It is a great time to remember your existence. Not only is it the mental awareness month, but also 70% of my clients, when they first arrive, experience the ‘separation’ from themselves or others. Right now, loneliness is an epidemic with devastating results. So I want to break loneliness down to understand its mechanism and how we can support each other to stay in connection.
Loneliness is something that all people experience to varying degrees. Often people may think that loneliness can be remedied by simply being around other people, but there is a kind of loneliness that cannot be. This second form of loneliness, which exists even in a packed office or household, renders us suffer.
Loneliness happens as we build our egos. With an ever-growing ego, we fragment ourselves from ourselves and others. In psychology, this is called fragmentation. When we separate from certain parts of ourselves, those parts feel disowned and isolated. They get buried in our subconscious, unaware of their existence; we engulf them. And that leads us to feel lonely. Severely.
Some parts of loneliness are made of the emotion of shame. Shame is not a response to embarrassing behaviours, experiences and thoughts. Shame is primal and weakening us. It is the fuel that turns the wheels of our self-fragmentation. When we experience shame, we initiate pushing ourselves or our parts away. As we cannot do this in reality, we do it by splitting our consciousness. We start withdrawing from people and avoiding them. We make ourselves inaccessible. We hide behind a person, so people only ever interact with our masks. As a result, we experience extreme loneliness, utterly unaware of what we have become.
Wait for Part II to further explore loneliness and its emotional anatomy.