How to deal with loneliness - a Taoist approach

February 25, 2022
Personal Growth
Mental Health

Are you feeling lonely? Does this make you sad?

Are you craving better, more meaningful relationships? That's great. We, humans, need these connections; we need to feel part of something.

Humans need other humans to thrive. We need love. We need to belong. The first step is to realize that craving relationships doesn't make us needy or pathetic - it makes us human.

"This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."

- William Shakespeare.

To be in a meaningful relationship, you will have to start by being honest with yourself.

Notice where you are in your life right now, and make a note of what is important to you.

It is a cliché to say that you must learn to love yourself first to love someone else and be loved by someone else. However, it is true that you need to be the person you want to attract and that for you to be happy in a partnership, you have to already be satisfied with who you are.

That doesn't mean you must feel completely satisfied and feel you are perfect - if so, then you wouldn't need a relationship, and you would have no place to grow.

Like with all things in the world, there is a balance to find. The unhappiest people I have dealt with across my years of coaching (and people I have witnessed close to me) are often (very often) people that have been way too focused on themselves.

Whether the person is an egotist or simply tries too hard to be a better person in order to serve the world is not important. The fact is that when we focus primarily on our own well-being and our own Self, we are constantly dissatisfied.

You are not alone

You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.

It is important to remember that. Don't wait to be ready to serve - start now! You will never be prepared. You will always feel like an imposter. Be genuine in your heart, and it will all be ok.

Your skin is not a wall but a bridge.

The nature around you is part of who you are. The air you breathe through your lungs is purified by whales and trees - and so the trees are as much part of yourself as your own lungs.

Remember that without others, there is no self. Without there, there is no here.

We are all part of one thing - an ecosystem of nature. Some call it God. Some call it the universe. The name we put on this is not only unimportant; it is impossible to express such infinity with a word, explain or understand these principles of connection between all beings on an intellectual level. When Lao-Tzu was asked to write a manual, a guide for life before leaving, he sat down and wrote. But he warns us, on the very first page, that the Tao that can be told can never be the eternal Tao. The name that can be named can never be the eternal Name. What is essential is to embrace the darkness, the mystery of life.

Do not try to understand why you feel this or that way. You don't need to put words on it. Let yourself feel, let yourself be. Remove the resistance that we put forth as an attempt to protect ourselves from emotional pain. It is the resistance to the pain that creates more pain. Not the pain itself. Let it go, let it be. Trust your instincts. And so, when someone feels sad, I say: great! When someone feels happy, I say: great! When someone is lonely, I say: great! We, humans, have all felt like this before. This is because we rely on ideas, thoughts, and imagination to explain everything. When someone feels depressed because they crave a relationship, it is neither with his Self nor with others. It is with the whole.

We are not meant to be disconnected the way we think we are. A tree cannot grow without soil, without light, without water. It cannot reproduce without the wind and the bees. The same is true for us - we cannot be complete if we keep resisting being part of the whole. You are unique, and you are independent, fiercely so. But you are also interdependent like a wave is to the shore and a mountain to the sky. Your uniqueness and individuality come from the expression of who you are, of what you are. We are all unique expressions of the same thing.

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