“Loneliness is part of the penalty every true artist pays for being different from the rest of his fellow men.” Hendrick Willem Van Loon
Loneliness was a subject that came up in my conversations with people last week. I shared this quote on my Facebook page a few days ago. I think it’s true to an extent. Believing we are different from others in our circle is a lonely place to be. And the cure for that loneliness is to find people to add to your circle. That is 1. easier said than done and 2. hard when you are already at a low ebb because you are feeling lonely. I think recognizing that many of us feel “different” can help. Are there people from your past that you would like to reconnect with who were different like you? Reach out and bring them back into your circle. This one definitely worked for me. Can you do something different to open your circle up? There are lots of virtual opportunities available to connect with others. Find something in your areas of interest to connect with others.
“Loneliness is only an opportunity to cut adrift and find yourself.” Anna Shannon Monroe
This quote speaks to the title of my book: Listen to Yourself. If you are feeling lonely, there could be a part of you that is scared of the progress you have made and is using loneliness as a tool to rein you in. Take a moment to listen to yourself and soothe that part of you that is scared and therefore lonely. Recognize the positives that being different have brought you. Your circle shrunk a little or became uncomfortable in areas because you did make changes that benefitted you. Remind yourself of those positive changes.
Many people are alone in their homes because of the pandemic. This can also create feelings of loneliness. How can you reach out and feel less alone? It is easy when we are scared or at a low ebb in our life to focus on all we can’t do. This is an ideal time to flip it around and focus on what you can do.
“I just think sometimes it is less hard to wake up feeling lonely when you are alone than to wake up feeling lonely when you are with someone.” Liv Ullman
If that quote is more of what you are feeling, the task is the same. Listen to yourself. Maybe it’s time to talk more. Maybe it’s time to accept the relationship has run its course. It all involves recognizing that loneliness is a sign to keep moving forward. As hard as that can be, see if there is one small step you can make today to feel less lonely that keeps you on your path.