incomplete manuscript loneliness

my incomplete manuscript on loneliness
From loneliness 
To  love
The Buddhist View of Loneliness as a Good Thing.
“Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” ~ Janet Fitch

This book targets everyone who goes through bouts of loneliness. Readers from all walks of life can benefit from the ideas shared and the stories told. It illustrates the importance of loneliness and how it should be seen as a blessing not a curse. There is much to learn about yourself and others once you fully embrace your loneliness. There is nothing to fear. The sooner you embrace it the more equipped you will be when faced with life disappointments. Students and young adults, professionals, parents, men and women, and all races succumb to loneliness. We all feel loneliness but changing your perception is a key to overcoming this necessary evil 

Self assess your loneliness
Everyone feels some loneliness at some point in their lives. There is such a thing as healthy loneliness which is when you understand why you feel this way. For example, your best friend may have recently moved away or you may have experienced a loss of a loved one. These are temporary moments that only time will heal. On the other hand, there are those who are consumed with loneliness that is not a corollary of temporary circumstances. These are lonely souls  who have a propensity to feel it more strongly than others. Perhaps we are more susceptible to loneliness so that we can help others while also understanding ourselves. If we truly see loneliness for what it is it should make us more compassionate people. But first we have look at where we are and how we got there. Try to assess your loneliness by answering these questions. Here I will give my own response to these questions. Just start writing and see how far it will take you. You may be astonished by what comes out. 
When did I first start feeling lonely? I think I may have felt this way since I was very young. Not having a strong emotional connection to my mom may have contributed to this. But I also think feeling socially inept was another factor. I began seeing how others viewed me with played a part in how I viewed myself. Not feeling good enough created a void that kept get wider and wider. Soon I wasn’t really who I was. Meaning that I could not define myself without looking at how others defined me. I began to feel more and more lonely because I loss myself….  
How often do I feel lonely? I feel lonely whenever I am not busy and have time to think about why my phone doesn’t ring or why people aren’t interested in my life. If I had to put a percentage on it, I would say that I feel lonely 30% of the time. The is actually a high percentage given the fact that another 30% is spent working and 30% is spent sleeping. During the weekend it is even higher because I have time to contemplate on how much time I spend alone.  I know the solution is to just stay busy, but sometimes confronting the problem could lead to a longer term solution

How long have I felt this way (Years or months or days)? My feeling about loneliness and why it persists is based on how others view me. Unfortunately people view me as someone to be pitied rather one to be loved and respected. My ubiquitous energy cannot be ignored and is likely the reason others view me this way. Until I can exude energy that laments something different I will continue to have the same results. People treat me a certain way because they view me a certain way. Loneliness is the result  

Do I feel lonely when I am in a room surrounded by others? It depends on the energy of the room. So, no I do not always feel lonely when I am around others. But when I cannot relate to the crowd or if I do not get any joy out of it then I feel lonely. It is a difficult thing to be in a crowd and see people having fun and engaging in conversation while you are struggling to find one person who is remotely interested in you or vice versa. 
Do I feel lonely when I am with my friends? No, I don’t really feel lonely when I am with my friends. However, I think I use them to avoid feeling lonely. I do not feel a strong connection with any of my friends save one. So are they really friends or just people that I am passing time with. I do like certain activities that I do with some of my friends. For instance, going to festivals, bike riding, etc. However, I can do these things with a stranger. I’m not sure if it makes a difference who I do it with as long as I am not doing it alone. I want to change this around and find someone who I don’t mind to any and everything with. 

When I am in an intimate relationship do I still feel lonely? I never truly found the love of my life so an intimate relationship is questionable. I’ve been in relationships with people whom I enjoyed spending time with. So in that regard no, I don’t feel lonely when I am with someone I enjoy his/her company

Do I feel like no one understands me? I absolutely do not think most people understand me.  Perhaps I don’t fully understand myself so give off conflicting energies  

