Loneliness is a funny thing – I know that sounds weird but for me it is true.
Like a lot of people, I have the tendency to become a bit of a hermit when I’m hurting and upset and generally don't know what to do next.
In retrospect, I can see how becoming a temporary hermit helps me quiet down my life, so that I can hear my inner voice, or inner knowing, that silent sureness – whatever you want to call it doesn’t much matter :) That inner voice always seems to need to be more desperately heard in times of great turmoil.
So, I figure that’s why I hermit when life gets too impossible.
Which is great. For awhile. Except a hermit is a lonely existence overall.
But please - don't rush this phase. It is the magic of the universe dressed as loneliness. Just be lonely for awhile. Try and become comfortable with loneliness. Trust that it'll pass, but let it serve you while it's around.
Get to know yourself better.
Learn to enjoy your own company.
From here on out, what kind of connections do you want to invite into your life? What connections do you want to say no to?
Break from old habits that don't have your best interests in mind. Act with intention.
And when you are finally ready to - how do you plug back into the world once you’ve unplugged, or at the very least - turned down the volume for a while?
Here are just a few strategies that help me through the valley of loneliness:
Connect with people. This I know to be true: I always feel loneliest when I am not honest with people about how I’m feeling. Almost like I’m living a double life. Functioning parent/human on the exterior, disaster on the inside – I’m sure you know the feeling! Resist the urge to pretend. There seems to be a huge tendency to just gloss over the hard parts of life, and always focus on the happy or fun parts. If your friend asks you how you’re doing, or a close co-worker, just tell them your life sucks right now and give a reason or two. Even if they haven’t been through a divorce or separation before – you’ll feel better for sharing and they’ll likely have a few well-meaning words of encouragement for you. Plus, you’ll feel like you’ve actually been seen. Which is so important - don’t become a permanent wall flower in your life.
Take your kids to public parks or spaces where you can interact with other people and kids in lighthearted and small talk sort of ways. It’ll ease you back into feeling connected to the world again.
Reach out to new friends: join a meetup group or something similar, or reach out to someone you’ve heard is going through a similar experience. Having someone completely understand your situation is worth the effort reaching out takes!
Follow your curiosities - what interests you? What do you do where time just flies? Do more of those things. See where it leads you.
Rest assured, closing yourself off to the world and being lonely, temporarily serves you mightily for a time being. Feel your feelings all the way through. However, when you've gotten tired of your own company (but can manage to be in it comfortably for awhile!), that’s your sign that it’s time to re-connect, to get back into your life – in a new and improved ways!
You’ve got this :)
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