Are You Alone in Your Loneliness?
By Ahmad Amirali
Humans are roaming on this planet for millions of years, along with all the different types of species. Every single being is connected through many facets, ecologically, and one of the aspects is ‘Emotions’. We do have emotions because we feel, just as everything else does – trees, animals, insects, everything feels somehow, and that’s how we all are connected. However, I am leaving some room for critics, as some people might not agree with me. Talking about emotions, have you ever found yourselves alone in a room full of people? Have you ever felt invisible in the middle of a conversation with your friends or family members? Have you ever felt lonely even you’re surrounded by your loved ones? You know what, you might not be alone in your loneliness.
One of my previous year students texted me yesterday, asking me about my health and work. I felt great as we had a chat that reminds us of our teacher-student time which every teacher, I am sure, cheered when they felt nostalgic. However, I felt during the conversation that there is something else that puzzling my students’ mind. Recently, his love life ended, and he broke up with his girlfriend, which jolted his peace of mind. However, I am not interested in discussing the rationale behind his breakup. The thing that intrigued me was when he asks ‘Sir, why we feel alone when something bad happened to us?’ I believe we all, as a human, ask this question on some point of time in our lives but do we find answers? The majority of us might say, ‘yeah, it hurts, but time will heal the wounds, or ‘the experience will teach him how to move on.’ I agree with all these solutions, but the question remains unanswered even after moving on ‘Why we felt alone?
Instead of answering my student, I asked him, are you sure you still feel alone? He went silent, and then he replied, ‘yes, sir, but now I am relaxed.’ Humans are social animals, created and destined to live in some kind of social order. Sometimes our mind cannot articulate some problems and cannot respond to certain challenges, specifically emotional challenges that need some counselling. Sharing or talking to someone you trust helps your mind to rearticulate the situation or a problem. Being open and vulnerable with your loneliness, fear, and sadness can help you find comfort and feel less alone.
Jonny Sun, an author, writer, and artist, believe in a similar kind of solution. He shared his journey of loneliness on an interactive TED talk. He shares how telling stories about feeling like an outsider helped him tap into an unexpected community and find a tiny sliver of light in the darkness.
Let’s review his TED talk, but before keeping that in your mind, ‘You are never alone in your loneliness – the only thing you need is to open up to your problems.’