All great and precious things are lonely

|| Post On > Mar 11 2022 ||

Loneliness is the state of distress or discomfort that results when one perceives a gap between one’s desires for social connection and actual experiences of it. Solitude, or time spent alone, is not inherently negative and can even be restorative or advantageous in other ways. Research suggests the reasons young people choose to be alone matter—they may do so to relax, create, or reflect, rather than to avoid other people.

Everyone feels lonely sometimes. It’s part of being human! However, we cannot afford to become paralyzed by a sense of isolation. We all need to connect – both to ourselves and to the world around us. If you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.

You cannot enjoy being alone without peace of mind. Journaling helps you to voice and resolve any inner conflicts that you have. Much has been written about the benefits of being alone, yet often, even when authors use the word "loneliness", they are referring to what could be more precisely described as voluntary solitude. Yet some assert that even long-term involuntary loneliness can have beneficial effects. 

Chronic loneliness is often seen as a purely negative phenomenon from the lens of social and medical science. Yet in spiritual and artistic traditions, it has been viewed as having mixed effects. Though even within these traditions, there can be warnings not to intentionally seek out chronic loneliness or other afflictions - just advise that if one falls into them, there can be benefits. In western arts, there is a long belief that psychological hardship, including loneliness, can be a source of creativity.

In spiritual traditions, perhaps the most obvious benefit of loneliness is that it can increase the desire for a union with the divine. More esoterically, the psychic wound opened up by loneliness or other afflictions has been said, e.g. by Simone Weil, to open up space for God to manifest within the soul.

From a secular perspective, while the vast majority of empirical studies focus on the negative effects of long-term loneliness, a few studies have found there can also benefit, such as enhanced perceptiveness of social situations. 

Use your loneliness as a catalyst for change in your life. Get healthy. Pursue your passions. Expect the people in your life to meet you on equal terms. Search our people who are truly passionate about the same things that you are. When you find them, you will have more than new contacts; you will have true companions.

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