Thursday, October 16, 2008

Loneliness

Samuel Langhorn Clemens, aka Mark Twain said that “the worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself” and yet he suffered from massive insecurities of loneliness. As a premature child who was not supposed to live, he carried a huge burden within his heart. Forever trying to seek love of his parents, he did not really find in himself the love that he sought.

“The love of oneself is the start of a lifelong romance” said Oscar Wilde and yet he too looked for love in the arms of young men!!

Both …masters of prose and poetry offered the world a cure for loneliness and yet searched for fulfillment.

What really is loneliness, if not just a state of mind?

One can be extremely lonely in a crowd or be completely surrounded by thoughts in solitude. All of us have experienced both. Which is better? Being a line looking for an end or becoming a circle and finding the end?

As I sat to write about loneliness at the behest of my friend, I wondered what view I should take. The sadistic, masochist view where I delve into the pain of loneliness or the optimistic view where I look at loneliness as an opportunity to find my inner self?

Being a believer of positivity and happiness, I guess the answer was easy.

Our life is a self created matrix. The only question is which pill are we going to choose. The blue pill or the red pill? Is ignorance bliss or is the truth worth knowing…..no matter what! “Truth shall set you free” says the bible. So let’s search for truth.

Philosophically; the existentialist school of thought views loneliness as the essence of being human. Each human being comes into the world alone, travels through life as a separate person, and ultimately dies alone.
However, other existentialist thinkers argue the opposite. Human beings are be said to actively "engage" each other and feel the futility of existence if they are unable to communicate, love and procreate.

The debate continues !!!

So should we look for fulfillment outside of us or within ourselves? Both are acceptable, but I think the latter is easier. For the former we need another individual who will accept us in our entirety and that we know is a tad difficult. Acceptance and agreement lead to company and debate and disagreement lead to loneliness.

The more individualistic we are, higher the chances of being lonely. This may or not be bad though, after all we do think as individuals and do not have a collective brain, so why are we constantly looking for acceptance and agreement? Does it all stem from inherent insecurities in ourselves?

The first step to overcoming loneliness is to accept it as something natural and yet ephemeral . It is a state of mind and  our state of mind is our choice and the only thing we have control over. Nothing worse than being a prisoner of your own mind and not even knowing that we are prisoners and therefore not having the urge to escape. Instead of calling it loneliness we can choose to call it solitude.

Solitude is a choice when loneliness is a circumstance. Just by changing the vocabulary, we have changed our thinking. Maybe a positive self image is the key to overcoming loneliness. Instead of running out and looking for company, it may be a better idea to become our own best friend. We could start by indulging in some mental reprogramming via positive self talk and affirmations.

I read somewhere that  “ Be the person that walks into the room and the room lights up and not the person that walks out of the room and the room lights up”.

Once we are comfortable in our own company, we will automatically become the life of a party and loneliness will be a term we need to look up in a dictionary.

Luv/luck/happiness
Shveitta

1 comment:

Happiness coach said...

Vikas Kala (Urbana / Champaign, IL) wrote
at 12:58pm on October 16th, 2008
Very well written.
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Shveitta Sethi wrote
at 1:44pm on October 16th, 2008
Thank you ...need your editorial comments too....
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Celene P. Loo wrote
at 4:19pm on October 16th, 2008
once again... bravo, a well written thesis.
Many people have confused "loneliness" with "alone". One can be alone without feeling lonely. In your Note you used the more elegant word "Solitude" for being "alone". Recently an avid yoga follower aiming to become a yogi told me that for high level yogis, they believe that it is important to be alone past a certain age - like 70, inorder to mediate and cleanse oneself. Many geniuses greatly value "alone" time to do research, read, write, think... "Loneliness" gets sympathy as Adam needs Eve and humans live in a community. In the end I think its about the quality of company rather than quantity - so hurray for those who do not have zillions of freinds in Facebook... remember, its quality
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Shveitta Sethi wrote
at 4:31pm on October 16th, 2008
Absolutely my darling... you hit the nail on the head. Being alone is a choice and almost a necessity...ask any parent!!! Spending time in communion with our innerself should be considered a luxury in this hedonistic rat race.

With so much dependance on the outside for fulfillment we forget that each one of has within us the capacity and the capability to be an island that from time to time attracts the right vistors.
xxxx

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Karamvir Dahiya (New York, NY) wrote
at 9:13pm on October 16th, 2008
Your words are as beautiful as you--You are very facile with words!
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Sameer Kathuria (India) wrote
at 9:33pm on October 16th, 2008
Sizzling work Shveitta.....Keep it up.........cheers x
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Shveitta Sethi wrote
at 12:12am on October 17th, 2008
Thanks you guys, but would prefer a deeper dialogue...specially you Karam as you suggested the topic.

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Sandeep Ahuja (India) wrote
at 6:14am on October 17th, 2008
You're getting really good at this. :-)
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Teressa Siu (Los Angeles, CA) wrote
at 10:27am on October 17th, 2008
Well done!
Defining loneliness would be the same as pondering over any concept of life and being. It is all about choice and attitude and as human beings we have the infinite power to create our very own definitions! Celebrate!
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Karamvir Dahiya (New York, NY) wrote
at 11:08am on October 17th, 2008
Shweta, your words are Paras-Mani! Keep it coming. This is your call, don't shy away from it.
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Shveitta Sethi wrote
at 12:23pm on October 17th, 2008
Absolutely, Teressa.... its just a matter of constantly reminding ourselves that we have within us unlimited potential to create our own life.

How is the new job??
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Manish Yadav (India) wrote
at 2:11am
It all ends with a choice that one makes...however the question comes,,how does one make a right choice??(nobody likes to make a wrong choice..right) what or who defines right or wrong?Till u know urself..this question will always arise...once u have known urself is the time that one can say that i am aware and this is my choice(in that case it would be always right for that individual)...then there's only aloneness and no loneliness....cause one can always live with her/his own choice and be at peace with it......as u rightly have written..one comes alone..goes alone....better to know this fact and have complete acceptance of that.

Bottom line....need to watch ur mind and see for all that it's capable of doing(i mean thinking..it actually does not have a life of it's own..we get identified with it and feed it)
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Shveitta Sethi wrote
at 12:24pm
Nothing is real till it is real for us. Only our attention makes it real. For someone whose cognitive abilities are challehged, the world could be dark, silent, colourless or tasteless. Only when we see something, touch something or hear something it figures in our perception.

Our mind is the sole creator of our reality. When someone unknown dies, it does not effect us, but when someone close dies, our world is thrown in disarray. But some one close to us is a nobody to another.

Our attachments and our mind has created this connection and we can't deny it, but the more we realise that we have a choice in our reaction to an outside circumstance we can immidiately hold the reign of our running horse and try and tame it.

So being alone or being lonely is a matter of choice and perspective.

As you rightly say, thinking it does not have alife of its own, but once we continue to think it we will feed it and create our reality.

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Karamvir Dahiya (New York, NY) wrote
at 12:25pm
In reality nothing ever happens--quoting Nisargadatta Maharaja

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Shveitta Sethi wrote
at 12:29pm
I read that too, and am still trying to make sense of it all.
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Karamvir Dahiya (New York, NY) wrote
at 12:44pm
vikas and myself are having fight over why procreation could be dispensed with. He disagrees and wants to perpetuate the maya .
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