Through personal experience, I have learned some things about loneliness that I would like to share here. My hope is that there will be someone that reads this and “gets” it, thus helping them to make a few shifts in their perspective on life and daily practices. (Please note: This article is not intended for those who have recently lost a loved one. That involves some other set of tools for grief recovery.)

Once upon what we call time, there was a single, young oak tree that was selected by the landowner, to be the only tree standing on the roadside of a vast stretch of farmland. This young tree was feeling all alone, with no other trees around to connect with. Then one day a tiny birdie landed on its branch and sang a song, and the tree began to focus on the beautiful sounds instead. And another day the tree began noticing the tiny, tiny ants crawling up its trunk and how tickly it felt indeed. As this tree grew, it found new perspectives on life helped it to feel at one with all the other life forms around it; why, it even realized it could communicate through its roots with the plentiful green grass growing all around it. This tree stood so beautifully and firmly rooted in the earth as it grew, that many a creature came around just to be with it and relax in its shady cover. Then one day, out of nowhere, there seemed to be a new farmer living there that came and planted another young tree not too far from the oak, and then another one, and on down the roadside. These other trees on each side of the oak gradually began reaching out to connect with the oak, their roots became somewhat intertwined with one another as time passed. They sent each other messages of appreciation, even warnings, concern, and support sometimes. The oak then one day others looked back at how at one point in its life it felt lonely, and then it gradually began looking at life differently by becoming open to feeling at peace with itself and others that came around although they were not trees…and then one day without any notice it sees trees all by its side! How transformational life can be! And the oak tree on that day rejoiced, reveling in peace and oneness with all that is.

Being by yourself does not mean you have to feel lonely. There are many people
feeling/being comfortable with and learning all about themselves primarily – this helps one to also become comfortable with others without being needy of others, as well as intuit when it is best to avoid certain others. They are feeling whole and not alone at all because their mindset and focus are in different areas of living life.

When you are by yourself, the more that you like your self, the more you will not feel lonely... Being alone is not always equivalent to feeling lonely, since when we work on our oneness with all things and beings; becoming whole in body/mind/soul... being alone is the same as being “all one”, because when you are whole mentally and emotionally, you are on a wholesome path, which allows any sense of loneliness to fade away. Learning to shift focus is vital. Learning to love yourself is key.

Now, some of you may feel like reading the above last two paragraphs over again… and I really hope you do. Just like reading a book or watching a movie, sometimes we must go back to a certain part and review it because we missed something the first time it ran through our consciousness. This is what we are supposed to do. Our minds are THE original computers, and it is important to backspace and review certain data being uploaded. So please, go ahead, take your time, and review whatever you read here.

The other day, I was intuitively prompted to have my grandson do something unusual while we were walking through a department store. This happens to all of us; we get prompted to say or do something meaningful, that we know is totally harmless at a particular time, and either we listen and act, or we dismiss it along with some excuse as to why we will not or cannot do it. But I needed to see how my grandson will react to this… and I wish I had the insight and opportunity to have done this with my own children when they were very young.

So, I say “grandson, come here for a second.” He looks at me for a split second, wondering what is it now? And as if he was thinking - I am having fun looking around at all of this stuff in here, and when grandma is not looking, running around the aisle and back to this exact spot like I was standing right here all the time.” Grandson then says, “What is it grandma?” I am like “COME HERE for a second please.” He carefully comes over now, wondering if he was busted at that point!

I then place my hands on his shoulders and gently maneuver his body around to face this perfectly positioned, endcap mirror I noticed in this men’s shoe aisle… it was perfect for him to see his entire six-year-old body in it. I said, “Look at yourself” and he looks at himself shyly. “Now, I want you to say, “I love you” … go ahead, tell yourself that you love yourself!”

He quickly tries to run away from this experience, and I get ahold of his hand and say, “Go ahead now – look at your awesome self and say it. You DO know you are an awesome creation, right?” He turns back to the mirror and quickly says “I love you” and then stands with that thought for a second or so.

