There is a part of us that lusts for loneliness. Just like there is a better-accepted part of us that lusts for togetherness. The balance between the two inclines different for each of us. The majority will say they are better when they are together with someone. They will even say that we are meant to be together. For some, being alone can even be their worst fear.
Why do lonely people feel stigmatized?
This happens because this is what we’ve been taught to feel. Like it or not, we are the result of every external experience we meet along the highway of our life. The more the experience lasts the more it influences us, it changes us, shapes us, it dictates us what to believe and what to feel. Who we become and how much our true self gets the chance to live is a matter of how lucky we are to meet people who will teach us the freedom of being true to ourselves.
We get our first notion of togetherness in the family. From being ignored to get tangled into a dependent togetherness with one or both our parents, togetherness shapes into an endless number of meanings. And every meaning continues to grow and change along with the experiences that come our way. And so, does loneliness.
Relatives, friends, teachers, strangers, movies, books, and finally our own love stories give us a sense of what those two concepts mean to us. Unfortunately, just as with everything else we believe, we need confirmation and we start preaching those intimate meanings to everyone else. We teach others what they mean forgetting they are the result of such a particular chain of experiences, that it can’t be repeated.
This is how society exists. By aligning each individuality on the common ground that makes them act in the same manner: get married, make children, perpetuate the species. Because make no mistake, this is what shaped togetherness into the societal core it is – the animal instinct of perpetuation. And this is what made loneliness the stigma it is today.
Being afraid to be alone means being afraid to be yourself.
We grow in fear of being lonely. Most of us end up as adults frightened of being lonely. Feeling sorry for those who are lonely, even when it is their choice to be so. We don’t even recognize the voice that whispers those things in our ear, we are convinced it is our own. But it isn’t.
The feelings that make you feel like running from being alone, are the feelings you have for yourself. Just like when you avoid meeting somebody or spending too much time with them. Only these are the feelings you carry with you all the time because you can’t avoid living with yourself.
You can only avoid having to search and love yourself. It is one of the main reasons that make people drink, use drugs, or always search for the company of other people. It helps them cope with those unbearable feelings they have for themselves.
People longing for authenticity will take some time alone and search for the real voice that tells them they shouldn’t be lonely. It might be your parent telling you are not good enough. It might be your grandmother telling you that family means everything. It might be the girl you loved back in school leaving you for the guy with an expensive car. Your friends feeling sorry you’re alone. Or it might be your own voice from childhood helping you cope with trauma.
The mechanism goes both ways. Some people end up alone because of a voice resembling their own is telling them it is safer to be so. That they are the only ones in this world they can trust. But this article isn’t about happy togetherness but happy loneliness.
Life should be a win whether or not you are single.
This isn’t something that would benefit just those that are single at heart. It would also help those who find happiness in being together to look for the one that completes themselves, not their fear of loneliness. Being afraid to be lonely makes us settle for inappropriate partners.
If we are afraid to live with ourselves, we become phonies. Part of being afraid of loneliness consists in fear of being judged, of people looking at us like we are not whole. This is where the myth of completing halves took us. Single people became a reason for pity and for people trying to help them find someone that would complete them. But that’s condescending.
Whole people are people that are whole by themselves. People that don’t need someone else to complete them. People aren’t pieces of a mechanism that need another piece to work. They are independent working mechanisms that can only work in the company of other specific mechanisms. If they don’t work on their own, they will only parasitize the other mechanism.
Spend time with yourself even if you don’t like it
All great minds were great loners. You can’t reach the truth about the world if you don’t reach the truth about yourself. Philosophers, writers, explorers, inventors, musicians, you name it. They knew exploring isn’t fun. It’s a cathartic experience that can even be painful. And it can only be done in solitary.
Living with other people is like living surrounded by mirrors. They all reflect you differently and you constantly try to adjust every image. But no image is the real you. It is just the particular diopter of that particular lens.
You can’t see yourself when someone else is constantly watching. It’s only natural to try and make people like you. It’s part of being a social human being. Not doing it, it can make you a sociopath who doesn’t care for anyone else but himself. The measure is always the issue.
It depends on how much you are willing to sacrifice yourself for someone else’s believes. If you’ll start seeing the importance of being lonely, then the importance you give to the way someone judges you for being lonely will fade. And it might even make them try and adjust themselves to your belief.