“Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

-Paul Tillich

Just as there are two ways of looking at most things, there are definitely two separate ways of looking at being alone. One way is that being alone can be an unhappy time. The other is when you are able to be alone and enjoy it. It is relevant to show you the difference because people who are unhappy about the past will either choose to be alone in a very negative way – keeping themselves away from the world in which they lack trust – or will be alone because life gives them no choice. What neither of these groups of people see is that being alone is an opportunity. There is something wonderful about singularity, and people with an insecure past may not be able to see the benefits of that feeling. The reason for this is that they are too dependent upon others to provide them with all the happiness that they feel they lack. How many times have you heard someone say: 

  • I hate staying in on my own
  • I need to be loved
  • I am so lonely

People who fall into this category are usually those who cannot let go of the past. There is something in the past that makes them want to avoid being alone. They see being alone as a punishment in life rather than an opportunity. Jennifer was among those who felt this way, and the reason that there was nothing good about being alone was that Jennifer saw no good about being herself. She needed others to validate who she was because, in her mind, she lacked any kind of worth. 

What happens when you have baggage from the past is that you remember the pain. Jennifer explained that she used to sit in a corner and would intentionally bring up situations from the past because those thoughts justified why she was alone. To her, these memories explained why she was alone. It didn’t make her happy, but it gave her some kind of justification for that awful feeling that she experienced when not validated by someone. In her work situation, she always sought approval for the work that she did. She never got a promotion because people who are this needy don’t make good management material. Their insecurities hold them back. She had been in one abusive relationship after another, but even they held value for her because the fact that her husband was beating her actually made her feel she wasn’t alone.

There is one very good reason why people fear being alone, and it stems from the past. The fear of being alone comes from deep within you. You recall that feeling of abandonment or lack of love, and you never want to walk that path again, so you allow your life to be dragged into unsuccessful relationships and even relationships where you are consistently used by others, rather than facetime on your own with the ghosts of the past. 

It isn’t your past that holds you back. It’s your attitude toward it. It isn’t your past that makes you lonely. It’s your approach to the past. It isn’t the past that makes you feel worthless. It’s your acceptance of the past that does that. The only way forward now is to put the past behind you and to start to learn to love yourself. Your parents and family may have led you to believe that you don’t measure up. Your broken relationships may tell you that as well, but all of the causes of the destruction in your life are within your control, once you step away from being a victim and start living. Although it’s easy to write that down, it’s not as easy to start to live life differently, but unless you do, your life will continue to be a series of unhappy events. 

Here are some affirmations to start your new line of positive thinking. Don’t just look in the mirror and say them. Look in the mirror and mean them. When you know them off all by heart, sit down and close your eyes. Imagine your life filled with love and happiness within yourself, and repeat them because all of this is possible when you are able to drop the past and move forward.

Every day, I continue to learn and grow

I acknowledge my gratitude for what the world has to offer

I have everything that I need to succeed

It isn’t enough to say them. Gradually, make your actions fit with the words. Open your eyes each morning and greet the day with optimism and enthusiasm. Write in your journal all the things that you are grateful for today, and look the world in the face by holding your head up high and presenting yourself in the best way that you can. You are not alone on this journey. There are millions of people like you, and what separates them from you is YOUR negative attitude. Shed it, and begin to see the light.

The Gratitude List

The Quantum Evolve

 NLP Consultancy, specialising in Smoking and Substance Abuse and  advocates of general Mental Health & Wellbeing.