———————————————————————————————————-WE many never really be able to truly avoid loneliness because we are looking outwardly instead of inwardly. We are looking for people to connect with. As insentient beings this is why we feel compelled to do so. Our basic survival instincts recognize that we need others to coexist and survive. We are interdependent to some extent. 
It goes without saying that if your loneliness reaches the point where you are depressed most of the time, consider seeking professional help. If you do not have the money there are free support groups and hotlines that can help you in your most time of need. With that said this is practical suggestions that can help if not remedy your loneliness.  There are some great resources, including online help that I have included at the end of this eBook
For a long time I thought that I was alone in my loneliness. The people around me just seemed so content and loved. I felt that it was my own short comings that led me to a life of aloneness. I wondered what I am doing wrong. On many occasions I would look in the mirror and wonder how others perceive me . Perhaps I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough or charming enough. I wallowed in self- pity for a long time. I even remember thinking that it was my size.  Standing at just under five feet tall, I thought, yeah it was cute when I was a teenager and young adult, but now it just gives people reason to be dismissive. Others clearly view me as insignificant and it couldn’t be any other reason but my size. How could they judge any other aspect of me without knowing me. For many, their physical constitution alone was sufficient enough to attract all the friends, acceptance, and reverence they wanted.  I was the antithesis of this. I realized that no one could possibly take me seriously when I have such an inferior presence. I am simply not worthy. Then I got a nice dose of reality. Being the consummate observer the veracity of my convictions was quickly refuted. I see petite people everywhere with loads of friends being accepted and admired by their peers. Maybe they are not judging the way that I think they are. Or they may not be judging for the reasons I think they are. 

If it wasn’t my appearance what was it? Maybe people just don’t like me. If there is such a thing as aura, I must be sending out negative energy.  I must rub people the wrong way. So, then it must be my personality. Can I change my personality? Better yet should I? As an act of self-preservation and ego, I reversed my way of thinking. It was them and not me. They are superficial and pretentious. That’s why I don’t have friends and feel lonely all the time. As a complete turn- around from self- pity to being contemptuous,  society was to blame. It was much easier to accept this scenario. For a while it worked. I kept my distance from people knowing that eventually any connection that I made with others would lead to disappointment. I led a solitude life convincing myself that it’s now a choice. 
Later I realized that this is a false narrative. If I really wanted to overcome loneliness there are two major things that I can do. I can either focus on me or I can not focus on me. Sounds like a contradiction. However, the decision I make demonstrated that have a choice in how I want to approach loneliness. If I focus on improving myself I will not think about how lonely I am. I thought about all the goals I want to accomplish and how thinking about how lonely I am will interfere with me accomplishing those goals. Whenever I found myself feeling depressed about it I would change my thoughts. I began writing down all the things that I want to accomplish every day – the things that I can do to help me reach my goals both short term and long term. For example, I started writing down all my chores for the day, the books I wanted to read, subjects to write about, the places I wanted to go, preparing for the next 10K race, the classes I wanted to take. I thought about my spiritual goals as well and how I can become a better person. I started meditating more and spending more time surrounded by nature. It’s hard to worry about loneliness when you are preoccupied with yourself. In fact, I think it is impossible to think about two things at the same time. So stay focus, whenever your mind starts to stray don’t allow it to get too deep into thought. You do have control over your thoughts. And sense thoughts are a precursor to our feelings, we also have control over our feelings. 


Focus solely on yourself. After all, you are stuck with you for the rest of your life. You have to like you. If there are things you want to change about you then work on doing so. Not so that you can be accepted or approved by others. On the contrary, do it because you want to like who you are. For example, I used to lie about things frequently for various reasons: to save face, to avoid backlash or confrontation, to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. None of these reasons were justifiable no matter how easy it was to convince myself otherwise. The consequence of lying is that I felt ashamed of myself and ashamed of getting caught in the lie. When I realized what a liar I was I wanted to change that. Aside from the fact that others may find me unbelievable, I knew that if I really want to like myself I need to face who I was. The journey to being honest and authentic was born. I didn’t realize how difficult this journey would be. It was so easy for me to lie myself out of things that it became habitual. I am still on that journey. I still battle with this part of who and am, but want to change. 
You need to enjoy your own company by spending time with yourself. Do something crazy that goes against the norm to break the cycle/mold of needing acceptance.  Try hugging a tree without caring about whether someone sees you are not. On rainy days go out and feel the rain on your skin. So often we avoid the rain as though it isn’t a gift but a curse. Instead appreciate it and embrace. Allow it to cool your body on a hot muggy day. You will notice that your thoughts about it are far worse than the blessing it is. 

