Christmas can be a very lonely time. A time we just say “I feel lonely” or “I'm lonely”.
The good news is that by some education, searching our past, the act of feeling through and some reaching out at the appropriate time, we can reduce or eliminate loneliness. The lonely adult life has it's roots in our childhood. We all know that as adults, it is possible to be in a large crowd feeling lonely or be in solitude and feel very content.
What circumstances in childhood make us feel lonely? 1. A lonely, hurtful childhood 2. Neglect or abuse when we were children. 3. Our feelings were not heard or accepted when we were children 4. Being emotionally unavailable to our children leaves them feeling lonely 5. Teenagers who are abandoned by parents who are trying to work through their own pain and who think we should take care of ourselves. 6. When we are subject to rigid sets of rules by parents, to avoid engagement. Any of these look familiar? Be honest. This is not about dissing our parents, it's about our personal experience.
Children cannot feel their loneliness without help, so they may push down or suppress these hurtful emotions. As adults, our unconscious self directs us to feel over and over what is so familiar from our past – we can get stuck reenacting our childhood. It is possible to arrange our present life to keep ourselves so lonely. We may create imaginary friends, sexually fantasize, read romance novels, act out or withdraw deep inside. We may find ourselves subject to media that uses the “achey-breaky” notions to sell/promote products and services, like lonely songs. We may erect a wall to make it difficult for others to get close or we may flood our friends with our need, driving them away. We may play music loudly (good for reducing pain – this is not a recommendation) and incessantly or blame others for our loneliness. Even the travel industry may have capitalized with the lonely planet!!
So what to do about being lonely? Parents can take responsibility to spend meaningful time with their children. We can reconnect with old friends using many means, including Facebook. We could get involved in a club with like minded people.
It is very important to understand that feelings of loneliness are our natural emotional healing power trying to get our attention – so be encouraged, your amazing natural emotional systems are just communicating with you! We need to understand that lonely people have the roots of their feelings in childhood. Journal writing about our feelings and past would be very beneficial to help connect our present emotions and past events; this will help us to effectively feel through and integrate the loneliness into the tapestry of our life experience.
It is helpful to know that as a society we have discounted the feelings of loneliness in childhood, yet by following these few simple and difficult guidelines, we can achieve more independence yet closer relationships, along with a positive freedom within. How did we feel when we were removed from oiur mothers at birth? The way to move beyond even intense feelings of loneliness is to feel them – causing them to dissipate. We will not be overwhelmed by these feelings – our emotional system is our colleague - as long as we are not in a large group setting which uses blasting us open to our big feelings as its modus operandi.
A lonely quote - “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” Mother Teresa