While someone can be by themselves, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will feel lonely. To be on their own and away from others could be something that they enjoy; with one feeling energised by it.
However, there are other people who can be by themselves and this makes them feel incredibly lonely. In this case, they are unable to enjoy their own company and the experience makes them feel cut off and isolated from other people.
But although this could be seen as one simply being with others and feeling connected and being by themselves and feeling disconnected, it is not always this back and white.
As it is possible for one to be around other people and to still feel as though they are alone. Similarly, to how one can spend time by themselves and feel completely connected and at peace.
This goes to show that it is not so much about what is going on externally, as it is about what is going on internally. And is likely to include: emotions, thoughts, sensations and beliefs. With these combining to create a powerful inner experience and one that will define how one does or does or not lead their life.
This is going to create certain patterns in one’s life and these could take place without one even being aware of them. One possible option is for one to always be in a relationship with someone and this doesn’t have to be a fulfilling one. As long as one is with someone and not by themselves that may well be good enough.
For another person, it might be that they can’t avoid feeling alone and although they would like to be in a relationship, they can’t seem to get this far with another person.
Another option would be for one to alternate between the two patterns above. So they could be in one relationship after another and then have a period of being by themselves. Or they could primary be by themselves and then have a relationship with another on the odd occasion.
In the first example one can regulate their feelings through being with another person. And at the same time, this doesn’t mean that one won’t feel alone in the relationship; as they could still feel as they do when they are by themselves.
When it comes to the second scenario, one could be more in touch with how they feel. Or they might use other means as a way to regulate how they feel. So one person is likely to use their primary relationship to change how they feel and the other may use different kinds of escapes to numb their pain.
When one has this experience of feeling alone, no matter if they are with another or by themselves, there is going to be the potential for compromise to occur. A bit like going shopping when one is hungry; one often ends up buying anything and doesn’t always think about whether something is actually suitable or not.
It could mean that one finds themselves in a relationship that will enable them to heal this challenge. But they could also find that they are in a relationship that is dysfunctional, unhealthy and abusive.
And one could end up playing the role of the perpetrator or the rescuer or they could be the person who ends up as the victim and the one who is rescued. It is then not an adult to adult relationship where each person is on the same level, one is above the other.
If one doesn’t have long terms relationships with another to avoid feeling lonely, they may just settle for short term encounters. And while this may not be very fulfilling, they still enable one to avoid having to fully face their feelings.
This is clearly not the ideal way to live and yet one may not know that there is an alternative. The emotional experience can be so strong that one ends up being controlled by it and doesn’t have the chance to do anything else.
Under The Fear
So one person can have a fear of being alone and does all they can to be in a relationship. And another person can have the same fear, but never manages to get into a relationship.
On the surface this could be seen as one person having more confidence than the other and this allows them to actually get into a relationship. Whereas the other is not confident enough to get in to one in the first place
The person who has a tendency of being in relationships is likely to have a strong fear of being abandoned; as well a feeling of being engulfed existing at a deeper level. And the person who avoids them is likely to have a strong fear of being engulfed. The feeling of being abandoned is also going to exist, but the fear of being engulfed will be a lot stronger.
It might be hard to understand the reason as to why these feelings are so powerful and that is until one comes to see that these feelings originated when they were completely dependent on their caregiver/s.
The mind often forgets about these early years and everything can then appear to be one big mystery. But how one feels is likely to be normal, based on what took place all those years ago.
Ideally, one would have had a caregiver that was emotionally aware and attuned to their needs and wants as a child. This doesn’t mean that one needed the perfect caregivers/s, what it means is that they were good enough.
When this is not the case, the chances are high that one will either be abandoned as a child or that they will be engulfed or both. This may have been a regular occurrence or it may have happened a few times, but the consequences can be the same.
To be abandoned at this age will feel like death and that is partly because one hasn’t got the ability to regulate their emotions at this age. Being engulfed is likely to lead to one feeling the same way and they may well have had moments of being abandoned also.
And as ones caregiver were out of touch with how one felt, their emotions would have ended up being pushed out of their awareness and ended up being trapped in their body.
The above is just a rough guide and what it emphasises is the fact that although one has physically grown up, emotionally they have stayed the same. And all the time these feelings remain trapped in one’s body, one will continue to create the same reality.
To be by oneself and to feel at ease will not be possible either, as these feelings will create the illusion of being separate and cut off. One way of dealing with these trapped feelings and emotions is to seek the assistance of a therapist or a healer. Here, one will face them and gradually release them.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.