Robin Williams said: I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.
So many of us can relate to this one, right?
It’s exquisitely, painfully ironic to be in the presence of others and to still feel lonely inside. The contrast is brutal.
I was reflecting on this quote and on the idea of loneliness in general, and what struck me is that loneliness seems to be about resonance.
Do we resonate with the life we’ve built? With our work, the people around us, the people closest to us, our environment?
Or is there dissonance?
When we don’t resonate, we tend to feel disconnected. Like things are happening around us but we’re out of step. And that out-of-step-ness is what loneliness is really about, when you get down to the heart of it.
We live in a culture that heavily associates the idea of loneliness with relationship status. It tells us: are you lonely? Just go find a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Oh and once you do — that’s a cure-all. If you’re in a relationship you won’t experience loneliness.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Loneliness is not about relationship status. It’s about our capacity for connection. It’s about whether or not we’re building lives that resonate with our souls and yield to deeper connections. Not just with other people but with life itself.
So, let’s uncross these wires.
The answer to loneliness isn’t jumping into the “right” relationship. Healing loneliness is about opening the pathways for connection within ourselves.
What does that look like? It can look like: connecting with the beauty of the day. The sunlight coming into your room in the morning or the sound of rain against the windows. The crooked bottom teeth in your dog’s smile. The first bite of a meal that’s been cooked with love. Making eye contact with a stranger.
Bringing a sense of aliveness and care to the ordinary, daily events of our lives — this is something every single one of us can do. And as we do it, we are teaching ourselves to appreciate and connect with the…