November 6

There is no loneliness
if one is satisfied
with oneself.

Hans-Ulrich Rieker


Today's Meditation:

I used to spend a lot of time feeling lonely, feeling like I needed someone else around to give me the validation that would make me feel better about myself and my life.  It wasn't until I finally realized just how damaging that perspective was to me--my loneliness was a result of my lack of self-image, and not a result of me being alone.  When I finally became comfortable being alone, not feeling a need for someone else to be there, the loneliness departed.

It's not always easy to feel satisfied with ourselves, especially if we set very high standards for ourselves.  It's not easy to feel that we aren't lacking anything if we believe that things outside of ourselves are necessary for our lives to be complete.  And loneliness can be devastating--in our attempts to avoid it, we may seek out the company of people who are very bad for us, and continue to see them even if we know that they're bad for us.

We all have times when we feel frustrated and disappointed with ourselves, but we need to be sure that we don't let those frustrations lead to an overall dissatisfaction.  If we do, we face the possibility of bringing other feelings such as loneliness and depression into our lives, and we really don't need such feelings around, do we?

We can be satisfied with ourselves even when we're alone.  And loneliness isn't necessarily a natural result of being alone--our time alone can be some of the most valuable and interesting times of our lives if we focus on the possibilities that are present in each moment instead of what isn't there.

Questions to consider:

How do you define loneliness?  Why is it such a difficult feeling for so many people to deal with? 

What are some of the most important elements of being satisfied with ourselves?

Why do so many of us have difficulties being by ourselves?

For further thought:

When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do
not properly value the only companion we will
have from birth to death--ourselves.

Eda LeShan

More on solitude.


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