For those of us who are single, the holidays always bring about that certain twinge of something that’s missing. It’s not really that happy a time, because we don’t have someone to spend the holiday time with. Sure family’s nice, but sometimes you need a girl to hold in your arms, or a guy to hold you in his arms.
You always think ‘if I just had someone in my life right now, I’d be so happy. There’s so much we can share during the holidays’ and it brings you down, that you don’t have that special someone in your life. What happens when you’re so down in the dumps? At some stage, you just kinda go ‘oh hell.. Just give me ANYONE, I don’t care! As long as I’m not lonely’ It comes down to you starting to fear being lonely.
Let me clue you in:
People who are afraid of loneliness always have trouble believing this; however anyone who doesn’t have a problem with loneliness will back me up on the following: The cure for loneliness has nothing to do with other people!
Don’t confuse the words aloneness and loneliness.
Aloneness is the state of being apart from others, whilst loneliness is the state of being alone. They are similar, but they are not the same! Keep reading, I’ll show you why.
You can be alone without feeling a twinge of loneliness, and you can ache with loneliness in a room full of people. Sound familiar?
One of the first questions you should ask yourself: “Can I spend time alone?” If you can’t, that’s the first thing that has to be worked on. ‘Why?’ you might ask. Because the ability to be alone means you know and you like who you are, without having to look to other people for your opinions or your identity. And if you like yourself, and if you like you who are, chances are that others will like you too.
Chronic loneliness is a blank space in your character/personality, and no one can fill it in but you. That’s not to imply that we don’t all get lonely from time to time. Sometimes we miss a specific person we love, or a familiar voice, and et cetera. But chronic, pervasive loneliness means you haven’t begun to find out how interesting and insightful and entertaining and creative you are all by yourself, whether anyone else knows or not.
There are two compelling reasons for overcoming fear of loneliness, besides the fact that it can lead to depression, anxiety and illness and all the other negative business.
First, depending on other people to identify who you are puts you in an atrocious position of only having an identity at someone else’s convenience. (i.e. ‘he likes this therefore I like this’) What if you call everyone you rely on to establish your persona and they’re all busy and not at home? Do you cease to exist until someone returns your call or comes back home? Or what if they’re in a bad mood and blow up at you for no reason? Does that mean you’re a worthless idiot until they snap out of it? How many people do you know who are that dependable in the first place, or whose opinions are always that much more brilliant and precise than yours? What makes you worse than any of them?
Second, if you think loneliness can be cured simply by having someone around, you’re not likely to be as selective as you should. Who will you put up with for the sake of not being alone? You’ll go with anybody, just as long as you’re not alone. For crying out loud, we spend more time looking for a car to buy, than looking into a friendship or looking for a significant other. How messed up is that? You care about what you drive, but who cares how your friends are like just as long as you’re not alone?
Look at it this way – if you don’t truly know and like yourself, it means that whenever you are alone, who are you stuck with? You’re basically stuck with some stranger that you are not especially wild about. Yet, this stranger is someone that you are essentially forced in spending time with.
Rather than compounding the problem by dragging in still more people you don’t know and don’t even like sometimes, why not make friends with yourself first? What exactly do you have to lose? Do you have to go somewhere to meet yourself?
When it’s apparent that you are quite comfortable being alone, people get the message that you may be an interesting, stimulating person who warrants a closer look. On the other hand, if you can’t spend time alone with yourself, why would anyone else want to spend time with you if you can’t even stand yourself?
So how do you start to get to know yourself? When you’re alone, either doing chores or driving to work or doing something that doesn’t require much thought, ask yourself a few ‘pop quiz’ questions that you might ask anyone you are interested in getting to know.
Any subject at all is fair game. The only rule is, ‘no peeking at anyone else’s answers!’ (i.e well.. so-and-so thinks that…) Here, we don’t care about what other people think! This is about you. If the answer to any question is “I don’t know” keep thinking about it until you do know. That’s the whole point of this – to help you learn not only that you do have your own opinions but also that they’re as valuable and interesting as anyone else’s. No subject is too large or small, no answer is wrong, as long as they’re your own answers.
The cure for loneliness is inside you. That’s right, it starts with YOU. It has nothing to do with your significant other or your parents, grandparents, peers and the like. It’s YOU.
Life’s full of irony. One of them is along the way you’ll discover that the more you enjoy being alone, the more other people will want to spend time with you. Complaining about how lonely and depressed you are is a way of advertising that you are really pretty dull company, which isn’t likely to attract a stampede of friends, and is more than likely to drive off the existing friends you do have.
All you need is a gentle shove in the right direction to get you started, and a reminder that making friend with yourself is even easier and cheaper than making friends with other people. You don’t have to coordinate schedules with anyone, you don’t have to ‘wait’ or go anywhere to meet yourself up.
I think I should post more of these into my LJ... Got about 12 on my FlashDrive that need heavy editing, most of them are just rants and spur of the moment type of essays...why in the world do I never put 'em in here?!