Lonely won’t leave me alone

Lonely won’t leave me alone

The above title is the name of a song, but it reflects a reality of life most of us would rather not face up to – that deep down inside, despite the friends that we have and the possessions we have accumulated, we still have a sense of loneliness that does not seem to go away.

To understand this loneliness, we need to understand its cause. If you probe, you will find that it goes right to the core of our being, to our very essence.

Marc Gafni, the author of “Soul Prints”, defined loneliness as our inability to share our true essence with another. In his book, he described four figures of loneliness:

1.Feeling of loneliness even when one is at a party or a gathering of people.
2.The loneliness of a single person desperate for emotional intimacy.
3.Loneliness of a married “single”.
4.Loneliness due to a feeling of being insignificant.
At some points in our lives, we may experience any one or more of the above.
Loneliness is a universal experience.

Some people describe loneliness as the absence of love. Love here does not refer to romantic love, rather it refers to universal, unconditional love.

If loneliness is our inability to connect with another human being, then universal love connects us with everyone, without exceptions. Thus, loneliness and universal love may be seen as two ends of a spectrum. At one end is loneliness, at the other end is universal love. Our journey in life, therefore, is to move us from loneliness towards univesal love – a state of unconditional love for all beings, the highest love.This highest love has been described in various ways, as God, or Christ Consciousness, or Buddha-nature, or Brahma, or Krisna Consciousness, etc. The label is unimportant but the essence is.
Loneliness is a “dis-ease” of the soul.

Erich Fromm, in “Escape from Freedom”, wrote that loneliness and isolation leads to mental disintegration just as physical starvation leads to death. That is why we hear of sick newborn babies who regained their health after receiving strokes of love from their mothers and loved ones. Conversely, they die through lack of contact with their loved ones.

Mother Teresa, the Saint of Calcutta, once said, “Loneliness is the greatest suffering anyone can ever experience.” This great saint should know, having lived most of her life in the slums of India, ministering unconditional love to the homeless and the forsaken.
Loneliness can be terribly unbearable.

If we do not recognise this unbearable loneliness of our soul, we may continue to search for cures in places that cannot offer us a cure, such as in sexual gratification, in the accumulation of properties and wealth, in the consumption of alcohol and drugs. The process of obtaining any of these may offer a temporary relief from loneliness, but the emptiness is felt again soon after.

True cure must come from the soul, from recognising our true essence and living in accordance with this essence. This realisation alone brings a sense of joy to some and a sense of relief to others.

If indeed loneliness is our inability to share the true essence of our being with another, then the cause may be due to (1) a faulty perception of our being, (2) failure in transmitting our essence to another or (3) inability to find someone to receive what we have to share.

Perception problem may be due to our own inability to see ourselves for who we are, our inability to recognise our spiritual essence. People who believe that they are only physical and not spiritual in nature have the most difficulty with this. On the other hand, tt could also be due to the inability of others to perceive our true spiritual essence.

Failure in transmission may be due to our inability to communicate our being to another or our inability to trust and share our true essence with another. Our mistrust may have been a result of past experiences, yet to overcome our loneliness we need to learn to trust again, perhaps with a little more care and wisdom.

Sometimes we are frustrated by our inability to find that unique someone to share our true essence with, or someone who would receive us gracefully without any preconceived ideas and perceptions, without expectations and without judgements.

Thus we go in search of a “soul mate” who would receive us.