I had coffee with a friend this morning and one topic that we talked about was loneliness. Both being small business owners, we talked about physical loneliness since we tend to work in isolation. But then my friend asked me if the loneliness could be caused by thinking differently than others. I hadn’t really thought of loneliness as being a by-product of the way that I was thinking, so when he asked that question I started to see a true distinction between feeling alone in a physical sense and feeling intellectually and emotionally isolated.
“One is the Loneliest…”
It’s easy to not feel physically alone. You hang out with some friends, spend some time with your spouse, do something with other people. But what happens when you are with others and yet still feel alone?
You have to start looking at your feelings a little deeper. Are you connected with the person? Is that connection based on a common interest that brings meaning to both of your lives or is it built upon the shallow minutiae of life? Are you alienated with other people by the way you think and how you live life?
There is something transcendent when you can make an intellectual or emotional connection with others. You feel understood. Regardless of whether you are in their physical presence or not, you know that someone gets you and that sense of being understood erases all of the loneliness in a mysterious way.
We all want to be understood and it is up to each of us to be able to communicate through our times of loneliness in order to connect with others. It is not out of despair that we connect with others, but out of desire to share life through the good times and the bad.