It’s a taboo subject – unless you’re referring to elderly people who are lonely, and then it’s ok to talk about it.
Whether you live on your own, or you are in a relationship that has no true intimacy, it can feel shameful or ungrateful to say out loud that you’re lonely.
No-one who is not lonely wants to know this. They have jolly advice and suggestions about how to change it. There’s a secret thought that you’re a loser. But you know it’s your quest for deeper connection that means loneliness can be felt even when you’re surrounded by people.
John O’Donohue says,
‘The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature. Cut off from others, we atrophy and turn in on ourselves. Mostly, we do not need to make an issue of belonging; when we belong, we take it for granted. Merely to be excluded or to sense rejection hurts. When we become isolated, we are prone to being damaged; our minds lose their flexibility and natural kindness. We become vulnerable to fear and negativity … Our hunger to belong is the longing to bridge the gulf that exists between isolation and intimacy.’
Dark Winter Months and Loneliness
So during the dark winter months loneliness might feel itself more keenly. Befriend yourself with nourishing candle-light, beautiful music and meditation. Surrender. Create your own light and heart-connection.
In his poem, ‘For Loneliness’ John O’Donohue says,
‘Cradle yourself like a child
Learning to trust what emerges,
So that gradually
You may know
That deep in that black hole
You will find the blue flower
That holds the mystical light
Which will illuminate in you
The glimmer of spring.’
And another of John O’Donohue’s poems builds on this request to trust yourself and kindle the light within you:
From ‘For Courage’ by John O’Donohue
‘… When one voice commands
Your whole heart,
And it is raven dark,
Steady yourself and see
That it is your own thinking
That darkens your world,
Search and you will find
A diamond-thought of light,
… Close your eyes
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark.
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear…’
So let yourself surrender to the dark months.
Quietly support yourself with kindness and compassion. Become your own lantern of light. Then let it shine!
Uplifting music to let your heart sparkle:
References from two books by John O’Donohue:
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Coach