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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Awakening to Loneliness

Nov 01, 2020 09:30AM ● By Mindy Strich
I think I might have misunderstood my loneliness.

I’ve run from it, resisted it, even despised it. There have been days when I’ve been consumed by the emptiness, sinking into a never-ending black hole.

Loneliness has taken me to the edge and brought me to my knees. When none of my go-to spiritual tools seemed to work, when all the prayers and positive thinking, journaling and affirmations, meditations and mantras only brought me temporary relief, I’ve just wanted to escape the grips of my despair.

Yet, no matter how much I wished it to be gone, it never left me alone. Then it finally hit me: Loneliness never leaves me alone. It has been my constant companion; it is the one thing that has never abandoned me.

What if I’ve been looking at it the wrong way?

In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle writes about a time before he awakened, when he felt dread and loathing, as if being “sucked into a void, gripped by intense fear.” Then, within himself, he heard the words, “Resist nothing,” and when he surrendered to it, he awakened to a whole new world. In the intensity of his suffering, he felt as if a plug had been pulled, forcing his fear and illusions to collapse, allowing him to see the truth of his true nature.

Tolle’s awakening happened when he was completely alone. He had no relationships, no job, and no home at the time. After the experience, he spent almost two years homeless, sitting on a park bench in a state of intense joy.

Talk about magic! I’ll have what he’s having!

I realized I could no more run away from my loneliness than I could run away from myself. It was my mind that I needed to get away from; it was my mind that kept me feeling isolated and alone. Loneliness, meanwhile, offered me a way out. I saw that it isn’t an obstacle in my life; to the contrary, it’s a great opportunity.
 
I had been looking for comfort in all the wrong places—with friends, family and romantic partners. But when they didn’t show up or weren’t able to meet my ego’s expectations, fear and loneliness showed up instead, not to rub salt in my wounds, but to point the way.

I learned to accept loneliness as a personal invitation to learn something more profound than anything my thinking mind could resolve or comprehend. The constant voices in my head were a distraction that created fear and depression and prevented me from seeing the truth. When I chose to rise above my thinking, I was no longer at the mercy of my mind.

The more I embraced, accepted, and even loved my loneliness, the more it began to reveal itself as one of my greatest sources of light.

I now know that there’s a vast realm of intelligence that lies beyond my thoughts; it is where wisdom resides and connection exists. It is where I find peace. There are many paths to get there, but my personal experience has shown me that it’s a pilgrimage that must be traveled alone.

As I was making my final edits to this article, I opened a book and out fell a slip of paper with a poem. I had to smile when I read it. I think loneliness had a little more to say:

Once loneliness cut deep
I tried to distract myself
Ran to people and places and things
Even pretend that I was “happy”
But soon I couldn’t run any more
I tumbled into the heart of loneliness
I died and was reborn into an exquisite solitude and stillness that connected me to all things so I was not lonely, but
Alone with all life
My heart One with all other hearts.
—Author unknown

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Coauthor of The 28 Day Thought Diet and F*A*I*T*H*: Finding Answers in the Heart, Mindy Strich is a certified I.E.M. Biofield Therapist and I.C.F. Life Coach. For more information, call 678-642-7771 or visit MindyStrich.com.
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