In Defence Of Loneliness: Why I Embraced The Art Of Solitude
I have nearly 30,000 "followers" on the internet—living all over the world. I've just come home from a week in Hollywood, taping a reality TV show. Sounds glamorous, right? Yet, here I am—Divine Devina—alone on a Saturday night. My daughter is at a sleepover, and I have no family responsibilities. OK, I admit it—I do have dogs! But I've walked them, fed them, and now they're all snoring. I've finished all my work. (I can't help but get that finished first thing.) I talked to my parents on the phone, I exercised, and I meditated. But I'm still lonely.
Oh, yes, I'm virtually connected. But I have no physical contact. On a sudden impulse, I boldly message one of my ex-lovers, asking him to call me. He sees my message but does not call. So that's that. He's not interested. But you know what? It's not his job to take care of my emotions or soothe my loneliness. My one or two good friends are busy in their committed relationships, and my few other friends are, well, just people I'm not interested in spending time with right now. I think, at the moment, I'd rather be alone than with them. So I guess feeling lonely is a choice.
I'm choosing not to date online right now, too. I don't have the energy to start conversations and make small talk with strangers.
Plus, I'm emotionally and physically exhausted from my week, and I'm not up for going out. I have to work again tomorrow and need my strength for that.
It's true that I crave for the touch of another human being, but I've learned that it's OK to feel that way sometimes. I accept this as part of who I am. And self-acceptance is key. I am my own best friend, and being alone is my personal choice. I never doubt myself, and I always try to think positively.
Loneliness is a state of mind. We can control it. So, here are a few practices I employ whenever I start feeling lonely.
1. I treat myself like I would treat a dear friend in the same situation.
I treat myself with love, care, and kindness, exactly like I would if someone I cared about were dealing with this.
2. I prioritize creativity.
Expressing my creativity helps me channel my feelings and creates a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes I write; sometimes I laugh. I spend a lot of my time laughing.
3. I don't run from loneliness. I embrace it.
I actively avoid activities like social media, visiting family, going shopping, and watching TV. If I engage in those things when lonely, I'm likely to overdo some of those things. I prefer to question myself and get to know the real me.
Instead, I'll spend time outdoors. Even in rain, fog, or snow, I'll go for a walk or a run. The weather won't stop me from living my life!
4. I take myself out on dates.
That is the best part—I can relax in my own company, undemanding and nonjudgmental. Self-dates don't have to be expensive: I like to hang out at bookstores, vintage clothing shops, and organic food festivals.
5. I avoid substances.
What are your thoughts on spending time alone? My addictions include food (especially sugar), shopping, and dating apps. I recognize why I am doing it, and I try my best to avoid them. If I have a lapse, I restart my abstinence the very next moment I can. I never give up—I am a relentless optimist. And loving myself means accepting my imperfections.
Article as published on www.mindbodygreen.com