Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain once said that “the worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself” and yet he himself suffered from massive insecurities of loneliness. Born premature, he spent the first seven years of his life as a “sickly and precarious child who lived mainly on allopathic medicines“. Forever trying to seek the love of his parents, he never really could find in himself the love that he so desperately sought.

“The love of oneself is the start of a lifelong romance” said Oscar Wilde and ironically he too tried to find love in the arms of young boys!!!!!

Both …masters of prose and poetry offered the world a cure for loneliness and yet searched for fulfillment in their own lives.

What really is loneliness, if not just a state of mind?

One can be extremely lonely in a crowd or be completely surrounded by serene thoughts while in total solitude. In varying degrees, we all have experienced both. Which one is better? Being a line looking for an end or becoming a circle and finding the end?

As I sat down to write about loneliness at the behest of my friend, I wondered what view I adhered to. The sadistic, masochistic view that delves into the pain caused by loneliness or the optimistic view that allows one to view loneliness as an opportunity to discover the inner self?

Being a firm believer in positivity and happiness, the answer was easy.

Our life is a self created matrix. The only question is which pill we’d rather swallow. The blue pill or the red pill? Is ignorance bliss or is the truth worth knowing… matter what! “Truth shall set you free” says the Bible. So truth we shall seek.

Philosophically; the existentialist school of thought views loneliness as the essence of being human. Each human being comes into this world alone, journeys through life an isolated being, and ultimately departs from this planet alone.

However, other existentialists argue quite the opposite. Human beings are meant to actively "engage" each other or else feel the futility of existence, especially so if they are unable to communicate, love or procreate.

The debate continues !!!

So do we look for fulfillment outside of us or within ourselves? Both are acceptable, but I think the latter is not only easier to follow, but also more profound and lasting. For the former we need another individual or individuals who are willing to accept us in our entirety at all given times. That, we can all agree is a tad difficult. Acceptance and agreement goes hand in hand with debate and disagreement, which eventually could lead to loneliness.

The more individualistic we are, higher the chances of our being lonely. This may or not be bad though. After all, God has endowed us all with unique thinking that is far from collective. Why then are we constantly looking for acceptance and agreement? Does it all stem from inherent insecurities we harbor within ourselves?

The first step to overcoming loneliness is to accept it as something natural and yet ephemeral. Our state of mind is our own choice and the only thing that we have control over. Nothing worse than being a prisoner of your own mind and not realizing it, thus having no urge to escape.

First step would most certainly be the acknowledgement and acceptance that loneliness is nothing but a state of mind. Instead of calling it loneliness we can choose to call it solitude. Solitude is a choice while loneliness is a circumstance. A mere twist of words and we have already started to change our thinking.

Look at it as a line or a line ending in a circle!!!!!!

Perhaps a positive self image is the key to overcoming loneliness. Instead of running out and looking for company, it might be a better idea to reprogram our mental selves via positive self talk and affirmations. As I like to say “Be the person that walks into the room and the room lights up and not the person that walks out of the room and the room lights up”.

Once we are comfortable in our own company, we will automatically become the life of a party and loneliness will be reduced to a term we that we will need to look up in the dictionary.


Author's Bio: 

Shveitta holds an MBA from University of HongKong and is a student of positive psychology. She is a life coach with a focus on Happiness. According to her "Happiness is a skill and a habit. As with any skill, the more we practice the better we get. "