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What Are You Telling Yourself About Why You Are Feeling Lonely?

By Phyllis Stein, Ph.D.
December 31, 2006

Are you telling yourself that you will always feel all alone until you find a partner? In this column, Phyllis Stein shows us how, for her, feeling all alone was an inside job.

To me, loneliness is the feeling of wanting connection with others when no one is available. When I was still married and felt lonely, I believed that the reason was because my husband's heart was closed to me. I dedicated myself to trying to get him to open his heart so that I would be okay. I had to learn to keep my eyes on my own plate. Through Inner Bonding, I have learned, or thought I had, to find that connection in my relationship with God. Recently, however, I was triggered into a bout of deep loneliness. It went on for days. This was not about the momentary loneliness that Margaret has described, the loneliness that tell us that we are with someone who is not available to share love. I told myself that this was because I do not have a partner, and felt especially alone in light of the fact that my ex-husband does have one, the woman he left me for. I was telling myself that I would continue to feel this pain until I found a partner or died, whichever came first. What my wounded self was telling me was actually keeping me in pain.

Then I saw my 7 year-old self who was consciously aware that she did not love her parents and did not feel loved by them. She thought she had only two choices, to resist or comply and I had shown her a third choice of love. What I did not realize is that I had skipped connecting with her and allowing her to share the pain of how alone she was. I had skipped being there to hold her and comfort her. I was very lonely when I was little, but I could never afford to feel it. I held her while she cried and after she finished crying, I smiled at her, loving her. My little girl smiled back, filled with light. The darkness in which she lived for so long was lifted. Oh yes, Inner Bonding, my wounded self had forgotten that this kind of loneliness is an inside job.

I realized again how pervasive being all alone with no one to connect to had been in my life. Growing up, I was very good at not feeling it, but trying not to feel lonely actually kept me from being able to connect with anyone. I could feel that my ex-husband and I, when we met, really connected on the level of deep aloneness, as many people do. Each of us believed that the other was the solution to the problem. Our life together was a sea of loneliness with islands that we could sometimes climb onto where we could connect and not feel how lonely we really were. At the same time, our inner children were no less alone than before. The deep, painful loneliness that I fell into was not about outside circumstances. I was reminded that the solution does not depend on anything more than connecting with and bringing love to those abandoned children inside, so that they and we are free to experience joy and light now. Interestingly, since I had this experience, whenever I start to feel a little bit lonely, in need of connecting with someone, I have exchanged smiles with my little 7-year old buddy inside, and the joy has returned to my heart.

So, if you are feeling the deep pain of being all alone and having no one to connect deeply with, check out the explanation you are giving yourself. The one about your circumstances seems so logical, so true, but is it? Look inside for the little one who is so very lonely and know that this pain can be healed, without changing your outer existence, by your loving adult being present and bringing the light of love to your lonely inner child. The pain was there for so long, yes, but it can be released to God's light by connecting with your child, so that child will not feel all alone ever again.


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