It's Okay to Not Be Okay
Do you ever feel like your inherent loneliness makes you feel even MORE lonely? You wake up to scroll on social media only to see all your friends hanging out in a tropical destination and laughing together. You immediately feel major FOMO. Being alone isn’t necessarily “cool” or “in” right now – we have to be plugged into our phones at all times talking to our significant others, seeing what’s trending on Twitter, and trying to figure out which filter looks best for our brunch photo.
What’s the result of this? We feel guilty for having alone time, and just downright insane for feeling anxious or lonely. We have created toxic environments for ourselves that make us rely on our friends or technology for happiness. This turns into the act of filling a void in our soul by simply attaching a band-aid. But you know what? It’s okay if that void isn’t filled. It’s okay to not be okay. We have forgotten that loneliness is a part of the journey, a spiritual journey that aligns us with our true purpose and leads us to discover what path is meant for our unique life. I’m going to share some ways to grow through feelings of loneliness by embracing the solitude and focusing in on what your soul is trying to communicate with you in that time of doubt.
1. Meditate or pray
You’ve probably heard so many people by now preach about the benefits of meditation or deep prayer. But I’m not talking about those 5-minute guided audio meditations on an app. I want you to get nice and comfortable alone in a room. Turn off the lights. Light a candle. Close your eyes, and just be there. If thoughts come, let them come. The purpose of meditation is not to push away those thoughts. It’s the act of embracing the thoughts that come in order to further investigate the inner workings of your mind. Your thoughts will give you clues to your anxiousness, joy, loneliness, and curiosity. Do this for 15 minutes and see where your mind takes you. Bonus points if you find clever ways to open up your heart and chest area to receiving the grace the universe will bring in that discomfort.
Reading, for me, has always been an escape. I’ve learned knowledge from books that helped me tap into my soul like nothing else. If you want a good suggestion to grow your mind, Oprah Winfrey’s book What I Know for Sure is an excellent read. It is quick and shares small anecdotes that Oprah skillfully weaves into a relatable book about love, compassion, perseverance, and strength.
3. Go on a date with yourself
Before you think this sounds super desperate, hear me out. You might think that it looks awkward to be taking yourself to dinner, but it’s in that moment of vulnerability where you find what your heart truly desires. Sometimes we get lonely because we don’t feel we are given enough affection or attention from other people. But the only way you will really be fulfilled is if you give yourself the love that you so want from other people. Are you single and wishing you had a significant other to take you out? Go to that nice Italian restaurant ALONE and pay for the meal that you would want your metaphorical partner to buy for you. Do you want to go to that rock concert, but you don’t have a group of friends who likes that music too? Take yourself and close your eyes while you dance to the beat of the music. Live life from a place of love at all times, starting with yourself. Treat yourself to those things and soon the people and feelings that you desire will begin to manifest in your life because you are creating those feelings within yourself!
4. Take a walk in nature
Loneliness will swallow you up when you feel like everything around you is crashing down and there’s no space to breathe. I encourage you to step outside and realize the vast infinity that is our world. There are living, breathing trees all around us that remind us the world is alive. Listen to the sounds the earth makes when it wakes up: the birds chirping, the wind blowing in your ear. You are always invited to watch the world unfold before you. No one can take that from you.
5. Create a space that is welcoming to go to when you feel alone
The worst part about loneliness is feeling like there is no place for you. When you feel overwhelmed by loneliness and doubt, would you want to escape to a room cluttered with dirty laundry and darkness? No!! You want a space that is comforting and beautiful so you can feel enveloped in its embrace. Try adding candles, plants, and salt lamps to your space as well as a meditation pillow. These additions will positively affect your mind. You want to take every step possible not to dig yourself a hole. Loneliness is okay temporarily, but you want to be able to show up for yourself and be your biggest cheerleader!
Just remember when you feel lonely or doubtful, don’t pick up your phone and scroll mindlessly through social media comparing yourself. Don’t call up friends that take advantage of you. Rest in the comfort of your own mind and offer yourself love. Create a space inside of you that is welcome to those feelings and turns them into beauty and light.