Loneliness is defined as the sadness one feels when having no friends. However accurate that may seem, the definition is not that simple because having friends doesn’t necessarily mean one won’t feel lonely. Loneliness is a feeling of isolation caused by the idea of being alone. But that definition is recursive, so it has to be false, right? I mean if there was no idea of being alone than no one would feel loneliness. That makes some sense but the feeling of loneliness could creates the idea of being alone. This is very philosophical, but I have come to my own conclusion, just as you may have.
There are two strong bases for the idea and feeling of loneliness. One is that as humans we crave to be in communities, sharing and building relationships, so when we aren’t we feel lonely. The second is that loneliness is a societal construct, taken root in many cultures, which says that having no friends means you must be sad, lonely, and feel horrible. Whichever it is that you believe, I have felt loneliness many times, and I have found that the idea of being alone is far worse than actually being alone.
The realization is that loneliness is just another fear in life, holding people back. For me, it is a fear instilled by my culture not by my instincts. However, I didn’t always think like that. When I was younger, I hated the feeling of loneliness and I could never figure out why I felt it. Of course, when I didn’t have friends I felt lonely but when I did I still felt lonely. It didn’t matter either way I always seemed to feel alone. Alone in my head! I just never felt like I connected to anyone because I always seemed so different. Of course, this led me to feel depressed, angry, and confused. I wanted so badly to be like everyone else. They all seemed to have more friends than I could count and they always seemed so freaking happy! The problem was that there was no solution because it was purely mental. I needed to better understand myself which then allowed me to better understand others.
The true realization was that everyone is lonely and people fight this feeling daily. Our consciousness is stuck inside a brain which creates a world where we are the center focus. Yet, we go through life desperately trying to connect to others. We all want to prove to ourselves that we are not alone. Nevertheless, we are! Hearing, perception, and feeling are just signals created in your head and each person is a black box. We can see the outside, the facade of another, but we don’t know what makes up the inside. So there is no way to prove the existence of another. This may seem sad or depressing but it doesn’t mean we don’t make real connections. Love I have found to be the strongest connection we humans can make but the fall out can be devastating. Because if the love is lost, you lose a part of your world, your mind, which causes a feeling of loneliness greater than anything. Loneliness is an entirely internal feeling but external factors can become internal to our world. Thus, contributing to the huge misconception on what people define as loneliness.
Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone. ~ Paul Tillich