The other method that I used is to not think about myself at all. Instead, I started getting involved with causes. I became extraordinarily active in my community to the point of obsession. I read articles about problems facing marginalized segments of the population including the homeless, mentally ill, and the poor. I created online petition using to draw more attention to these issues. There was a time when I was involved with five or six causes at the same time. You can imagine that all my free time outside of work was dedicated to these causes. I discovered that the only time I felt a tinge of loneliness was perhaps before I went to bed. But after a while I was so mentally exhausted that my brain chose rest over being consumed with thoughts. During my waking hours,  my mind naturally focused on the next project and finding  solutions to social issues instead of solutions to remedy my loneliness. You, too, will find if you put your energy whole heartedly into something else you will not have time to loneliness to invade your space.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche & Pema Chodron.
Via my mom, via Trungpa Rinpoche: an apt one for Valentine’s Day:
“Although the warrior’s life is dedicated to helping others, he realizes that he will never be able to completely share his experience with others…Yet he is more and more in love with the world. That combination of love affair and loneliness is what enables the warrior to constantly reach out to help others. By renouncing his private world, the warrior discovers a greater universe and a fuller and fuller broken heart. This is not something to feel bad about; it is a cause for rejoicing.”
A brief background: Despite coming from a large family- nine siblings, my desire to connect with others has been there since I can remember. I interacted with many other kids growing up. For the most part others tolerated me, but I always felt that I would not be missed if I wasn’t ‘at the party.’ Throughout the years I found ways to make myself more appealing to others. This was mostly through humor. Everyone loves a good laugh. Not to say that I was unattractive. In fact. I had many male suitors who expressed interest in me. Being a very fair skinned girl with long hair grabbed the attention of many guys. However, that was never enough. I never felt accepted by my peers. I felt over looked and unimportant most of the time. I understand now that this is because I was seeking acceptance and validation from almost everyone instead of focusing on just a few who may have grown to love me. Even though I managed to charm some peers with my humor my relationships never reached the level of friendship. I shied away from actually building on those friendships leading to its eventual decline. Although I never sought to be popular, just loved, I even had some of the popular kids intrigued by my quirkiness and sense of humor. But I still understood my place. Sure they will look for me when they want to laugh, but that was the extent of our relationship. I should mention that there were some people who really seem to take an interest in me. They would ask me to hang out with them. I would sometimes, but looking back/in retrospect I shied away from it because I knew I was a fraud. I knew that eventually they would get tired and bored with me or I would simply get tired of being the jokester all the time. Either way, I sabotage what could have been a great friendship and my prophecy was fulfilled. What I was left with was me, myself and I. Know matter how much I craved a close connection with others I could not shake off the inner void known as loneliness.  It’s sort of strange to be so fearful of the end result that you end of sabotaging it before it has time to develop. Maybe those friendships would have ended anyway. But I missed the opportunity to experience it no matter how short lived it would have been. 

Rarely, have I felt connected to or understood by others. These emotions are the onset of loneliness. Why didn’t I pursue these friendships? Not feeling good enough. What most of us lonely people want is to feel accepted by others. It’s not enough to be around people. We want to be accepted and loved by them. Perhaps if I did I would not be writing this book.  What I hope to present are options because there is no cure all for loneliness.
This may not be your reality. Perhaps you feel alone not because lack of friends, but because there is a lack of connection. The truth is that no one is really meant to live a life alone. Even those who truly love themselves and feel complete with or without someone will need to feel connected to something. l Sure there are monks and spiritualist who retreat to the woods choosing a life of solitude in order to be one with nature. However, life is to be experienced. Humans are part of that. If you avoid interactions and connections with other you are missing out on a chunk of what makes life worth living. The problem with extreme spiritualist is that they shy away from connecting with others because they don’t want to get attached. It’s easy to ‘attach oneself to nature or God or anything that cannot reject you.  The reason we feel lonely even if we have ‘friends’ is because we don’t feel connected to anyone. We may feel ostracized by society. Just know that you are not alone.   I am not offering expert advice. I can only tell my truth and maybe in doing so, my truth can shed light on why, I think, most of us are lonely and what we can do about it. So I write this Ebook not just to share with others, but also as a reminder. We should all strive to end this journey by saying, what a journey!

