A Closer Look at LonelinessOct 08, 2021
In my Life Reconstructed group coaching sessions lately, we’ve been talking a lot about loneliness. This is not surprising because for many a widowed person, loneliness stands out as the most difficult part of life after loss.
Loneliness, like all feelings, comes from the thoughts we are thinking in the moment that we feel lonely. And a variety of thoughts can create loneliness. At the risk of oversimplifying, I’d like to suggest that there are two different varieties of loneliness.
The first variety of loneliness comes from simply missing our person. We miss our shared past. We miss their physical presence and all that that entails. We miss the future we had planned. If we could only talk to them about an important decision. If we could only feel their arms around us again. Thoughts like these create loneliness. This variety of loneliness comes with the territory of great loss. It’s what I call “clean pain.”
The second variety of loneliness comes from an altogether different type of thinking. I’m going to be alone forever, is a prevalent thought that many widowed people have. This thought also creates loneliness, but this variety of loneliness is generated by a false thought.
It simply is not a fact that we will be alone forever. Regardless of whether there is a new relationship or companion in your future, there is no requirement that you be alone forever.
You can fill your life with people who are special to you. There can be new friendships, new experiences, new meaning and purpose. Granted, this is not the same as having your person’s physical presence, but it is also not the same as being alone forever.
The thought I’m going to be alone forever is like a weed growing among flowers. If we let it stay there, it will grow and take over and use up the water and nutrients in the soil. The flowers will have less water and nutrients and therefore less ability to become what they might have become.
Just like a garden produces weeds, our brains think thoughts that are not true, not helpful, and if left unchecked, can take over our lives and make our life less than what it had the potential to be.
Just as we watch the garden for weeds and pull them out, we can monitor our thoughts and delete the ones that don’t serve us.
The first variety of loneliness is clean pain, while the second variety of loneliness is suffering. The pain of this life after loss is more than enough. There is no reason to suffer, too.
If you’re lost in a sea of loneliness and can’t find your way to the shore, I’ve got you. My coaching program called Life Reconstructed helps you tackle loneliness and so much more. If you’re ready to make bigger strides, guided by someone who knows the journey and supported by a community of people who get it, simply apply here and we’ll see if it’s a fit.
Learn more about Life Reconstructed.
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