Loneliness

“The truth is you already know what it’s like. You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes.”

― David Foster WallaceOblivion

A while ago I felt really lonely, or perhaps more accurately I feared the loneliness sure to exist in the future. I thought long and hard about how to defend from it, and a couple of things struck me:

It is unavoidable, we are all alone inside ourselves.Loneliness

If you experience this sort of loneliness, it is not because you have failed, it is because you are human.

If you are self aware and made of the deep then I think you are likely to feel this more acutely. Firstly, because you feel things in an intense way. Secondly, if the things which are essential to you are left locked away it leaves you feeling deeply unconnected: feeling somehow wrong, somehow failing. Jung said that:

“Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”

Loneliness gnaws at the inside and is an unavoidable.

And yet …

…there can be rich, beautiful moments where time melts away and you feel deeply connected to another person. It’s the best thing I know of. It’s why I do the work I do. This deep connection; the sweet pain and beauty of it is all about being vulnerable. To be with someone, to feel really alive you have to risk being totally alone. To experience joy, you have to risk some pain, some sadness. You can’t have just one side of the coin: nothing is so thin that it only has one side; especially not something as expansive as life.

For me, the amazing part of feeling deeply, even the bad stuff, is that the pain of an experience seems to scour out a space inside of me to feel it ALL more. The positive of this is that in times of encounter I can feel the beauty of connection so deeply it leaves me breathless, acutely aware of being really alive and so incredibly grateful to be in this moment, with this person.

If this really connects with you then I urge you to get in contact with me. Counselling can be an amazing and safe place to take those risks for the very first time, when you feel ready.

4 thoughts on “Loneliness

  1. I am very lonely but it isn’t because I am unable to connect properly with people, but because I don’t have any close family. How can counselling help with this?

  2. Hi Adele, I guess I don’t know if it can; what counselling may sometimes help with is to help us to find new ways to be with the feelings we are experiencing, to be more compassionate to the part of us which is longing for something we do not have, and also, perhaps even help us through the process of grief, to mourn the loss of something we may have never had but dearly wanted… with the aim of self understanding, self compassion and the ability to have deeper more satisfying relationships with others.

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