The depth of loneliness is man-made: we perceive things to be much deeper than they really are.
Loneliness is detachment. Why do we feel the urge for companionship when we know we are self-sufficient?
The feeling of self-sufficiency stems from the suppression of wants. We as humans are born to want. We can never give up wanting because the suppression of wants is a want in itself. Then why not acknowledge we have wants rather than suppress them?
There is a difference between acknowledgement and suppression.
Acknowledgement is when we know something exists and we accept it in its present state. We also accept that it may change in the future. We are okay to face the good or the bad associated with it because we have realized it is a part and parcel of the whole thing. Just like a rose comes with a thorn, we know beauty is balanced with sharpness. They may have different colours and purpose but they co-exist and we accept that.
However, suppression is different. Suppression is about deliberately choosing to ignore something. He who fasts, feels hungry, but he chooses to ignore the cry of the body. He restricts the body from something natural—food. Similarly, by suppressing wants, we choose to ignore what we want. We sacrifice. We lose. We starve the mind from satisfaction. We refuse to nourish it. This is dark.
The idea of self-sufficiency through suppression is incorrect, unhelpful, and counter-productive. However, if self-sufficiency is linked to sharing, to charity; it has a positive ring to it. Let’s say we are satisfied with the two jackets we have. We don’t need another jacket, but someone gives us one. Of course, we may choose to keep it. But if we are satisfied already, we may choose to give one of our jackets to someone who needs it, perhaps an old man begging in the streets. This kind of sacrifice—sharing, which stems from self-sufficiency—is good. It makes us feel better. This is where our cup is overflowing and we are in a place to enjoy it.
Detachment is always imposed either by ourselves or by an authoritarian figure. Being detached from something creates a void in the heart and mind where it used to stay. This void is like a vacuum that must be filled with something else that will come and occupy that space. Of course, we may choose to put ourselves in that void. We become filled by us. We do not need to, and we don’t look beyond us. We become our own constant companion. So detachment itself needs a companion because self-sufficiency is nothing but a suppression of wants.
So what is loneliness? Why do we feel lonely?
We feel lonely because we realize we alone (however great we may be at self-sufficiency, sacrifice, and independence) cannot make ourselves complete. We may have great qualities, but they fall short of making us feel complete. Hence, the want has surfaced beyond all the suppression, and the heart is looking for a companion again. We need to identify all those things which we lack and focus on balancing them out. This will move us closer to feeling complete; it will instil a sense of achievement in us. We will reduce the dependency on seeking it outside our boundaries. The loneliness shall reduce but not disappear. At least, not that quickly.
We are adequate in so many ways, but our work in the spiritual space needs to be balanced by something or someone in the physical space. Someone who will make us feel complete. Someone who can believe in our work and offer us balance. That is why we feel lonely. Bigger things are planned for us, but we must meet them after we achieve success in spirituality. Until then, we must learn to control our minds and look inside it for the answer. We don’t need to worry. Everything takes time. This life is a test of patience.