“You can Have so Many People Around You yet Feel so Alone”
She was surrounded by laughter and joy. Everyone around her was happily chatting and it seemed that their long conversations would never end. There was everyone she wanted around her: her family, her friends, her relatives and everyone who cared about her. She wasn’t alone in this world. She had never been alone. Yet somehow she felt alone. There were people around to complete her life yet she felt incomplete. There was joy bubbling around her yet she was sad from within. She had no apparent reason to feel this way yet her agony never seemed to end. It wasn’t that she didn’t think about this feeling. She wanted to get an answer to it. She wanted to know why she felt that way when she had no reason to feel frustrated and pained, but the answers never came to her.
Have you ever felt this way too? Do you ever think you are alone in a huge crowd of people? Do you feel there is nobody to understand you even when you have friends and family around? Does it bother you why you cannot bring yourself to smile even when there is nothing to feel sad about? Yes? You feel this way because you aren’t truly and deeply connected to your own self and haven’t embraced your own individuality completely.
You are not the only one who feels this way. There are scores of people in the world who relate to these feelings and it all boils down to all of them not feeling fulfilled in their internal world. The people around you, your surrounding environments and the experiences you have constitute your external world, but you also have an internal world that comprises of your feelings, emotions and thoughts. If there is any sort of turbulence in your internal world, you find it difficult to feel calm, peaceful and happy even when apparently everything around you is fine. While you may think it is the people around you who fail to understand you, but the truth is, it is you who doesn’t really understand your own self and doesn’t know how to effectively communicate with yourself.
Connecting and communicating with oneself means to embrace and accept yourself, and then positively talk to yourself. I discussed how you can accept yourself in my previous post so this one will primarily focus on how you can connect and communicate with yourself. We communicate with ourselves through our self-talk and if that self-talk isn’t positive, we nurture negative thoughts and beliefs that keep us from feeling happy and peaceful from within.
Naturally, if you keep telling yourself how unhappy you are or how you cannot do something right or keep shunning your emotions instead of owning up to them or keep belittling yourself, you won’t ever connect with your inner self deeply. These are only a few of the negative behaviors we pick from our environment and then practice often without giving it much thought. What happens later on is that we start feeling unhappy from within because we don’t really know who we are.
The problem isn’t with your external world, but your internal world- the world you are responsible of creating. Sadly, we associate our happiness with the things around us without realizing that happiness comes from within. If you aren’t happy with yourself from within, you won’t feel happy even if you are driving a Bentley and have loved ones around you. So how is it that you can connect with yourself deeply and build a good communication with your own self? Here are some good ways to get started with it.
- First, make time for yourself when you just sit alone in a quiet room and ponder on yourself. Think about who you are, what you want and why you are unhappy with yourself. If you cannot take out 30 to 60 minutes from your routine for yourself daily, do it 3 to 4 times a day. Do note down the findings in a journal and go through them. In a few weeks, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of yourself.
- When you do find out who you are and what you want, take baby steps towards doing things that you really want to do. If you do not want to work as hard as you are doing right now because you realize that you don’t want a luxurious life, but actually want to spend more time with your family, start doing that. If you aren’t happy working for someone else and want to start your own business, think about how that can be done and then slowly pursue that idea. As you do things you genuinely want to do, you start feeling peaceful from within which slowly resolves the inner conflict going on inside you for a long time.
- Also, start to own your emotions instead of disowning them. Disowning your emotions is when you do not accept your genuine feelings, try to quickly replace them with other feelings or feel bad about feeling a certain way. This mostly happens when you experience emotions the world labels as ‘negative.’ Whether you feel guilty, jealous, anxious, frustrated, sad, annoyed or any other emotion that seems negative to you, do not shun it away or feel embarrassed about it. For tat, first stop labeling your emotions as good or bad. Emotions aren’t good or bad- they are plain emotions. It is your reaction to them that can be positive or negative. If you have gone through a traumatizing episode, you will feel depressed and withdrawn. If someone has things you want, jealousy may bubble inside you. If things aren’t going as you want, it is okay to feel agitated. These are all emotions and they aren’t negative. However, if you instantly react to these emotions violently or irrationally, your reaction isn’t healthy and can result in grim consequences. Hence, stop labeling emotions as good or bad and start to respond to emotions instead of reacting to them. So when you experience a certain emotion, take deep breaths and let it settle in without reacting to it and when it subsides on its own after a little while, think of how to best respond to it. Do that and you’ll feel really good about your emotions and yourself soon enough. If you have trouble understanding how to do that, just reach out to me and I’ll help you out.
While you work on these guidelines, start talking nicely to yourself. Whenever you say something nasty or debilitating to yourself, replace it with something more positive. Instead of saying ‘I cannot do this’, try, ‘I can do this if I try.’ Change ‘Oh you failed again’ to ‘Good job, at least you tried.’ Slowly build the habit of positively talking to yourself and you’ll be amazed at how great you feel about yourself in a matter of days. Try this and let me know how it works for you.
(Art work by Teo Lezhava)