Maria DiGiorgio is a devoted wife and mother, an educator and designer.
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| Loneliness is a word that conjures up many notions, most of which are sad or negative in nature. We may think of individuals who are without friends or family, sitting by themselves, almost invisible to those around them. When we think of someone as being lonely, we think of them as being socially awkward or uneasy. The reality may indeed fit the profile, but more often than not, it is not the case.
Everyone, at certain times in life, may feel lonely. We’ve heard many say that, “Someone could be in a room filled with people, but still feel lonely.” Loneliness comes from a place deep within ourselves, a place where we feel a disconnect from others. At the root of loneliness, lies a desire to be a part of something we feel is elusive; a craving for meaningful connections with other human beings. Loneliness can also stem from feelings of inadequacy and a sense that we do not “belong”. One must feel secure within oneself, in order to create and maintain significant bonds with others.
Human beings are very complex individuals. The feelings we have and the experiences we go through help to shape the relationships we build with others and ourselves. Life can be challenging, for some more than others. The way in which we deal with these challenges directly affects our emotional reservoirs. We may feel so deeply that we deplete the resources we have in order to cope. Part of coping involves reaching out to others (friends, family, co-workers, etc.), in an effort to help sustain us through trying times. If we do not safeguard this reserve of emotions, we may fall short of asking for what we need: support, encouragement, reminders that, “This too shall pass.”
It is so important to know that loneliness, like all other feelings, can be transient. It does not have to be permanent in our lives. Becoming aware of the reasons we feel lonely, and actively seeking means in which to address these issues, can have us feeling less isolated, almost instantly. We need to reflect on our habits (the way in which we tend to process events in our lives) and then work to incorporate greater discussion with and participation from significant others, in our personal circle. By encouraging the process of inclusion, rather than remaining isolated with our feelings, we naturally bring about a sense of belonging. We are reminded that others are going through or have gone through, very similar situations, and have felt the same kind of pain and turmoil we may be feeling.
The next time you find yourself feeling lonely, remember that you are not alone in this experience. You can take greater control in overcoming obstacles to gain happiness, and the path to personal fulfillment.