There is no pill for loneliness. Yet in an article in the Washington Post, the former US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, says he thinks “of loneliness as an epidemic because it affects a great number of people in our country but also because one person’s loneliness can have an impact on another person.”
One thing that is contributing to this epidemic of loneliness in the world is our use of electronic devices that allow us to “communicate” with each other without ever really seeing or being with the other. Instead of looking each other in the eye when we are talking and sharing a good laugh, our interactions are dependent on how many “likes” we earn on social media.
We become so addicted to the opinions of people we hardly know that many of us are afraid to be alone, and fill our time with noise from the TV and computer, or by chatting with friends about nothing. If no one is constantly validating us with “likes and comments” then we feel a deep void of loneliness because we are uncomfortable with the Self within.
We must be very careful about the news feed either through social networks or news channels. Don’t forget we aren’t fed only through our mouth, but through our eyes and ears as well. Junk food = junk body, junk news feed = junk mind. We already are battling with our own issues of life; negative emotions like loneliness are already occupying a lot of our mind space, added to that if we feed our mind with junk, we know what can come out. As we input so is output. Always follow the path of moderation. We can use social media as long as we are not used by it! Insanity is the tendency to abuse and misuse, so as long as we use and respect the electronic gifts, it will not harm us, or others.
But the key is moderation; we must be aware that loneliness kills many people in this world. People who are addicted to electronics find less and less time for one’s own Self and for others! We need to learn how to live life without the feed of other’s attention and appreciation. Ego will always demand it. For it survives on control and attention, pushing us into clinging and grasping.
The universe has given our mind and body all the power we need to appreciate our own Self. Our inner world and outer world are all energy and vibrations. It is not enough to have the best smart phone, but our true need is to have a smart mind that can consciously close all windows through which come negative vibrations and only open those which bring positive vibrations so we can live in harmonic resonance with the universe.
We also must understand that loneliness and aloneness are not the same. We are lonely when we feel we have been left out. Aloneness is when we are alone, but not lonely, for that is our best quality time with our Self. As we learn to listen to the Silence of our true Self within in meditation or prayer, we get the tool in our hand to be independent of the need of other’s attention or control. Now we are on our own. The switch of life’s delight is in our hands, not in how many “likes” we get. We can be alone, but no longer lonely and depressed.
This is the gift of meditation, which is the medication for the soul without the need for any pills. Time and our breath are very precious. When we are dependent on another’s attention, we need to realize it can be withdrawn any time! Instead let us give attention to our inner treasure of the blissful Presence in the present moment. Let’s enjoy being alone, and forget the mind’s conspiracy of loneliness.
We have come into this world alone, we will have to go back alone, so let us just enjoy this journey with everyone who comes our way, but when we are alone just rejoice that this is our exclusive time with our Higher Self. Our mind can tell us we are lonely but we cannot ever be alone. Can we exist without our Self or Life Principle? Can we move our body without the vital life energy? It is the Life Principle that animates our body and mind. It is this Higher Self that is with us always. Very simply, we are never, ever alone.