Loneliness and Isolation
I recently read an article wherein it stated that young adults ages 18 to 22 were more lonely than 72+ year old adults.
Does that statement shock you at all? Here’s your child, having reached emancipation, the time for them to go out into the world and enter into the next stage of their life, but yet they’re lonely? How can that be? I remember being scared at that particular time in my life, but that fear was coupled with a certain excitement of entering that unknown territory that lie ahead.
To me, the word loneliness as defined by this world is a certain depressive feeling of feeling alone and without companionship, a certain sense of isolation. Some of us may be feeling that very thing right now with the Corona Virus Quarantine.
For the purpose of questioning things, which is the intention behind this Blog, let’s question this so-called loneliness.
Many people might say that the reason these 18-22-year old adults are lonely is because they were raised with electronic devices and with limited personal interaction, a necessary part of building relationships in life. Instead of going outside and playing with friends, they were glued to a TV, to an I-Pad, to a video game, whatever. Not only that, even if they were with friends, they were on their electronic devices “together”.
That seems reasonable and logical, the idea that real and proper communication between human beings has been lost, and therefore there is a certain sense of loneliness, of isolation.
A man entered my life in 1991. It felt like he completed me in every way. We shared the same love for the outdoors, for traveling, for conversation (spiritual and otherwise), for healthy living, and for the physical aspect of relationships. I thought I would be spending the rest of my life with this man, because I couldn’t imagine life without him. I spent 21 years with him before our lives parted.
The reason I bring this up is because it ties into this so-called loneliness. What tugged on me during the relationship was this: “I have found this man, a man I believe to be the perfect man for me in all the ways I’ve ever wanted. He will do anything for me. We laugh together, we cry together. I love my life with him. Why is it that in having all of that, there is still a certain sense of loneliness, of isolation, within me?
It was a question that I asked deep inside myself because I wanted an answer. It felt like such a strong contradiction within me because how can I feel this way when I have this fulfilling relationship that should be enough?
If we examine our relationships in our lives honestly, and I do mean honestly, we will see that 99% of the time they are all self-serving. What I mean by that is that most of the things that we do for others, we do because we want something from them in one way or another. I will put you first in my life because I want you to put me first in yours. I will do this for you, so you will do something for me when I ask. I will listen to you because I want you to listen to me. All and all, it always comes back to me wanting something from the other.
How can that prove to be true? Well, what happens when I listen to you, but you don’t listen to me? There is a disturbance, an irritation, that comes up in me, right? There could be no disturbance without there being something I want from you. Plain and simple.
Is it possible that the loneliness, the isolation that we feel even though we may be in the prime of our life or in what we consider a “fulfilling” relationship, is because what is actually missing is being “in” a relationship with the moment itself, with Real Life itself, which is the only true relationship there is.
Life gives life moment to moment. If Life delivers something we don’t like or don’t want, we then fight with Life instead of entering into a relationship with it, with what it is bringing for us to see about ourselves. The more we resist and fight with Life, the more isolation and loneliness we feel. Doesn’t that make sense? Life is the same as Love, and the more we are apart from Love, the more we feel something is missing. Love is connection with Life.
Life/Love is always showing us in those very unwanted moments (if we are willing to see it) that there is no such thing as loneliness if we are in relationship with it. Alone truly means all one. Whole. Complete. We are unable to experience that understanding and know it for ourselves without sacrificing our ideas of how we believe things should be in the moment instead of what they are.
It’s like Life is always saying “Join Me. Be With Me. I am the missing part that you feel isolated from because you are living from your own ideas that you have about Life, and nothing can be more isolating than that.”
In other words, no relationship in this world, even the best of them, can complete us the way a direct relationship with Life, which is the same as Love, can.
Let’s help our children foster that relationship, the only one that truly matters in this world.
Exercise for the Week: These current times are a great time to work on ourselves so that we can help our children understand that Life is always giving us something, not taking something away from us. It only appears that it is taking something away from us because we are isolated from that very relationship wherein we could see the real truth.
Image Courtesy of: Sasha Freemind on Unsplash