I decided to write a slightly offbeat post this holiday season.
You may have come across a lot of messages about the joys of Christmas, that special time of the year to celebrate with friends and family, and have a great time.
There are also messages encouraging people to reach out to those of us living alone in our communities. Those are all well-intended advice reminding us to help and look after our fellow human beings.
Here’s an observation – no one can stop anyone from feeling lonely (or any other feeling for that matter).
What if –
- It was okay to feel lonely or any other feeling (positive or negative) this holiday season?
- Christmas doesn’t always have to be the happiest time of the year or the most challenging time of the year?
- Feelings were shadows of transient thoughts and nothing to be fearful of?
Very often, we assume that if we are surrounded by our friends and family and busy ourselves in activities, we won’t feel lonely. On the other hand, there is a prevailing belief that if we are on our own particularly at this time of the year, we’d feel lonely.
That, however, is not true.
We can be on our own and still feel connected with others, at a deep spiritual level. We can be with our friends, family and still feel lonely.
I recently had a coaching session with Nick (not his real name) who was dreading Christmas. Nick didn’t mind Christmas day itself but said he disliked the family tradition of getting together under the same roof. He was apprehensive about feeling lonely, around people he wasn’t particularly close to.
I’ve been sharing the understanding of innate health and resilience and the inside out nature of our experiences with Nick over a few sessions now. He soon realised that he actually had no way of predicting how he was going to feel this Christmas. That didn’t stop him from feeling apprehensive, however.
I pointed out that his feelings didn’t come from the tradition of his family getting together this time of the year, nor from any unwelcome comments made by others. His feelings come from thought in the moment taking form.
I asked him what may happen if he allowed himself to feel lonely, should that feeling come to him at any point.
That question shifted something for Nick.
He saw that he was apprehensive of this year’s Christmas on the basis of memories of the past. He realised he was misusing the gift of thought to create a scene in the future that may or may not happen.
The holiday season of Christmas and new year doesn’t bring magic with it. We carry the magic with our presence and state of mind. If we are in a good state of mind, we feel connected to others in spirit even when we are on our own. If we are in a troubled state of mind, we feel disconnected, discontent and lonely even in the presence of good company.
This Christmas – my message to you is there is no particular feeling you need to feel. You will feel whatever thought takes shape any given moment and that is okay – and, that is how it’s meant to be.
You can feel lonely one minute and be fine the next. Beyond the changing states of mind which you have very little control over, you are always connected to the essence of life.
This holiday season, notice if you can see past the illusion of separateness from others to a more profound truth – that we are all connected – at a deeper level of consciousness, beyond our human form.
Feeling lonely is a temporary state of mind as is feeling connected. Both are states of mind, and no one state of mind is better than the other. We could experience peace in both states of mind when we understand the illusionary nature of our thoughts and feelings.
I wish you peace and love, and look forward to many more conversations with you in 2018!
With warmest wishes,