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Surviving the Pain of Being Alone

I suspect the pain of being alone is a universal human experience. And I suspect most people seek out relationships to avoid or soothe this pain -- and that they stay in relationships that aren't working for this same reason.

Unfortunately, no relationship can relieve the pain of being permanently alone. Even in the best of relationships, there always comes a time when our friends, family and partners are not available.

When you feel alone, what do you do?

If you seek out relationships or stay in relationships during these periods, the times when you are in fact alone can be unbearably painful. And the time you are with someone will be bittersweet because you will know on some level that you will be alone again soon. One of the marks of maturing emotionally is learning to bear with and even thrive when alone. And your successful ability to be alone is what allows you to have the best relationships of your life.

The successful ability to be alone can mean the ability to feel alone and lonely without the need to seek someone out to fill the void. It can also mean being alone but not being lonely, with the void filled with creativity or self-expression, or passion for pursuit of something that matters to you.

Successfully being alone specifically means being alone without numbing out or filling the void with negative thoughts or behaviors.

How can your ability to be alone allow you to have amazing relationships? Here is how:

  • You do not end up in a relationship simply so that you are not alone -- you actually choose who you are in a relationship with.
  • In times of trouble, you let your partner go and work out whatever he or she needs to work out, without the fear of being alone -- you have already faced that fear.
  • If the relationship is not meeting your needs or is hurting you and your partner refuses to alter behavior that will make a difference, you can walk away because you have already faced being alone.
  • You have leverage with your partner -- often, your partner will change his or her behavior rather than risk losing you.

How can you face your feelings about being alone? Here are some powerful steps:

  • Stop doing all of the behaviors that help you avoid being alone.
  • Feel your feelings and know they are only feelings, not facts.
  • Continue to not do behaviors that stop the feelings of being alone.
  • Practice self care -- sleep, eat, exercise, read, talk to yourself gently.
  • Do not numb out with activities that stop feelings.
  • If you fall off the wagon and numb out, simply go back to not doing these behaviors and allow yourself to feel your feelings of being alone.
  • Know the feelings will pass and you will be a stronger, more resilient, more powerful person on the other end.
  • Watch yourself as you go through your life and thwart any move on your part to relieve the feeling of being alone.
  • Trust yourself and your own ability to take care of yourself.
  • Use this method to face any other fear that may prevent you from living the life you want.


Anonymous said...

Hi there..

Good write up..its domething to think about..