Guest Post By Halina Goldstein
Do you ever say, to anyone, “I’m lonely”? How does it feel, not saying it, or saying it?
If you’re like most divorced people, you do feel lonely, at least some of the time. And you are not proud of it. You may even feel ashamed, as if it was your fault, as if something was wrong with you. Even if it’s not.
Whether we are aware of it or not, and whether we admit it or not, loneliness is part of life. For some, it’s a passing phase that is experienced through certain stages of life, such as divorce. For others (every third American, for example), it’s part of life as such. It never goes completely away. And yet, we’re not supposed to talk about it.
In Mother Teresa’s words, “Loneliness is the leprosy of modern times.” We are afraid of it as if it were contagious.
And so, because no one talks about it, the natural reaction towards loneliness is to pretend it’s not there, to hide it and to resist it.
If you’re like most of us, you have tried to resist loneliness too. Perhaps by keeping yourself busy with work or chores. Perhaps by numbing your feelings with food, or TV.
If you have, you know that none of it works.
As you resist, loneliness persists.
And, in a sense, that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing that loneliness is still here, because it actually comes with a gift, a lesson, a discovery. And life won’t let you off the hook until you have accepted the lesson and received the gift that follows.
So what is that you need to learn, you may wonder?
Because, at first sight, loneliness seems easy to understand: You’re alone, your ex is no longer there, perhaps you have lost your friends too, perhaps you’re in a new environment because you had to move. No wonder you’re lonely.
But there is more to loneliness than what is immediately visible.
In fact, loneliness is a very old friend of yours, even if you may not recognize it as such. Loneliness has been with you most of your life. It’s just that it’s been hiding.
80% of teenagers feel lonely. We know that much. What we don’t know is how many even younger children feel it, and what happens with that feeling as they grow up. Apparently, it shows up in teenage years again, and then at countless other occasions. Such as divorce.
But what if we knew it? What if, when loneliness emerged, you knew where it really came from and who or what you were really longing for?
What if you could really understand, really, that your heart was broken long before the divorce (and before the marriage too)? Then you’d have a chance to heal that broken heart for good.
This is important. If you don’t heal that fundamental cause of loneliness within, it will stay with you and be with you in your next relationship too. It will cause you trouble.
Plus, there is such value in healing a broken heart. Here’s how Emily McDowell put it into words:
“In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history, which adds to its beauty. Consider this when you feel broken.”
Healing that original crack in your heart and turning it to gold starts by being willing to see it like it is. It really is like contemplating a vase or cup. You look at it and then you discover a crack. But the crack didn’t happen the moment you looked at it – it’s been there for a long time. Now that you are seeing it you can appreciate it and you can repair it with the gold of your love and your awareness.
And that is the ultimate gift of loneliness – that it cannot only take you to the original wound, but also to the source of love inside you. When you have found the love and the joy in your heart and have learned how to keep it flowing, loneliness’s job is done and it disappears forever, giving you the freedom to connect with others in new and loving ways as well.
That’s how it works – and it’s a journey. Download here a free gift for the journey called “Unwinding loneliness.” It’s designed to help you take a gentle look at that crack causing you to feel lonely.
Halina Goldstein is a Loneliness To Love Mentor, working with women who feel deeply lonely after a divorce. Halina helps them effortlessly connect with people who will love, appreciate and support them. Halina is also the founder of Solo Souls, dedicated to turning loneliness to love and joy.