Being an observer of myself and others revealed to me that loneliness is widespread. It is my belief that most people experience loneliness when they are not getting what they want from others. Most people are dependent on others to make them feel good (about themselves). When those people aren’t around to make them feel good, then loneliness perniciously step into the picture. I’ve come across all kinds of people. People with families, successful career minded folks, outgoing and adventurous, intellects, and loners. We are all looking for something that most of us will never find because we are looking in the wrong place. We are looking outwardly instead of inwardly. Most people feel lonely because they seek acceptance and validation from others. I can testify to this. I understand from a logical standpoint that you should not seek acceptance and validation from anyone. I’m sure you have heard this before- you have to love  yourself before anyone else can love and accept you. I would argue that once you love yourself you will wake up to see that that’s all you need.  Only then will you see the connection you already have with the world, including fellow human beings. You are part of this. (I previously stated that we all need to feel connected. Make sure to clear up any contradiction) 

The media has become the norm. We are able to stay connected more easily to friends and family. We are able to make even more friends through mutual friends. The average person has at least two hundred Facebook friends.  But then we have to ask are these people really our friends. How do you define a friend? If you have friends and family shouldn’t this be enough? Why do people still feel lonely. We tend to think that people who are gregarious and busy with a prolific social life are not lonely. Perhaps we see their lives played on social media and envy or admire them. We think, if only I had that type of life I wouldn’t feel so lonely. They look so content in their incessant photos. But how do we really know this isn’t to mask something else. They could be living the antithesis of what the person’s life is really like. The picture perfect lifestyle portrayed in the digital world is not reality. If you find that seeing other people ‘happy posts’ makes you feel a certain way you should take a break from social media. If you that you feel a certain way when people do not respond or ’like’ what you have posted, it’s time to take a break from social media. Developing a healthy interaction with social media only comes when you are free.  We tend to think that gregarious people or successful people are not lonely. How could they be with such an active social life. We see their Facebook pages and other social media posts and visualize/imagine having their life. There may even be a tinge of jealousy. But reality tells another story. What I see are people who stay busy so they don’t have time to think about their inner loneliness. You can apply this strategy as well. I will discuss it in full detail later. Whether this is done purposely or not depends on the degree of self-awareness a person has. This is not me conjuring up something. I’ve been told by many people who I didn’t imagine would suffer from loneliness  that they do, in fact, feel lonely. I’ve had people tell me that they had children to suppress their feelings of loneliness. They believed that children are the “poster child” for unconditional love. True as this statement may be they also realized that as their children got older and more independent their loneliness returned. For years they were so occupied with their children they thought that they overcame loneliness. But it’s not that easy.  People find different coping mechanisms to avoid loneliness. It can work for years. Just as people have children to remedy loneliness, they get married for this very same reason. Love is not always present but a warm body is enough for some people. These people will eventually feel lonely again if they live long enough. Something will always be missing in their lives until they realize that it’s all on them. You are in control of your feelings. We try our best to avoid suffering and loneliness is the epitome of our suffering. Consider this suffering is the human condition and it is not necessarily a bad thing. That’s why I say loneliness is not a bad thing. Face your enemy by confronting silence head on…
Finding love
Most people love someone because of the way the person makes him/her feel. So it’s not really the person who they love; they are enamored  with their own feelings. When the relationships fails they are not in fear of losing the person, but what the person represents, which is their own identity. Perhaps the person made them feel special, smart, or beautiful. When  the person isn’t there to tell them  these wonderful things about themselves they are back to square one. They haven’t matured, found inner peace, or became a better person, which is ultimately what love should to for a person. It just made them happy for a moment. This moment of happiness might itself be enough for some people. But if you want to achieve a peaceful state of mine whether you are in a relationship or not, rely on yourself. If you stick with this strategy you will not worry about being lonely.
What is love. The best way to define it is the process of elimination. Although I would not define myself as religious there is wisdom in this proverb from the bible: Quote love is not….
I chose to include this full scripture to give you, my readers, time to really read and understand this message. How would you define love? If your idea of love included any of what it is not then you have never really loved. These are profound words used to describe love. 
Corinthians 13:4-8New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
King James Version:
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
‘I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.”
