There is a difference between being on our own and being lonely isn’t there? Many of us value the space in solitude…the chance to let our thoughts run, uninterrupted…the chance to reconnect with ourselves…the chance to unplug and recharge. So when does being alone turn to feeling lonely? How do we go from peaceful solitude to feeling lonely? There are few things more painful than the raw, empty pang of loneliness. The loneliness is a dark place in which we often turn on ourselves. We question who we are and we long to belong. On our own or in a crowd of people, feeling unseen, unheard, unnoticed, we wonder why: Am I not important enough? Am I not unique enough? Am I too much? Am I too little? Do I have what it takes to belong? This explains how we can feel most alone in a crowd of people. Whether you have just moved to a new area or struggle to reach out to others, it’s important that we seek to understand ourselves and connect with others in ways that ground us in community.
Look For Ways To Serve
You are gifted. I can say that confidently because we all have unique gifts to share with others. Looking for opportunities to share your gifts through service inevitably connects us with others. Working toward a common goal as a community empowers us to be vulnerable in a way that allows us to learn more about each other.
We all long to be sought after and pursued. We all want to be noticed and accepted for who we are. In a lonely place, it can be easy to wait for others to pursue us. All too often we are inhibited by our own feelings about ourselves, assuming others are not interested in who we are. However, waiting for other people to do what we wish they would, will likely leave us feeling rejected and lonelier than we did in the first place. Instead, take a proactive approach and reach out to people that you’d like to get to know better. Offer to treat them to coffee and pursue a friendship.
Keep Showing Up
It can be easy to get discouraged when trying to form community. However, it is important to keep showing up to events or other opportunities you have to connect with others. Look for opportunities to get involved and reach out to people you may not know well.
Know Your Worth
Above all, know your worth and own your value. If you are someone who finds it more difficult to reach out, chances are a place to start is your relationship with yourself. When we doubt our worth and question our value, we project our feelings about ourselves onto other people, assuming others feel the same way when in reality we are holding ourselves back from relationship on the basis of false assumption. Knowing your worth and owning your value will empower you to have the confidence to reach out.
Relationships are arguably the most precious element of life. The element of life that is worth investing in and worth pursuing. We all long to be seen, heard, noticed and loved. Doing our part in cultivating these special relationships will likely lead us with the community we long for.
Image via The Yard