A boy goes to his mom and says, “I’m bored.” The mom replies, “Then you should stop being boring.”
This lesson applies in different variations. If I’m lonely, then I stop being alone.
In my early 20’s, I thought loneliness stemmed from feeling disconnected, and that disconnection was caused by having no people in my life who really understood me. So fixing my loneliness was about fixing the disconnection. I spent years finding people who understood me. However, when I did find a handful of people who I felt really got me, I still felt lonely.
It took me a decade before I realized that we don’t feel lonely because we’re disconnected. We feel lonely because we’ve made a habit of being alone. We can stand alone amongst other people. However, standing alone keeps us from connecting to those around us.
I was trying to fix the wrong problem. I was working on the disconnection when I should have been working on what kept me alone.