No matter how lonely you may feel stay away from toxic people. Although you will be forever connected to your  family, love does not always come from them. In that case, it’s time to let go so that you can have a deeper understanding of universal love. Sometimes what we think is love is actually toxic. Toxicity can become normalcy if you are not aware of what love should feel love.  You can recognize whether you are in a toxic relationship based on how you feel. You should feel joy when you are surrounded by people you think you love. Even through hard times love should keep you grounded and secure. If you find that you feel jealous, anger, fear, stress, anxiety and other negative feelings when  you are around certain people then they are toxic to you. Pay attention to your feelings. You should even check to see how the other person is feeling and acting towards you. Because you may also be toxic to them. It doesn’t mean that you guys won’t reconnect in the future, but you cannot have those sort of expectations. Now you have to be strong enough to go your separate ways (or seek counseling or a mediator if you think the relationship can be salvaged).    
You are your guardian angel. The circumstances that created the person you are today has little to do with who you are. Think about all the experiences that made you who you are today. Then think about what you would be or where you would be had it not been for those circumstances. You would be like a baby innocent, full of life, adventure, excitement, and yes, a little bit selfish. All kids want to do is have fun. Yes, they make connections to people who provide them with their essentials including nurture, but ultimately they will persevere even without those people. As long as they are getting it from somebody. So what I say to you is enjoy the temporal state of this world, the connection you have with others, and even you. If you meet someone and engage in  conversation with the person, enjoy it for what it is –  a moment. Then let it go. Like a child with a toy. She plays with the toy and then move on to the next adventure.  You do not have to stay connected to a bunch of people for the rest of your life. Doing so can lead to missed opportunities. As I mentioned earlier, lonely people like us are usually looking for connection and validation. Some of us are also looking for love. But love is all around you… it starts with connecting with yourself. Your experiences was meant to be experienced only so that you can make a full circle back around to what matters most.      
Every moment you create and cultivate is designed so that you can experience all of life. The good and the bad. Your ego was formed as part of this duality necessary to some extent to assist and protect you through your journey In order to function and maneuver through life. When these things are no longer needed the ego slips away. You are left with the naked you. Perhaps you might feel  vulnerable at times. Embrace your vulnerability, but understand that it is just a feeling, not a real entity. 
If you are not ready to go at this alone there are some things that can quell/suppress the feeling of loneliness until you work yourself out. I will provide some ideas that you can do to temporarily ease your loneliness. These are some things that I have done. It has helped me until I was ready to deal with the main issue, which was me. These ideas are nothing new. But if you are proactive in engaging in one or more of these activities you will not feel as lonely. I will briefly go over some of the things that you can do now! 
I f you are religious become more active in your church, temple or seminary. If you have no religion or no religious affiliation you might want to try going to church anyway. I have gone to church just to get some inspiration…..If you are totally against this idea but you still seek spirituality consider attending a Buddhist temple, medidation class, or the Unitarian church. Religion is not the focus in these settings. However, you can still gain a since of kinship and spirituality.  If you are religious get connected to a place of worship. Whether it be a church, Kingdom Hall, synagogue, or temple, attending weekly services and events are good ways to meet people. Try not to go into thinking, I will make a friend today. Nor the opposite, don’t be pessimistic by saying I know I am not going to meet anyone. Instead, just go into to enjoy being around other people in true fellowship. Even if you have no religious affiliation you can benefit from attending a place of worship. You can go there out of curiosity. If you haven’t been to a Buddhist temple, see if there is one in your area. Learning about another culture or religion can get your mind off of loneliness also. I’ve attended Buddhist temples and churches for these very same reasons. I visited a Universal Unitarian Church. My first visit I didn’t know what to expect. This is not a religious church. It turned out to be an interesting experience. The people were nice. I ended up going a few more times. They aren’t the coolest bunch, but they are smart and friendly. 
You should also consider joining a club. I joined a couple of social club to take my mind off of loneliness and get me out of the house. Lions Club is in most major cities. If you want to get involved in your community while also engaging in social activities Lions Club might be for you. I will say that there is some fundraising activities and dues that you must keep in mind though. When I joined I knew I would have to pay a membership fee, but I didn’t realize there were other monetary obligations. This club is for people who enjoy getting dressed up for monthly meetings and banquets. It is a nice way to meet people and network with others in the business world. I am more laid back who rarely get dressed up, so this wasn’t for me. 
I also joined Toastmasters. It actually isn’t a club but it is a way for you to network, meet other people, and hone in on your communication skills. My experience with this organization was great. I had a huge fear of public speaking and I wanted to improve in this area. I found the people to be very supportive and welcoming. So not only are you meeting others but you are also gaining some experience in public speaking that might come in handy in the future. 
