3 Ways to Be Alone and Not Feel Lonely
Even as a Life Coach, I’ve had many ups and downs. One day I may feel on top of the world, like I have a support system the size of an army, and the next day it’s like my army’s been knocked down and I’m left alone to fend for myself on the battlefield.
My goal has always been to seek unconditional self-love, the type of love where I know the support is there with or without my army. The type of love that comes from inside me because of the understanding that nobody outside of me can give me what I can give myself.
See, in the past I’ve always had an issue with looking for attention and approval from others. I would write an article, or release a video on Youtube, and I would wait for my parents or friends or colleagues to offer me the feedback I was looking for. If I didn’t get the right type of feedback, an avalanche of self-doubt and negative thoughts would take over.
In one of my favorite articles, “My Personal Story of Serial Dating Narcissists and How I Broke Free,” I write about one of the deepest forms of loneliness I’ve ever felt. The worst form of loneliness I’ve felt was when I allowed myself to remain in destructive relationships with men. I think we can all agree that it’s more lonely to be in the same room with your man, who doesn’t “see” you for who you are, than to be single. Those are the types of situations I got myself in.
What I learned was that loneliness comes in a variety of colors. We can be lonely because it’s been ages since we’ve felt love, or perhaps we’ve never even felt what it is to love. We can feel lonely being in a relationship when it’s with a partner who doesn’t value and appreciate us. We can even feel lonely surrounded by a huge network of family and friends, yet we feel like nobody understands us. Or we can feel lonely simply because we have nobody, we’re alone in this world.
Either way you look at it, loneliness feels pretty shitty and I’ve learned over the years that I was looking for attention, validation and acceptance… but in the wrong places.
So over the course of seven years, traveling to India many times, and attempting to find myself, I finally came to some pretty solid conclusions about what loneliness is and how to overcome it.
- Lonely and Alone are not Created Equal
Upon getting out of one destructive relationship after another, I knew something had to be done. I wasn’t willing to go through another guy just like the last, only with a different face. I realized I had to figure out why I was feeling alone both in and out of my relationships.
One of the things I became aware of is the simple truth that ‘lonely and alone are not created equal.’ I made it my mission to be single for long enough to feel the loneliness of being single, but then was able to transform that energy of loneliness into inspiration. It hit me the moment I realized that I can be single and still feel loved.
I then started to feel a natural high every single day that I was single. The high came from a place where being alone inspired me to create a life that I wanted for ME, not for or with my partner. Once I became inspired while single, I began to live my life channeling a different form of inspiration.
All it takes is the simple realization that, we can be alone and never lonely. It is possible. Even sitting in my room, with the lights off, no music or noise to distract me, became pure joy. The faith that comes with the idea that you’re never lonely began my path towards feeling comfortable with being alone.
- We’re Looking out When we Need to be Looking In
Another amazing shift happens to us when we focus our attention in the right places. Many of us are so often looking for acceptance and validation in outside sources. For example, in the past when I wanted to feel validated I would go shopping, buy an awesome outfit, and wear it out that weekend simply because I knew it would be an attention grabber.
The best part is, I never needed to spend a penny to get the same results!
Ever since I learned the art of looking inside myself for validation rather than outside myself, I instantly entered into a “feel good” moment that lasted days. In a matter of seconds my perspective shifted. As I sat there in meditation I began to conjure up all the compliments that I was seeking from others, onto myself. I began to recognize my own uniqueness, and it didn’t even require validation from anybody else outside myself!
So being that my nature is a curious one, and I’m always in search for a solution that brings permanent pleasure, I began to inquire. I asked my spiritual coach what I was doing wrong and he simple said, “you’re looking out… you need to look in.” At the time I was like WTF does that even mean, so he told me to sit with myself in meditation to see if I was able to achieve that type of instant gratification without the need to go shopping or receive compliments from outsiders.
All that would end up happening was, I would feel really good for a couple hours after buying the outfit, but as soon as I got home, added the new clothes to my already too big collection of accumulated junk, I began to feel empty again. The satisfaction never lasted longer than a day.
I later learned that this approach was totally wrong!
- Self-Love is the Greatest Cure of All
This lesson is the one that has been the most challenging, but the most rewarding. When we practice self-love nobody can ever take us out of our center. True self-love brings a permanent belief in oneself, permanent joy, and permanent inspiration. But how do we achieve self-love when we are constantly comparing ourselves to other beautiful women?
At the end of the day, focus on being YOU, everyone else is already taken.
Self-love comes when you first go inside yourself and recognize your unique contribution to this planet. It may be as simple as being an amazing mother or wife. Or it can be creating a business that serves others. Whatever your unique fingerprint is, recognize it as your own and stop comparing yourself to others.
When you let this concept sink in, you’ll recognize that you are incredibly unique. God is the greatest artist there is, He created every single person different and special.
The answer is to focus on your unique fingerprint. Did you know that out of the seven billion people in the world no two voices are alike? There are seven billion different voices in the world! There are also seven billion different colors in which we see the world, because no two people see the color the same. This means there are seven billion different shades of blue out there.
When we realize that being alone does not need to feel lonely, the type of attention we look for from others, we are able to give ourselves. It’s a process that is our birthright and it comes from looking in and recognizing our uniqueness. So take a step back, sit with yourself, no music or distraction, and find that little voice inside your heart that always knows you’re never alone.
My bio: Ayelet Shimron is a practicing Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, author of the book “Goddess Guide to Get the Guy” and creator of The Ayelet Show. She hosts workshops in NYC and service project retreats where she inspires women and children on a variety of topics, all aimed towards experiencing massive shifts in self confidence, self worth and self love. She recently returned from Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, Israel, France and Peru, where she hosted her inspirational workshops and projects. One of the things Ayelet loves most about social media, is its ability to connect her with her viewers. She makes it her responsibility to respond to each and every comment. To connect with Ayelet directly, go to facebook.com/Ayelet.Shimron, youtube.com/ayeletshimron, instagram.com/ayeletshimron.