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.