Another activity that I strongly recommend is volunteering. Doing so will take your mind off of yourself and redirect towards people who are in need. This can be the most rewarding experience of all if you become committed to a cause. When volunteering choose something that interest you or you will not do it for long. If you like animals volunteer at a shelter. If you love children you can become a mentor or tutor. I got involved with a program called Guardian Ad Litem. ..(discuss experience) 
I just mentioned working with children and pets. The other demographic I would strongly recommend to lonely people are the disabled and the elderly. I point out these segments because they tend to show unconditional love towards others and that’s what we are all searching for, right? 
Listening to music
Buying a pet
Starting a business or project
Choose a job that allow you to interact with others. This can be enough gratification to quell your loneliness. You will be tired too tired to think about aloneness and will be thankful for the peace and quiet that comes along with loneliness (if you do not force sound) 
Some people feel the need to be surrounded by several people in order to break out of the loneliness spell. Groups are fine, but it really only takes one person! Yep you only need one person to connect to/with in this world that can change your feelings of loneliness. It is said that the older we get, the smaller our circle of friends become. When we are younger we may feel more excitement and energetic when we are engaged in group activities because we feed off of each other’s energy. That is why a lot of young people do things with groups that they would never do alone or with just one good friend. Groups change the dynamics. This can be true of any age, but the young are more susceptible because unlike more mature adults they do not have the knowledge, experience, or wisdom to see events before they unfold. Older adults, on the hand, know what can happen in group settings and are less likely to fall into peer pressure. They are usually open to what is likely to happen in these settings. This is why I say just to focus on finding one person to share your time with. Although we can find things to fill the void in the end we are longing to build meaningful relationships who we can relate to or feel comfortable. As mentioned before being active in your community by volunteering joining social clubs, church, etc. we all desire to be connected to another person. Just know that all thing are temporary. Because your subconscious knows this there will always be a sense of loneliness occasionally. If you disconnect is your own  doing then the solution is simple. Step out of your own way and give others a chance. If you have friends around you who really care about you then there might be something deep rooted in distrust that you should look at. If you truly want a connection and are doing things to put yourself in a position to meet others but you still aren’t establishing friendships look at your own attitude and expectations of others. Relationships aren’t built over night. It takes time for you to expose yourself to others and likewise for others….When  you first meet someone you are usually looking at the best of them. You don’t see the baggage that come with them nor do they see your baggage. Little by little the less appealing aspects surface. It doesn’t have to be pernicious. On  the contrary, it can lead to a more genuine bond. Keep in mind that most so-called friendships are not genuine. Some remain friends out of obligation, benefits, and yes, loneliness. So be steadfast, persistent and patient  on your quest. And again, it only takes one to  connect to. You never know where you will find this on e person so you have to make yourself available by doing the above and attending events, going to the park, etc. Now if you have the mindset that I will meet someone and you do not it will lead to disappointments. Instead just do what  you love and open yourself up to others and let the chips fall where they may.  The first thing to do is just get comfortable being in the public and social situations. So let that be your starting point and goal. Although you can also meet people online it’s more important to just get  out. Even if you meet people through various internet channels,  eventually you have to be prepared to meet them if you are really looking to resolute your loneliness. You may eventually become the initiator instead of waiting for others to approach you.  Your approach should be natural interaction, not awkward or forceful. There are plenty of other lonely people out there who, like you, are waiting for someone with enough temerity to approach them. You don’t have to exchange contact or anything. This day and age people are  skeptical, especially if you are a man. You may or may not see that person again. If you do then the who knows, the stars may be aligned,  There is a bigger opportunity that you meet the same person again where  you met him/her the first time. No need to be a stalker, if the stars are aligned you will meet again.
Sometimes we are lonely because we are too picky. the person who you meet and can eventually establish a relationship with may not come in the package you are expecting. Be open enough to accept people as they are the same way you would want others to do to you. Your potential friend may hold polar opposite opinions about politics, religion, sexual orientation, etc. He may not look the way you want either.  He/she may be of another race, he may be overweight, short, tall, blind, disabled. If these superficial attributes prevents you from meeting people you would otherwise connect to then you have an even more onerous task ahead.  
Why to we still feel lonely when we are in a room full of people; even when those people are our so called friends? The reason is because we feel judged, therefore, we cannot truly be ourselves. We still feel a disconnect although we are around people we care about. This is because, like you, others are not being themselves because they think they are being judged. This pretentious energy is real and the consequence is that a genuine relationship is incapable of being formed. The other reason why we feel lonely in these situations is simply that the gathering is just not your cup of tea. You would rather be alone or somewhere else. So here is the conundrum. Your loneliness is the reason why you decided to go out. You wanted to surround yourself with others. Yet you regret once you get there and realize that you would rather be alone. The solution to your loneliness is to either embrace the crowd or enjoy being alone by yourself. There are some people who would rather be alone however, they may watch a movie or see others enjoying the company of others and say I’m missing out. You are only missing out if you have no choice