I think that if someone had made me do that same exercise when I was younger, it would have planted a seed for me having more self-esteem, but since it is never too late for most things in life, I practice it now. Ponder this: why do we feel so uncomfortable with looking at ourselves and saying, “I love you”? There is nothing wrong with loving yourself unless it goes to the extreme and becomes narcissistic! And last I learned, one of the main ways narcissism becomes a personality trait, is from young children not being taught proper boundaries, especially during their terrible twos! When you overly cater to their unreasonable demands and manipulations, they actually develop a habit of behaving in this brattish way of always thinking the world revolves around them, and ironically craving at the same time, for someone to put a stop to their misbehavior by creating reasonable boundaries to their demands.

I recall the experience I once had with this sort of personality for many years, I specifically recall incidents wherein someone happened to speak up and/or not accept one of their abusive behaviors or demands and the narcissist took the corrections surprisingly well! It seemed to me that they were indeed just waiting for someone to tell them “No, this is NOT acceptable”, because their psyche yearns for, and missed out on that training as a young child.

So if you are one of those people who find it a bit uncomfortable to look yourself in the face and say “Hey! You are wonderful and I love you!’, learning to love YOU is vitally important, just like learning to accept that we all need healthy boundaries to respect for ourselves and for others.

Us learning to love ourselves by taking some time to acknowledge our existence, in itself is amazing. Here are a few tips to ponder and help get you into a state of acceptance of what is, and a state of self-appreciation when you are finding it hard to just be with you for a while.

1. Firstly, if you are reading this article, you are likely wanting to find a way to transcend this feeling of loneliness that most of us face at one point or another, or perhaps to see if you can find some information that may help you to help someone you know. So, that desire, and that acceptance for the need to shift that energy is first on the list of tools required to get rid of loneliness. If it is because you personally want to feel better, this is great that you are taking a few moments to see what I have to say here. It shows you are aware and accepting and are ready to move out of this state. If you do not take anything from this article, I can assure you that if your interest is real, you will be led to another article, book, or conversation that will give you the tools that feels right for you, to help in transcendence. You WILL be led to the experience because your desire is here, and it is now. Stay tuned and watch for it… be it in this article or whether it is coming to you from another source.

2. Be grateful for all the good things in your life here and now. Do all that you can to stop any habit of focusing on whatever is lacking at this time. Remember the old saying please: “This too shall Pass” … and it is true. Especially when you begin working on yourself in the interim, because you are taking good care of yourself now and not putting so much energy into what you do not have, and instead toward what you DO have in your life. Search for ways that you can increase your gratitude level. Look for the positive things in your life by starting with the smallest thing, working your way up to the grandest. This gratitude will then raise your energy to a frequency that is able to attract more of the same wonderfulness you are appreciating more now, and someone into your life that matches that vibration.

3. Consider life itself to be your major form of school. We go to various mundane or intentionally designed schools to program us into various fields of knowledge. However, life will also present us with great gifts of knowledge based on our unique needs as the particular human being that we are. These opportunities to learn from the thousands of experiences we gain in our lifetime, are our greatest university… because we are learning life lessons that just cannot or are not taught in our regular schools. These lessons will usually come from our relationships with other human beings; learning about setting healthy boundaries, learning patience, learning when to say NO, learning the importance of self-care, learning how to share and care with others, learning how to best protect and nurture our children, learning how to gracefully let go of someone you deeply care for, learning who we truly are- which goes beyond our bodies and minds, etc.

