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trvstno1:

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Sam's Guide to Dealing with Loneliness

panatmansam:

image

"Man is a social animal”

— Aristotle.

As Aristotle said we are social animals as are all primates.  I have read of experiments where young Rhesus monkeys were deprived of all outside contact.  They became sullen, depressed and violent. Some pulled out their fur and some actually sickened and died. We reserve solitary confinement for our worst criminals. In fact, being alone with no social stimulus or no sensory stimulus for a prolonged time, such as prisoners in the notorious French prison the Bastille were subjected to invariably led to madness.

We need human contact to grow and be well.

In times past it was difficult to avoid human contact unless you lived in the far mountains or a cave. You had to leave your house to work, study and shop.  Now, we can do all of that without leaving our computer. We can read, watch films, socialize, flirt, debate or play games without actual human contact.  Moreover, we are constantly bombarded with fictional images of happy people surrounded by loving friends which sets an unrealistic standard compared to our own lives. Today, more and more of us are retreating into our own safe cocoons. Safe places where we are in control, nobody can see the “real us”.  If someone gets out of line “poof” with a click of the mouse they are gone. For some of us this is a good thing.  This companionship by proxy is acceptable, at least for awhile.

What does it mean to be lonely?

Certainly it is more than just being alone.  Many times we are lonely in a crowd, at a party, among friends or in the heart of a loving family. How can this be? Well. the answer is loneliness is an emptiness of the soul. It is far more than just the absence of company. It is a feeling of being incomplete. It is the fear of being a yin without a yang, a positive without a negative or a moon without a sun. We may try to fill this emptiness with attachment to others and sometimes it works, for awhile. Invariably though the emptiness returns. Before we can truly love another, before we can be their moon to our sun we must find our own light. We cannot live long in reflected light from our lovers. This can only be accomplished by living a spiritual life.

How does living a spiritual life ease loneliness?

People who live spiritual lives and have grown spiritually, comment on a phenomena. That is what I call, “the spiritual companion”.  It is a sense of never being alone, that one is part of something great. Some people see it as a guardian angel, or God watching over them. Others see it as being part of the spiritual oneness of creation or just finding their place in the web of life.  We sense a presence and within this presence, love. Then we can truly love others because we no longer require that they fill a hole in our hearts. Now we can love freely and fully without expectation, without demands and with a pure and wise heart.

Overcoming Loneliness

The Psychology of Exile

Health and Loneliness

Life After Loneliness

Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

— Paul Tillich 

๑ Samsaran ๑