We feel lonely because we think others are judging else. Noone wants to be judged. If we spendtime alone then nobodyis there tojudge us. We do not want our insecurities to be displayed. We try to fit in and end up feeling like a fraud. Surprisingly we do the same to others. We judge hem based on these superficial qualities and they react the same way we would. A challenge is presented here because most of us do not know who we are. Ask yourself who are you when no one is looking. Learning to be yourself is arduous. We have been pretending for so long that we become the character that we have portrayed for so long. Others can pick up on a person’s character or lack there of. When you hear others say she/he rubs me the wrong way sometimes it is hard to put it in words what we are feeling. Sometimes we feel that the person isn’t who she/he is pretending to be. So some people are uncomfortable with others because they are uncomfortable with who they are. Start by being aware of your thoughts and how you respond to others. Try to be consistent in your character no matter who you are interacting with.  
It is imperative for us all to know who we are and to be true to ourselves because if others like your representative you will still feel lonely and drained because being someone else or who others want you to be is hard work. You do not want to invest time in a relationship that will turn sour. One or both of the following will happen. You will eventually get tired of pretending or the other person will get tired of you. Instead let people know who you are from the jump. Move on if theycannot accept you. You do not have to have to know who you are completely, but you should not allow others to mold you into who you think would be acceptable. We are continuing to learn and understand who we are and what we represent. However, there are some things that you do now about yourself. You should not sacrifice those things just for approval and acceptance. If you don’t like something don’t pretend to like it. If you disagree with someone’s opinion don’t cosign for the other person for the fear of being rejected. You have to be your own best friend. If you reject yourself you will truly find yourself alone. 
What we really seek is happiness and we can find happiness despite loneliness. Find happiness in your mission. Know that happiness is a choice and comes from appreciating your own life and life itself.  I know that all of these is easier said than done but if you are persistent in your quest for happiness and dedication to your goals will lead you to a happy life albeit lonely. 
Look at yourself and your situation as a blessing. Many of us do not fully embrace ourselves. Loneliness is an opportunity to get to know and love yourself, to discover and hone in your talents, and to bask in your own joys. Sure it may be more enjoyable to do some things with other but don’t miss out on the opportunity of joy because you don’t have anyone to do things with. After all, those moments will become your memories alone. Other people do not see themselves as lonely because they surround themselves with ‘friends’ instead of embracing alone time. When they are not with friends,  When they are not with friends Facebook and other social media and television occupy their time so that they do not face reality of their loneliness. You are ahead of the game. You already know what it is like to be alone and know how to deal with loneliness. Others do not. If they are left alone it would be a shock to them. Realizing how lonely the world can be can be devastating to many. Although you may not like it there is opportunity for growth. Understand that loneliness comes from a void within. The cure comes from within as well. Now you can try to occupy your time by doing all the things you ever wanted to do. In the process you will interact with others. Enjoy those temporary experiences but don’t get attached. You have to let it go so that you can fully embrace the next moment. You can join groups or you can show temerity by creating your own (meet up). Remember that all of these actions are momentary. However, you choose to spend your free time or any time is temporary. To eliminate loneliness to the point that you are no longer bothered by it you have to start enjoying your own company. People should add to your joy not determine it. Understand that even if you find friends who adore you it won’t last. It is better to depend on yourself to fulfill your emotional needs. And if you feel complete when you are around people who make you feel good you are stepping into emotional dangerous territory. Yes, it feels good during the time together. But then you can become fixed on it and eagerly await the opportunity to be with that person again because how good that person makes you feel about yourself. You want to spend more time with that person so that you don’t have to face your loneliness. The people who you connect with is just of reflection of the inner you that you have yet to find. Everything out there is also in you.. You are giving that person power over you. Then what happens when that person isn’t in your life anymore. You feel powerless again Sharing affection with others is healthy. To feel the warmth of a hug, or the soft touch of someone’s hands is priceless, special and rewarding. To long for touch is an insatiable desire and part of being a physical being. You should take advantage of hugging others. You can hug anyone you feel a connection with. But make sure you are not seeking physical attention in ways that can harm you. This is a temporary means to an end….  (depak copra link about not making others feel obligated to be your emotional 
