How do you know when you’re lonely? And, if you do find that loneliness is what you feel—what can you do about it?
Loneliness is what you feel when you feel dismissed, unseen, and unknown by those in your life. This lack of meaningful connection with others may fill you with shame, remind you of hurt, or paralyze you with fear. Whatever the case may be, it is critical that you feel and face your loneliness. On the other side of your felt loneliness is intimacy, and you need intimacy for a rich and meaningful life. Intimacy is a gift, and to experience it, you must move with courage away from your apathy and back into the sometimes scary work of being known.
Now, if you haven’t felt known or seen in some time, you don’t have to tell your deepest darkest secrets to not feel lonely anymore. That’s more of a recipe for a vulnerability hangover than it is anything.
The need of your loneliness is to be known, and here’s the good news about being known:
It happens when you talk about one of your hobbies. It happens when someone compliments the shoes you’re wearing and you share why you like them.
This is to say that even though loneliness can feel crippling, you can fight against the apathy by simply opening up and being a little more known than usual.
When you practice being known, you are practicing intimacy—a word that can be written out as, “Into-me-see.” Let those you deem safe see into you, as deep into you as you are willing to show. If they are safe, perhaps you could start a conversation this weekend by saying how lonely you’ve been feeling?
Here’s to feeling your loneliness, daring to be known, and experiencing intimacy along the way. Your loneliness matters because you matter.
P.S. Looking for more guidance about loneliness, or emotional health in general? Join the conversation we’ve started on the Tik Tok platform! Here is the link to our profile.