This quote, that I got in a recent email, states eloquently the end result of forgiving and accepting yourself – “What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.” (Ellen Burstyn)
I’ve known people who just couldn’t stand to be alone. I don’t think it was self-loathing, so much as being so unsure of themselves or so unforgiving of themselves that they did not find being alone to be good company.
That’s really sad because we are all destined to be alone for some part of our lives, and for some for most of their lives. Being alone doesn’t have to maker us feel lonely. After all, you are spending time with the only human being that you will ever truly understand. I suspect that the feeling of loneliness is really a sense of lack of validation, the need to have someone else always there to tell you that what you are doing or thinking or saying is “OK”. It’s as if they needed permission for everything in life. They have a need for everything that they do to “fit in” to the lives of those around them. When they are alone, there is no one to accept and validate what they are doing, thinking or saying; and for them that it frightening. People who do not need that external validation are comfortable being alone and are often identified as “self-reliant”, “independent” or “confident”.
I have posted here a few times about forgiving yourself. I think carrying around guilt and not being able to forgive yourself for past mistakes lays the groundwork for becoming dependent upon the acceptance of others – it requires constant reassurance and validation and abhors time spent alone with feelings of guilt or remorse.
The road to recovery from the insecurities that cause loneliness begins with accepting that God loves you and forgives you all of your sins. If you can accept that, then it is a short mental jump to forgiving yourself and from there not requiring the validation of others to love yourself. Once you can love yourself you will begin to enjoy the times that you have alone and never have the feelings of being lonely. You will realize that God is always there with you. The conversations that you can have with God and with yourself when you are alone will more than fill the void that you may have felt when you were alone in the past.
What a lovely surprise you will discover when you accept God’s love, and love yourself, and discover how unlonely being alone can be.