Loneliness is part of this Pandemic including social restrictions, fear of contagion, and the possibility that this is a long standing reality. For those who are reclusive by nature, this isolation may not feel much different than their normal life. But for those whose life line is all about connection, touch and one on one interaction this time can be excruciating.
What I can tell you from my own experience is that feeling alone and being lonely can happen even when life is full and you are surrounded by people. In my 30’s I spent a decade with loneliness hanging over my head and heart. I had three small children, a single mom, was expanding my career, and surrounded by people most every day. Yet, that didn’t matter.
What did matter is that I wasn’t being who I wanted to be. I was doing and doing and not being. I wasn’t comfortable with myself. What if I was judged, ridiculed, shunned for who I was. All those possibilities were too overwhelming to even consider being real with myself. Shame and embarrassment clouded my perception of me. It didn’t matter why I was going to be judged, or shunned, I was fearful just the same. The bottom line with loneliness, in my experience, is it's a symptom of the lack of courage.
It took years to work through the pain of feeling isolated, incapable of feeling contact. Opening to the truth of who you are, what do you want, and what do you need can be freeing on many levels. So I would ask you. Where is your courage to speak up? Who is in your life now that can listen? If you don’t have that one person, seek groups that will support you and want to know you. We all have our issues, demons that haunt us. It’s about moving past our believes that we are not enough, not welcomed, that there is something wrong with us.
When I finally decided to speak up and claim my truth of my fears, my vulnerability, I could feel. I started the long journey of loving myself and others. Allowing others into my life in ways that were profound for my growth. I became courageous and brave!
This Covid 19 isolation can offer those that are lonely to rethink, reset who they have been. Do you create isolation in your life? Can you make an effort to engage when we can emerge from this? If you do not have the people around you that feel encouraging or supportive, seek them out. YOU are worth the effort and have the courage to be more than you are right now. You can move out of the loneliness, if you choose. Loneliness does not own you. There are support groups, counselors, health care practitioners that can assist in freeing yourself from the loneliness. It starts with you making one choice, be courageous. Take time to be in nature, hug a tree, get a pet, engage on the computer, be creative. Any action can help even if just a little to overcome the loneliness. When you reach out the universe will reach back.
The best of people is becoming more evident in our time of need with Covid 19. There are good, great people out there with big hearts, who love humanity. Once this subsides and there is a new norm, seek them out. Smile behind your mask and make eye contact. Let others know you are here and willing to engage.
I truly believe we as a whole can improve from this Pandemic. We can rise up to be more loving, more caring, more kind. You can overcome the loneliness by being BRAVE!