficits that make loneliness inevitable for you.

If you run away from it, you will do all kinds of frivolous things to keep yourself busy and distracted. You can develop all kinds of habits to keep loneliness at bay, but the feeling will wait for you. It will be there for you until you face it and find out that wonderful thing about yourself.

To find that wonderful thing, you have to ask your loneliness what is so wonderful about you. Then make a list. If the loneliness remains, add to your list. Keep adding to your list until you find that specific wonderful thing that the loneliness is trying to tell you about. Don’t doubt for a second that you will find it, but be patient. Every time you feel lonely, look again. Soon you will find yourself and you will have your loneliness to thank. Your loneliness will be gone, but you will have parted as friends.

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