“At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self.” Brendan Behan
Do you often experience loneliness? How do you react to it? Is it always a negative experience or is it sometimes positive?
(Next week my topic will start with “M” so please give me some suggestions for a word beginning with that letter. I want to know what interests you. Leave your idea in comment)
The fear of loneliness and the actual experience of loneliness have been a huge part of many people’s lives during the pandemic. This is often because many are not comfortable being alone and need frequent face-to-face companionship.
Fortunately we have had Zoom which has allowed us to see others’ faces. Although it isn’t a substitute for face-to-face communication, it is better than an email, text, or just a voice over the phone.
Loneliness Can Support Creativity
However, there are those who experience loneliness often, although they might prefer to call it solitude. Writers and artists require alone time to do their work, to concentrate and create, using their inner skills of thinking, feeling, and imagining to create a work of art that reflects personal feelings, thoughts, or experiences. In these situations, being alone is not loneliness. It is a connection with a deeper part of one’s self.
When we feel alone how can we make that sense of loneliness a positive thing? I know one person who likes to experiment making bread. Another experiments with cooking creative dinners. Others plant extensive gardens in their back yards. Doing these things fills a need to express oneself and reach out to others.
Loneliness May Depress Us
Beneath the desire to abate loneliness is the need to be in touch with our deepest self or as Behan states, “one’s lost self.” When aloneness feels depressive or frightening, it is because we are not in touch with that deeper self. There is some part of ourselves we do not know that feels lost to us.
For most of my life, I lived alone. Loneliness was a frequent companion, a good friend when I wanted to write. However, most of my meals were eaten alone, except perhaps accompanied by a book or television program. When I had an occasional dinner with friends, it was always a pleasure and filled part of that lonely spot within.
During much of my alone time as a younger person, I felt something was missing within me. There was an unfilled space expressed as loneliness and depression. It was a dark space that could pull me down if I let it. Like so many, those were the times I felt sorry for myself, curled up in a ball on the bed and cried or went to sleep.
Finding Our Lost Soul In Spirituality
I had always been a person who thought deeply and was very emotional. I needed to find a way to bring light to that inner darkness. I felt in touch with God but not in the deepest way until I learned to meditate. In those deep quiet moments I found my “lost self” and I opened to the mystical warmth and love of my new relationship with God who was both masculine and feminine.
Alone time became healing time, loving-myself-time, learning time. I no longer felt oneness with all of life just when I walked in the woods or was with friends. I learned I had become one with my “lost self” and could love myself even when no one else did. As a result, life became rich in ways I could not have imagined before I found that missing part of myself.
May you each find your “lost self” and become best friends. Namaste.
© 2021 Georganne Spruce