Loneliness, Seclusion, and Self Care

Kimberley Clemonts

My journey to self-love has taken me down a path of self-induced seclusion bringing me face to face with loneliness and the concept of being alone. Self Induced seclusion can be a form of self-care. It is, at times, necessary to remove yourself from all other energies to come to know, understand, and love your own unique vibration. It took me secluding myself to realize that a lot of the anxiety and stress I was feeling was not actually my own but that of the environment and people I had placed myself around. Secluding myself also forced me to face the darkest parts of myself and start down the path to loving them unconditionally.

Now there's more than meets the eye when I say “self-induced.” A while back, closer to the beginning of the conscious portion of my journey I identified my biggest fear as being alone. And one thing I have learned about life is that it will force you to face your fears either by choice or by circumstance. Because I had not yet realized that life flows much easier when I CHOOSE to face my fears, circumstance took over. I found myself alone.

Now when I say alone, I do not mean in a physical sense. I mean the type of alone where you have a phone full of contacts but no one to call. The type of alone where you feel like no one understands you. The type of alone that convinces you that no one cares about your problems or has time to listen. Alone as in embodying loneliness.

I’ve had an on and off again relationship with loneliness for the past few years. Most of the times we came together by circumstance, but our most recent fling has been by choice. You see, after identifying being alone as my biggest fear I kind of forgot that I had done that. And not only had I identified that fear, I had WRITTEN IT DOWN, aka signed sealed and delivered my own fate. After coming across this old writing my past experiences made so much more sense. But I still had not completed the lesson.

So this time I have decided to take control and choose to be alone; and here's what I have learned.

Even when our physical bodies are “alone” WE ARE NEVER REALLY ALONE.In looking up the meaning of alone I came across this definition: “Wholly Oneself.”  It is my belief that whatever your definition of “God” is, that divine being is present in any and all things, including us. It is the presence of the divine in each of us that keeps us from ever being alone. We are each whole beings because we carry God within us. So how can we be alone when God is always with us?

WE ARE NOT DESIGNED TO BE ALONE. We literally cannot survive without each other. Yes, we could probably survive an individual lifespan without other humans. But without another person to procreate with, the human race would cease to exist. Our bonds with each other are what is fueling this entire human experience. We must perceive each other to truly exist. SO never feel guilty or ashamed about your need of others, it is an inherent feeling we all possess deeply connected to our survival instincts.

So, having learned these things it was necessary to refine my previous statement. It was not being alone that I feared, but the feeling of loneliness itself.  And this brings me to my next lesson. What is loneliness and why did it scare me so much?

Loneliness is a side effect of discontentment, not being alone. When I secluded myself I began to notice which of my relationships were one-sided and those who actually made an effort to be in my life. The feelings of loneliness seemed from my focus on those who weren’t playing active roles in my story who I wished were. As always desire leads to suffering. When I stopped focusing on who wasn’t there my eyes were opened to how many people were there. And the truth is, that that the whole time I was never really alone. I was always surrounded by family and friends who were always there when I NEEDED them to be. By turning my attention to those people and nurturing those relationships I learned the lesson that life is constantly teaching me. Love is present for me in every single moment and is consistently giving me what I need.

This lesson brought me face to face with a very difficult question. Why did I want so badly for people to be in my life who had no real desire to be there? And the answer was that I was using these people as distractions from myself. There were aspects of myself that I did not like and was avoiding dealing with. Anytime these pieces would begin to surface, I would seek out the company of another.

So now I ask you

Until you are able to find complete peace all on your own, how can know which of your relationships are genuine? Is the company you keep based on a genuine bond or is it just an attachment you have created to avoid facing the parts of yourself you have yet to love? Attachments based on fear is what leads us into unhealthy cycles that will only drain our energy in the long run. A prime example is people who stay in unhealthy relationships just for the sake of being in a relationship. Don’t worry I’m 300% guilty of this. So trust me when I say facing the loneliness, however icky it feels, is worth it to break these patterns.

Be present with yourself in those moments of loneliness. How does it feel in your body? What thoughts arise during those moments? What are they showing you about yourself that you have been avoiding? What patterns are they urging you to let go of? Embrace the loneliness! Embrace the pieces of yourself that you discover there with compassion so they may heal. Unconditional love for yourself resides on the other side. And when you are in the depths of loneliness and learning the lessons it has for you, take comfort in knowing that no matter what, you are never alone.

 

 

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