I’ve known loneliness my whole life. In my younger years, I remember marveling at just how lonely one can feel in a crowded room. Lonely, yet very rarely alone.
For some of us this feeling can be more acute than for others, but I would hazard a guess that pretty much all of us know this invisible guest that is always lurking in the shadows of our lives.
I’m not talking about the need for human contact, the need for exchange, for being heard, seen, witnessed. That is the loneliness that comes with a lack of people.
I’m talking about the loneliness that comes from our perceived separateness, the deep knowledge that ultimately we rattle around alone in there – inside of us.
That place that echoes back to us our separation. The price we pay for self awareness, for our ego. The pain we’ve known since we realized that we are separate from our mothers as toddlers. Since we became “I”.
I was reminded of it again during these pandemic times. Echoes of that feeling of “going it alone,” and “rattling around alone in there.” While the whole time, I really wished for some alone time. Some quiet time. Some “nobody wants anything from me” time.
Over the years, I have learned through the discomfort of loneliness, that it is a compass. A compass that is pointing to the way home when I get a little lost. It shows me that I am witnessing some kind of separation and loss of connection within myself.
It is after all our own love and connection that we feel most lonely for.