So, loneliness huh? In this pandemic era, I could guarantee that most people are experiencing what is called loneliness. That most people could be you, he, she, me, or basically… us. Yep, I also experienced loneliness. But, how do I, or maybe we, fix that lonely feeling?
Before I jump to the main thing that could be helpful for you, I just want to remind you that there is NO WAY to cure loneliness. In the pandemic era or not, loneliness is just a very common feeling that many people feel and experience. Loneliness is not an illness, so there is no cure. Loneliness is also not a problem, so we just can’t fix it. Loneliness is a human state, or maybe heart state, and often is a mental state, where I, or you, tend to think that we are in this world alone, without anyone understand us, or listen to us, or see us. Because of that, we could only handle loneliness with so much gentleness. Not getting rid of it, not denying it.
The main issue of loneliness is that we are feeling lonely, even though we are actually not alone. There were moments where I was surrounded by so many people, yet I still felt lonely. So, lonely is not a situation that you are alone. Lonely is a situation where you don’t feel connected with anyone around you, whether you are alone or not.
Before the pandemic, many people feel lonely because of their work, or maybe their hectic schedule at school or college. Why you might think. It was because people’s mind was set in an auto-pilot mode, where the mind has understood what to do and what to say, and with whom they’re gonna share the details of the work. Now in the pandemic era, people tend to feel lonely because, maybe they are trapped alone in their house, or maybe they rarely meet people like they used to, but in reality, it is not because of any of that. Sure, people get less chance to meet with others and it could affect them with feeling a little bit lonely, but honestly what makes them lonely is because they don’t feel connected with the other human being.
It is just natural for humans to crave social connection. You are also a human, so it is normal if you feel lonely. If you read carefully what I just said in the previous paragraph, then maybe you have understood by now that you are lacking human connection. Maybe the calls that you made to those co-workers were not actually to deepen your relationship with them. Maybe the video-calls that you made to your family back home were not actually to have a real conversation. You just don’t want to be seen alone, or you don’t want them to think that you forget them. Is that make sense? Could you understand it?
You see, I recently experienced loneliness. It was a very real feeling that makes my day feel and look so gloomy. I barely wanted to wake up from my bed and face the world. All I could think was that I have no one care for me because no one sends me a message, say hello, or even call me. I thought negatively about everything and everyone. The feeling was so real until I couldn’t really tell if the feeling was true or not. Fortunately, I was able to think clearly and became aware of my state. Of course, the feeling was real, I was feeling lonely, but that did not mean that I really have no one care for me. Just because they don’t text me, call me, or greet me if it is even important, it doesn’t mean that they don’t care for me. They, whoever they are, are busy with their own life. Rather than sulking and questioning why I don’t get a message from anyone, why don’t I be the one who messages them first? Rather than thinking about those far away, why don’t I think about the ones that stay beside me?
Loneliness is a sign where you or we lack human connection, and to make up for that, we need to approach people first, from the closest one, to the one who is far and rarely has intimate chat with us. Not just for a casual chit-chat, but for a deep conversation where you don’t even check your phone or think about anything else. All you could think at that moment is just the person whom you are talking with. The content of the conversation, the feeling involved. Pay attention to the details about what they are talking about, what they are feeling, how you feel along the conversation. When you can notice the feeling, the topics, and details that you talked about with the other one, I’m sure you can gradually, slowly, connect with the other human being. That way, it could reduce your feeling of loneliness, and definitely makes you happier even just for a bit.
Remember, feeling lonely is normal. You are totally fine and there is nothing wrong with you. Hope this could help you understand loneliness, and how you cope with that.