Before combating loneliness it is important to understand what it is and is not. Loneliness involves feeling isolated and disconnected from others. Olivia Lainng writes, “Loneliness centres on the act of being seen. When a person is lonely, they long to be witnessed, accepted, desired, at the same time as becoming intensely wary of exposure.” The feeling of being alone in the world is the heart of loneliness.
But, there’s nothing wrong with being alone. In fact, there is a distinct difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Loneliness can create an empty feeling, as if something is missing. But, being alone is different. Gretchen Rubin explains, “Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting; desired solitude feels peaceful, creative, restorative.”
Plenty of people are perfectly happy being alone. But, for others loneliness is an ever-present darkness, draining joy from their life. Like weeds growing in a garden, loneliness must be confronted and held at bay for the healthier feelings of joy and peace to grow.