How can you find yourself> you have to spend time alone. You have to appreciate your journey. Appreciate not just your life but life itself in all its forms. You can only love yourself by spending time alone and observing your actions. You can not allow others to control the way you feel. It’s a blessing for you to recognize and accept your loneliness. How could someone else really relieve your loneliness. They can’t because your loneliness belongs to you. 
What many of us are looking for is approval to show that we are good enough. That someone finds our existence valuable and worthy. Rejection no longer becomes an issue. 
We are a great paradox/a walking contradiction. As alone as we feel at times inspirational gurus tell us otherwise. They say that we are never truly alone. They tell us we are here collectively working together in unison with one another. Like each cell in the human body struggling to survive as individual cell but also collectively with other cells so that the human body can flourish. The cells know in order for it to survive the body must continue to survive. It knows that in order to show love to the body it must do its job and protect it or die trying. Love in this sense means ‘in the best interest’ or ‘altruistic’///don’t think this analogy is far fetched. The cell….
It only concern is to doits job, what can we learn from this analogy. If we are busy doing something we won’t have time to thinks about how lonely we are. Get engaged and involved. One thing that none of us want for ourselves is to end our story in regret. At least if we die lonely, which is what we will do anyway, we can say we lived productive lives. No matter if we have loved ones around us death is still our individual experience. To this end you only have yourself to comfort and rely on. 
Make sure you are seeking people/others because you really want to. Sometimes we feel compelled to be around others only to find we would rather be alone. We realize that most people are not the kind of people we want to share our time with anyway. Don’t waste your time. Although situations make you feel lonely it is sometimes better to just be alone. You may endure being around anybody just not to be alone, but eventually it will become onerous, especially when you realize that people do not have your best interest in mind. 
An opportunity for self-discovery- people do not want to discover themselves because they are afraid of what they will find. But life without self discovery is a fraudulent life. I propose that the only purpose of life is to discover one self. You do this by spending time alone and also observing yourself around others. 
It was my choice to let go of people in my life so that I can become whole without looking for validation or accepting their condemnation. I removed people and the loneliness was profound. I had to weather the storm. And wait for the rainbow. Friends and family who defined me, once out of my life, left me undefined. I am now starting to define myself. You will still have moments where you feel lonely but you eventually will know how to endure it knowing this too shall pass. 
We have an incessant desire to be accepted and validated by others. Think about our ‘white picket fence dream’ Whose dream is it? When did it become your dream? What if you were never introduced to that concept. Think about how different a life you would lead. How free you would be of these predefined concepts of success. Think about your goals. Where did those goals come from. Suppose you were born in another country would your dreams and goals be different. Are you conforming to societal pressures. Are our dreams a product of circumstances that motivate and encourage us. If this is true then we really were not born to be anything. There is nothing innate that guides our actions. Our dreams and goals are created. We may have naturally been born with talents. However, our destiny isnot molded from these talents. Think about all the potential Micheal Jordans,’ and Ben Carsons there are floating around. Many of them did not live up to their potential or use those natural skills they were born with because of their circumstances. So in many ways environmental factors trumps nature. Understanding this as a fact has pros and cons. It means that you can overcome any natural weaknesses/limitations. It also means that if you can control your environment you can live your dreams????
I want you to come away with understanding and acceptance that if you can focus on your goals and create your goals the feeling of loneliness will lessen. 
Knowing that you should depend on yourself for emotional support frees you from looking for it from others. You are in for a challenge. As someone who struggles with loneliness I can tell you what to expect. During times of boredom you will still try to think of ways to find others. You will try to reach out to people who may not necessarily care for you. You will distract yourself by watching television, etc. You will go out on dates and surround yourself with others just so that you are not alone. My suggestion is to think before you act. Ask yourself why am Igoing out with this person. Will I even enjoy his company? If you would rather stay home than go out it is okay. You don’t have to force yourself to go out. However, if you want to go out because you are in the mood to be social then by all means do it. Don’t allow fear to stop you from doing something, but don’t just do something to escape yourself. This may sound contradicting but it depends on where you are/what stage of loneliness you are. When loneliness first hits you no one can stop you from reacting in certain ways. It can make you retreat or it force you to engage with others. At this point it is best to engage with others. But soon you will not want to do this. You will find that it isn’t satisfying and perhaps you would rather be alone. At this point, you no longer need to be around others just to avoid loneliness. This is the perfect opportunity to start choosing your social life and choosing what you want to do alone. 
Finding purpose through your children
Finding purpose without children 
Breaking the myth (checking the validity of ) 

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