Loneliness Deconstructed

I had an epiphany last night. Loneliness is basically saying, “I miss you, but I haven’t met you yet.” When viewed from that perspective, it seems like a monumental waste of time. When I think about all the hours, days, months I’ve spent feeling longing and angst because of the absence of total strangers, it kind of makes me cringe.

The reason I was even able to lift my head out of that bad habit long enough to have this epiphany is that I realized that here lately I’ve been too busy to be lonely. I’ve been hard at work getting my first book published. I’m trying to get rid of the clutter in my life. I’m experiencing some intense stuff at work. I don’t have time to be lonely.

And to be perfectly frank, the mere thought of adding someone to my life right now exhausts me. Having to compromise sounds like a lot of work. Accommodating someone else’s schedule doesn’t hold much appeal. Making an effort seems like too much effort.

That caused epiphany number two: Loneliness isn’t a condition, it’s a choice. If it were a condition, like, I don’t know, a staph infection, then no amount of distraction would cause it to go away. But when I get busy, it does go away. And the beautiful thing about being busy is that it tends to put new people into your path, which is another balm for loneliness.

So, there you have it—my cure for loneliness. Now the trick will be to actually keep it in the forefront of my mind.

loneliness_by_sedafb-d2xjrhq
“Loneliness” by SedaFB. But why can’t it be someone on a delightful bike ride who stopped to enjoy the view?
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9 thoughts on “Loneliness Deconstructed

  1. Brian

    You can’t be lonely if u enjoy your own company, that’s all there is to it. Most people rely on the will of others for something or the other, and it’s a conditioned thing. But opening our arms to change over and over again is to cherish what is truly good

  2. Val in Seattle

    I like these words from Henri Nouwen:

    “To live a spiritual life, we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness,
    and to change it by little and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.
    The movement from loneliness to solitude is, however, the beginning of any spiritual life, because it is the movement
    from the restless sense to the restful spirit,
    from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search,
    from the fearful clinging to the fearless playing.”

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