Being human is such an incredibly strange experience. We often find ourselves feeling lonely, isolated, and cut off from others, even though at the exact same time we withdraw more and more from social situations. We crave our solitude and time alone, while simultaneously wishing that people cared about us more or showed us how much we mean to them. We wish that they would check up on us and show that they want to hang out and spend time with us, but push them away and close ourselves off when they do. Sometimes it feels like to be human is to be caught in a constant double bind.
We all need social interaction; it’s a fundamental part of our basic physiological needs, along with food, water, sleep, and shelter. It doesn’t matter how introverted or antisocial we might feel at times – loneliness affects us all much more than we might think it does. It causes us physical and psychological damage. It stresses us out, and when we feel it for a prolonged period of time it can even shorten our lives.
We need social contact just like we need to breathe. But because our need to socialize and interact with others isn’t as obvious, it appears to us be something elusive – it lacks substance, and therefore we overlook it and take it for granted. Many people feel weak and pathetic for craving the company of others. They think that they should be able to weather the storm alone, like a strong person can. The truth is that you’re not weak for desiring contact with other people. You’re human.
When we go for long periods of time without speaking to anyone, we begin to feel odd, almost as if we don’t really exist. We feel as though we’re easily overlooked and forgotten about, like we’ve been left by the wayside and everyone has moved on without us.
The truth is, we want to feel cared about. We want to feel like our lives have meaning, that we matter to the people around us. When we feel alone, these things disappear. We get the sense that we could vanish into thin air and no one would notice or care.
You matter. Your life, your presence on this earth is important. It’s more important than you could ever conceive. In the same way that you depend on this whole universe in order to exist, the whole universe depends on you. Without your specific consciousness, the universe wouldn’t be manifested in the way that it is.
Often, although we feel isolated and completely cut off from everyone else, there are people who love and care about us far more than we might realize. We tend to overlook and push these people aside mentally, because the people we want to care about us are the ones who don’t seem to even notice that we’re there. We get tunnel vision, and lose sight of the forest because we’re focused on the trees.
Even when it feels like there truly is no one on this earth who cares about you or would notice if you disappeared, look at it this way; you’re free. You’re completely free to be whoever you want, right now, in this moment. You’re free to live whatever kind of life that you please, free to forge yourself a future full of love, laughter, and happiness. Just because it seems like no one cares about you right now doesn’t mean that no one ever will. Just because no one sees the beauty and depth inside of you right now doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Someone will see it, and sooner than you think.
All you need to do is live your life. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t matter what others think of you, as long as you’re living on your terms. Not everyone has to like or agree with you, as long as you’re happy in your own skin and doing your own thing.
Focusing on yourself is the most important thing, and when you feel like you have no one in your life is the perfect time to do this. You don’t have to worry about anyone else. You can focus entirely on yourself. You can work on your strengths and build yourself up to reach a more satisfied and content place in your life, and find out what it means to be happy on your own terms without worrying about how other people fit into things.
When you’re happy to be you, a strange change occurs in the way that people interact with you. Your inner peace and calm radiates out and attracts people to you. You find that rather than feeling like you need to prove yourself to people, they already see all of the brilliant things that make you you.
No matter how dark things get or how hopeless things seem, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and a whole new experience around the corner. The one constant in this universe is change; things won’t always be like this.
If you can see things that way, then you can endure, no matter how lonely you are.
Remember, the opinion of yourself that matters the most is your own. Be kind to yourself; it’s not easy being human.