23 Sep The Magical Cure For Loneliness: How To Effortlessly Connect With People And Never Feel Lonely Again
In 2014 I had everything I had ever wanted. An amazing partner, the perfect job, plenty of good friends and a big, loving family. But for some reason, I had this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. I remember sitting right next to my partner on the couch and still feeling completely alone. Not physically alone but just that nobody in the world really knew me. What was going on here? I was about to learn one of the most beautiful lessons of my life.
For a number of reasons I had grown up to be very independent. From a young age, I knew what I wanted, I knew what I had to do to get it and I just forged my own path. I wouldn’t really share things that I was struggling with to anyone. If I had a problem, I would just read books and blogs and listen intently to people and form my own solutions to things. I was Jonny Independent. Sammy Strong. Daryl Doityourself. Ok, you get the point; I didn’t need no help from nobody. For years this worked extremely well for me. I am fortunate that I am very successful in my career, have strong friendships and somehow managed to find a wonderful man that loved me fully. But then came this overwhelming feeling of loneliness and a thought that I wasn’t really connected to anyone.
Then I learned the beautiful word that is the foundation of all connection and the enemy of loneliness. The word is vulnerability. The world vulnerable comes from the Latin word vulnus which actually means ‘to wound’. To be vulnerable is to give somebody else the power to wound you. I realised that I had never been vulnerable to anyone and mostly because I feared that in some way, I would be wounded. The thought that if I opened up and said how I truly felt, people would think I was weird or maybe be angry in some way and will no longer like or even worse, love me. With most people I just kept up this front of having it all. We put up these walls to protect ourselves. We smile, we agree, we nod and slowly, we die inside. The truth is, we have to be willing to be wounded to get the gold. If we can’t find it within ourselves to be vulnerable, we will never get to experience the beauty of true connection.
A connection is simply where two things link, like when a plug connects to a socket. It finds the points that are common and a connection is made. The same thing goes for people. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you give the other person permission to be vulnerable too and then a kind of magic happens. The walls immediately crumble and that person realises in that moment that they share their humanity with someone else. You find common ground in your honesty and a connection is made. It’s a beautiful moment and one i’ve seen time and time again over the last few months as i’ve fully embraced my vulnerability.
One of the most powerful moments of my life occurred last week. For whatever reason I had never been vulnerable with my father and it had kept our relationship stagnated. So this week, I opened up to him for the first time in my life and it is one of the scariest things i’ve ever had to do. I told him that for me our relationship wasn’t working, that I hadn’t been open and honest with him and that deep down I really wanted more. In that very moment a 20 year weight lifted off my shoulders and this space opened up between us to just talk and share stories. Because of my willingness to be vulnerable and do what was scary, we were able to really get connected. It was a wonderful moment and one that i’ll treasure forever.
Sadly, many people won’t ever get this opportunity with their parents. If you’re feeling lonely or disconnected from the people closest to you, consider this: Do you share yourself openly and honestly with the important people in your life? There is an opportunity for you right now to get much more connected with these people and I sincerely hope you take it.
1. Think about some of the things that you’re struggling with. The things that you’re afraid to share with people. Is it a relationship that isn’t working? Is it stress from work? Is it simply the fact that you’re feeling lonely?
2. Open yourself up to the people that are important to you. Share some of the things that you’re scared of sharing. Embrace the vulnerability.
3. Observe the magic that happens between you and the other person. That is connection, the enemy of loneliness.
4. Enjoy your new free and connected life!