4. Take time out from your daily routines to devote to self-reflection, introspection. This will be your homework from the school you just learned to consider as your major school – The School of Life – and your major is in YOU.
Some subjects to cover include:

o Ask yourself, what have I done today to help others? Because when we help others without looking for a reward for it – we take our focus off of ourselves for a change, which reduces depression and also can give us a sense of purpose when we are feeling down and/or lonely. Find ways that you can volunteer somewhere or help others out spontaneously.

o What could I have done better today? Simply for the sake of observation and making note of how you want to do differently in the future. Be sure not to beat yourself up over anything observed. Acceptance of where we are right now is key, and that key opens the door to making positive changes. This self-observation is a part of being conscientious. Being conscientious will take you so far in helping to hold together a future relationship with another human being.

o Did I lie today, and if so, why did I lie? If you begin seeing a pattern and that you are lying on a regular basis, you need to know this: when we lie, it is for one of two reasons: FEAR or LACK OF INTELLIGENCE. Both of these can be resolved; but only by you. Was it out of fear of losing something or was it due to a lack of knowing how to tell the truth without looking stupid? If it was due to intelligence issues, then start figuring out how you can say it next time without feeling stupid. Do some research, ask a friend, make observations from now on; how other people answer difficult-for-you questions without looking unintelligent. It may simply be a matter of you changing your perspective of who you are and how to be authentically YOU. If the lie was due to fear, then it is time to decide whether that fear is justifiable… I can not determine what is right for you in this case- only you can do that… but keep in mind that one lie can usually lead to another and another until you are drowning in a sinking ship of lies. Keeping check on any tendencies toward lies spewing out of your mouth will help in finding someone that also has integrity and increase your chances of finding a true and lasting companion; be it a romantic one or friendship only.

o Become as a child in that you enjoy learning about new things ALL the time. No one is ever too old to learn more. This openness to learn and experience new things will take you to events and places that will assist you to meet new friends, and you never know what good relationships that might lead you to.

5. Treat yourself better; if you do not feel you deserve to be treated well it will show up in how you behave toward yourself. Refusing to accept compliments, being overly apologetic, refusing to accept expensive gifts from a loved one, not wanting to take time off to recharge or just relax, not taking care of your body, allowing others to disrespect you without speaking up for yourself, etc. shows up as you are feeling that you may not think yourself worthy. If you do not respect yourself - most likely others will not as well. Find a coach that can assist you with strengthening your self-esteem.

6. Accept that you are worthy of love just as you are right now. Yes, even at the stage of development you are currently at, which more than likely is not where you want to be mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. We all deserve to be loved, and it is a good idea to start with loving yourself first – in a healthy way. Love yourself, then you can know how to love others and not be clinging to that person in an unhealthy way. When one shows up as “needy” it causes many problems; others get weary of that needy person, they lose respect from others quickly because they are always seeking validation from their partner or others, they burden their partner, exhausting them emotionally, as this insecurity simply puts too much strain on their relations. Loving in a healthy manner allows you to see show up confident, conscientious, and loving, you see your companions as another human being like you and not as your possession. You see them as one who has the right to free will, so you allow them that space to grow in the way that is best for them. You respect their decisions made, and if it is something that causes a problem between the two of you, you know how to walk away from the relationship even when it may be the hardest thing to do. You will protect them as best you can without getting in the way of their free will, you encourage when need be and be there for crying on your shoulder when need be… and so much more.

7. Trust that when your soul is ready to find that special someone, you will either feel an inkling to consciously begin looking for that person or finding that person will just happen without you even noticing that it happened. Trust this process. Trust in Divine timing, and trust in the fact that you have been working on yourself all along, so things will naturally run smoother than the last time for you. Things will never be 100% perfect; however they get lots better for you, and you will learn or know how to deal with the occasional road bumps in a more mellow way.

Life is a journey, and as long as you can see that, and keep-on- ‘keepin’-on, continuing to learn and grow into a better you; year-by-year, there is someone(s) out there that is “a part of your tribe” and your paths will assuredly cross one another. The more you begin to love and accept yourself as you, at whatever stage you are at on your life journey, the easier it becomes to attract someone that will love you too. See the value of doing whatever you can now to become a better person, for yourself firstly, and of course to become a better person for the person that will become your companion when the timing is right. Now go on, become busy with becoming the better version of you than before, because “time” waits for no one.

Author's Bio: 

Shakeenah K Fentis is A Non-Ordinary, Ordinary Person Here to Help Others Toward Positive Change!