For many of us, the connections we make are the most invigorating and vitalising aspects of our lives. We think of our family members—both two- and four-legged—friends, as well as those strangers with whom, for whatever reason, we made a meaningful connection.
In some instances, those connections are made with other elements of nature, our inherent union with it it energised and strengthened. We may enjoy a walk along the coast with the waves rushing on and offshore thrilled by the sound of its rustle and swish. Some may simply enjoy puttering around in their garden during the early morning—that’ll do.
But what happens when we lack this vital anchor of connection in our lives? Well, we’re often left lonely and adrift.
Loneliness is very complex. An online dictionary defines it as “being without company” while another regards it as “Dejected by the awareness of being alone.” The latter is likely more on the mark. I think we can all agree there is an element of perception that is crucial in determining if we are “lonely.”
Finally, the American Psychological Association (APA) defines it as the emotional distress we feel when our inherent needs for intimacy and companionship are not met.
One site described several causes for loneliness that included the death of a close friend or family member, illness or disability and working alone.
Loneliness can be either transient or chronic, differing in the length of time it is experienced. Transient being shorter periods while the latter being counted sometimes in years. It is more a state of mind, completely disconnected from our physical surroundings.
Some emphasise how it’s possible to still feel lonely despite being surrounded by people. You could be an elderly person living alone, a single parent taking care of youngsters, or a teenager navigating growing up. For whatever reason, you may be assailed by a feeling of unwanted isolation: loneliness.
I could be oversimplifying the idea of loneliness. Still, it seems to be associated with a lack of deep and meaningful connections.
To be connected is one of the most wonderful experiences. And it is here where the concept of oneness is key, for connection and interconnectedness play an integral role in oneness. Can this way of thinking and being not feature in helping to prevent us from feeling lonely and alone?
Inherent Connection in Oneness
What does it mean to connect? Again, a look at the dictionary brings up words such as “linked together”, “associated”, “unite” or “meaningfully related.” One of the most beautiful forms of a more intense connection is commonly known as “oneness.” It’s a sentiment accessible to one and all, whether in a crowd or alone, for hours on end for just a moment.
Kristine Klussman offers some examples of oneness.
- The awe and significance or insignificance you feel when gazing up at the stars.
- A silent, sudden awareness that strangers on the subway are really your brothers and sisters.
- The realization that others have many of the same dreams and heartaches that you have.
- A sense that you are in sync with the universe, and breathing through the lungs of the earth
These are only a few, but I think you likely get the picture. They provide us with an idea of how it’s possible to feel intensely connected with the universe, with one another, or with some element within ourselves.
And that’s the thing. When we do, the feelings of loneliness have less of an opportunity to gain purchase. Why? Because we feel utterly connected to one and all.
Loneliness may thrive and strengthen when we are deprived of meaningful connection. Although, to be filled with a sentiment of oneness is the essence of meaningful connection. Once this occurs, sentiments such as loneliness lose their hold on our hearts.
It’s not going to happen immediately, the thought of simply running out to catch a beautiful sunrise and that’d be it. But what is essential perhaps, is maybe gazing at that gorgeous sunrise and reminding ourselves of our innate connectedness with the universe. Yes indeed, we’re all in this together.
That innate connectedness is always there, it’s just we don’t always remember that.
Klussman, Kristine 2023 “Find The Meaning of Connection Through Oneness” https://www.kristineklussman.com/find-the-meaning-of-connection-through-oneness/
Madeson, Melissa 2023 “How to Overcome Loneliness According to Psychology” https://positivepsychology.com/loneliness-psychology/
Modglin, Lindsay and Deborah Courtney 2023 “What Is Loneliness? Causes, Effects And Prevention” https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/what-is-loneliness/