Loneliness is something that many deal with, especially those that live in different countries, cities or states, far away from their loved ones. I suffer from this too at times. Happily, it is much less now. Sometimes it is just hard to tone the thoughts down when you are by yourself. The past is what creeps up often for me. The good living in the eighties, my childhood, all those mistakes I made in my first marriage. How things used to be during the happy and not so happy times. Once those memories start bombarding your thoughts, it can be hard to make them stop, but you have to. The past is just that. The past. Even though it may have some bearing on where you are now in life, it is over. It has to be let go of. The time is now to be who you truly are and be present in everyday life. Once we stop dwelling on things we just can’t change, the loneliness tends to diminish.
One misconception I find is knowing the difference between solitude and loneliness. Just because a person may spend time by themselves or isolated even, doesn’t mean they are lonely. I enjoy quiet moments. Especially out in nature. I have a few favorite places to walk to and take in my surroundings and just breathe and let my negative thoughts fly away in the breeze. I used to think in those times when I was feeling a bit down and missing my kids and parts of my former way of life that I should make myself busy. This would actually make me feel worse. When I stopped ” being busy”, the feeling of loneliness was even more overwhelming.
Now, when I start to get that sinking feeling, I find gratitude in my life. Thank God or the universe for things, moments and people I am grateful for. I stop to smell the roses, if you will. If I feel like crying, I just cry now. Not because I feel sorry for myself but it is a way to cleanse your soul.
I like to take in my surroundings wether it be the warmth of the sunshine, or the calming sound of rain falling, the song from a bird. Even the noises of the traffic passing by can be soothing or the chatter of the kids walking home from school. Wherever you are there will be some sound or smell even that will be soothing.
Though some of my days are long and I am by myself, I am not so lonely. I have routines, projects, work and friends, yes. When I think of a memory now, it is one that puts a smile on my face. I have made a habit of taking time to enjoy a bit of solitude and just be present in the moment. I realize that I have always done this, even when my kids were young. I found a time, early in the morning before anyone one was awake, to just sit in solitude with a cup of coffee and just be present in the moment. Feeling the wamth of the cup in my hands, breathing in its fresh aroma. No distractions. Simply, being.
If you turn that feeling of loneliness or sadness into a moment of being present and grateful in solitude it can be life changing.