The thought of being all alone in the world is terrifying for most people.
And although “alone” doesn’t mean “lonely”, many people believe that if they cling to someone – that will somehow guarantee their safety.
What follows is that many of us tend to jump into relationships without having any idea how to love and create a happy relationship. It further results in either moving from partner to partner and not being able to settle down, or settling down with one partner in a dysfunctional relationship – full of regrets, blame, power struggle, lack of respect for each other, and pure unhappiness.
We’ve been told through various stories, movies and literature that only the presence of another person in our life can help us to alleviate the void we feel inside and make us feel whole and valid. With an imprinted pattern like this, we lose confidence in ourselves. We tend to believe that unless there is another person in the world that sees us as valuable and worth their Love and attention – we will never be complete on our own.
While being in a happy relationship is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to a human being, seeking Love for all the above reasons is purely irrational and only leads to disappointment and emotional wounds.
The truth is that nobody can be the cure for our discontentment with ourselves, or our life. The truth is that our happiness is our own responsibility, and it is not our partner’s/spouse’s job to make us happy. When we are expecting from them what is certainly not up to them to give us – we end up unhappy with them and our relationship becomes a problem.
Instead of basking in the light of Love, we find ourselves on a battleground, fighting the very person we intended to love.
And then, being trapped in our fear of being alone, we either hunt for another person to make them the cure for our unhappiness, or – we stay in a toxic relationship, finding numerous excuses for prolonging our unhappiness, such as “it’s really not the right time to leave”, or “I’m doing it for my kids”, or “it’s better to be with someone, than with no one.”
Where did we go wrong?
The answer is as simple as this: instead of creating a beautiful environment to share Love, we’ve been hunting for Love, so that we won’t be alone.
In order to have a fulfilling, loving relationship we need to find out how we can become whole on our own. And then – we can share our completeness with our partner, instead of expecting him/her to complete us.
We don’t have to feel lonely when we are alone.
Aloneness and loneliness are two different things.
For most of us it’s not that easy to see the difference, as we are used to being constantly preoccupied with something, either working, pursuing our goals or filling up our free time with entertainment in various forms, from television/internet to social events, books etc.
While as human beings we always long for Love and company, at the same time in order to evolve and grow into our own power to become whole we need to spend some time alone. We need to find out who we truly are, and what we want to bring to the world. It isn’t really a paradox. It’s a natural thing for us to do.
Remember, we feel lonely only when we cannot find our happiness within.
Before you decide to look for Love, or if you are already in a relationship but feel that you aren’t getting enough loving from your partner/spouse – stop trying to get what you need from them. Consider learning how to be happy on your own.
When we are willing to invite true Love in our life, it is good to remember that our inner happiness is the barometer of truth. It will always tell us what we need to know: whether what we feel is real, or we are needy because we are afraid to be alone.
True Love cannot be born from Fear. It doesn’t work that way.
When we are ready for Love, Love will come.
When we are coming from Fear, more Fear will come. And that’s the truth.
How to overcome The Fear of Loneliness:
Step 1: Become self-sufficient.
In order to find happiness within, we first need to become less dependent on others, and more self-reliant. It is good for us to do so whether we are in a relationship, or live alone.
Try doing activities on your own before asking for help or wanting someone to come along. For example, if you usually like to be accompanied to a party, the grocery store, movie theater, music concert etc., try going alone. It might be interesting to find out how you feel about being among people on your own and connecting with strangers, or how you can enjoy the entertainment without sharing your feelings and thoughts with another.
Step 2: Explore your interests.
Doing things that you have never done before is a lot of fun. Try to do them alone. It may be difficult at first, especially if you are an extrovert who desires to be around people. However, the more you practice engaging in your interests alone, the easier it will be.
There are so many things in the world for us to explore: from art or writing to cooking, from dancing or playing an instrument to hiking, from taking care of a pet or gardening to traveling. The vast abundance of possibilities for what we can do is endless. Just make your choice.
Step 3: Build your tolerance for being alone, and enjoying it.
Start with simple activities, such as going for walks, going out to eat, shopping or exploring other parts of the town where you live. Avoid drinking alcohol or using other substances to cope with your moods. Remember, escaping from your emotions that way will only cause you more anxiety. Keep reminding yourself that being alone and being lonely are two different things. We can be alone without feeling lonely.
Step 4: Soothe and pamper yourself.
Being alone gives us a wonderful opportunity to put all our attention on ourselves. Nurture yourself with healthy, tasty meals. Avoid chocolate, it will cause a sugar crash and you will feel down after a “sweet-binge”. Listen to music while relaxing in your favorite armchair or take a long bubble bath. Buy yourself flowers or a ticket to a football game – go there alone. Do whatever your heart desires while you treat yourself like a Queen or King – of course without hurting yourself or endangering your well-being.
You are a beautiful human being and you deserve the best!
Step 5: Increase your positivity. Yes, you can do that. Whenever a negative thought comes to your mind, tell it: Stop! Replace it with a positive thought. Remember: Your thoughts are YOUR thoughts. You can do what you want with them.
Step 6: Be active and exercise.
Instead of consuming sweets, which only make us crave more sugar and causes depression – raise your serotonin levels by exercising. Our bodies were meant to move. It is easy to forget that in the comfort of our homes, but without movement – our bodies may fail us, and it isn’t their fault.
The best way to raise the serotonin levels is to engage in a short, 5-10 minute long activity that makes us out of breath, or sweating: such as running or dancing. Put on your favorite music and dance for a good 5 to 10 minutes. That will make you happy more than you think. However, if you want to lose weight, don’t engage in any excessive exercise since it will make you feel exhausted and it will suppress your hormones, leading to more weight gain, instead of losing it. Excessive exercising serves different purposes, such as building muscle tissue.
Step 7: Learn who you are and find your purpose.
Whatever is most important to you, whatever you find most valuable in your life – find ways to contribute to it. Purpose may mean different things for different people. For some, their career gets priority in their life, for others it will be family values or spirituality, yet others find social change or helping others most important. Whatever makes you “tick” on a deeper level – may be worthy exploring. Look inside your Heart and see what it tells you. Don’t be afraid of your Heart. It can never be lonely when you fill it up with purpose, and open yourself to Love.
One of the biggest Secrets of Love is that when we know how to be happy alone, we know how to be happy together.
Johanna Kern, multiple award-winning author and transformational teacher wrote this book drawing from her experience and knowledge from over 20 years as a successful professional and counsellor – as well as her experience in her happy relationship with her much younger husband.
She covers all the bases: the easily digestible 14 chapters range over all the questions, fears and possibilities that people grapple with and fantasize about in their quest for lasting intimacy.
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