It’s okay to feel alone

I don’t want to feel alone as a way of life.

But sometimes feeling alone can be good.

Wanted or unwanted, the feeling of aloneness can help us be more creative. It can help us break out of a rut. It can help us leave the pack behind. It can help us start to figure out who we really are.

Feeling alone can force you to find your own motivation.

Groups are powerful, and we often latch onto ideas or activities because the group does. When you don’t feel like you’re part of the group, you have to go inward. What really motivates you? Find out when you’re alone, and you’ll be more valuable, individual, and interesting when you’re not alone.

Feeling alone can prepare you for leadership.

Ask any leader if they ever feel isolated, misunderstood, or rejected. The larger the group or organization you have to lead, the more likely you’ll feel alone as a leader. Leaders have to stand out in order to lead.

Feeling alone can help you make a big change that you need to make but have been avoiding.

People distract us. Conversations distract us. Stuff, activities, movies, text messages, every little thing, it all adds up to a mess of distraction.

If we want to avoid truths that need our attention, all that noise helps. So when the noise stills, and you sit, and feel yourself alone and quiet, squeeze up the courage to let the truths speak.

Staying the same is never the answer. Moving forward, growing, doing the hard thing: those are often the answer. Feel alone, and feel what you need to do while you’re alone.

Feeling alone can help you get past the self-pity.

If you’re feeling rejected, you want to wallow in that self-pity instead of push yourself forward.

You may feel justified in it. Maybe you are. It doesn’t really matter, because self-pity never serves you even when you deserve much pity. Self-pity doesn’t help you solve, or heal, or progress, or let go, or understand. It just keeps you there, glued to cause of your pain.

Feeling alone can help you push past the surface of self-pity. It’s a chance to focus on the cause of that pain. Feel the anger. Mourn, scream, and rage over the loss and the injustice. Acknowledge it all. And then release it.

Feeling alone can teach you how to talk to, help, or teach others who feel alone.

There are so many. So many of us struggle, feeling like we’re on the fringe, like everybody else has figured it out but we’re still all stumbly and klutzy and awkward. Feeling like the group has formed – in concrete – and we are left out of it.

So many of us feel alone. Learn that feeling, know it, live with it a while, and you understand how to help others who are living with it.