Skip to main content

Loneliness Calling You Home

| Nirmala | Emptiness

Loneliness Calling You Home

Published on
02 March 2010

Please feel free to contact me with email questions or comments that I will address in this blog.

A friend on facebook shared the following about her experiences of loneliness:

I'm learning to look deeply at my loneliness now and sit with it. That's very helpful. Yet the loneliness comes up when I want to connect with others. Maybe because of a certain energy, because of karmas, or for any given reason, sometimes I feel there's a lack of connection with the other. Maybe due to lack of communication or even quite possibly, I "sense" energetically the other is judging me, or has an inccurate or negative or low perception of me, I feel it is difficult to connect with others.

And here is my reply:

Perhaps I can add a bit of insight into the last thing you mention which is the lack of a felt sense of connection. We are so deeply conditioned to look for connection (and everything else) on the outside. We want others to act or speak a certain way so that we will feel connected with them, when in fact the place where we are connected with others is deep within ourselves. That is where the connection lies, and that connection is here even when someone is judging or rejecting you.

Even when someone really does like us and responds positively to us, what happens is that we relax and just be ourselves around them, and in that naturalness of self is the connectedness we seek. Even then the sense of connection is actually arising within us. And so that is always where it comes from, even when it appears we are getting it from others.

The challenge arises when we feel a lack of connection inside. Then there is a strong tendency to look for it outside, and of course this even seems to "work" sometimes when again we get someone to like us and feel at least a little of the connectedness.

But there is another possibility, and that is to become very curious about the felt sense of a lack of connection. Where is the lack felt in your body? What is present in the empty space where connection is lacking? While there is no formula for what you can discover when you look within a sense of lack like this, one quite surprising discovery is how often you find the thing you were lacking in the emptiness of the lack itself! What a surprise, that the empty space inside you of something lacking or missing is itself connected to everyone and everything!

Loneliness is a kind of longing that often arises out of the sense of lack of connection. And yet once again the invitation is to explore where the longing comes from; it is not so important to ponder what you are longing for. What is the longing or loneliness itself like? Where does the longing arise within you? What is present already at the source of the longing?

The longing of loneliness is only there because you are so connected already, and so when you are not experiencing it there naturally arises a longing out of the connection itself. But we follow the longing out into the world instead of looking within at the source of the longing. A teacher of mine once compared this to following the sound of your mother's voice calling you home for dinner as it moves out into the neighborhood and beyond, instead of following the voice back to it's source where your dinner is waiting.

Loneliness is your own heart calling you home to the love and connection found within you. And of course you already know all of this, and you can also learn to trust that it is true even when you are not experiencing it. There is a kind of freedom that comes when we experience our deeper nature. We can relax because all of the richness and connection and everything else is being experienced. But there is an even bigger freedom when it no longer matters whether you are experiencing it or not, because it is so deeply known to be true. Just as you can park your car and trust that it will still be there when you return, and you do not need to experience it all of the time to know that it exists, so you can allow the experiences of oneness and connection you have to build a sense of trust that they are always here even when you have lost sight of them.

And ultimately that oneness, connection and love are recognized as what you are. Yet even then it is not necessary to experience them all of the time. In fact it becomes even less important when you know they are what you are. Do you need to experience your feet all of the time in order to have feet? No, your body has feet even when you fall asleep and forget your body altogether. They are still there waiting for you in the morning! And so when you know you are love, then the experience of it can come and go as often as it does without it meaning anything about who you really are. The love is still here. You are always here so where else could it be?

I hope this helps.


Related Wisdom