There is love, and there is loneliness. These two go together because they are polar opposites - like night and day. When the one appears, the other does not, and vice versa. We can choose to experience either of the two by eliminating its opposite.
Let’s take loneliness, for example. How do we eliminate loneliness? By LEARNING HOW TO LOVE. What’s important here is to examine the words themselves. “Learning how to love” means learning how to do something. We do not say learning how to be loved but rather how to love. We do not say learning how to feel love (everybody knows how to feel love), we say learning how to love. See a pattern here?
But first, let’s take a look at the paradox...
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When we experience loneliness, it’s like a very heavy pain in our hearts and our whole being. Sometimes it can feel so unbearable that we don’t think we’ll make it, we think we’ll actually die. It’s painful, in the same way we feel physical pain, like a toothache, a headache, or stomach ache. And just like when we are in physical pain, we become self-centered and think only about how to escape the pain. When we’re in physical pain, we may use a painkiller or some other kind of medicine, or a massage, to soothe the pain and heal it. For the pain of the soul, we look for someone who will take away our loneliness. Someone to give us the medicine of love.
We are capable of going to great lengths to get this medicine, and some people would do absolutely anything for it. We often call this loving someone, in these painful moments when we try to make someone love us, mistakenly believing that we are being loving.
The "Love Pill"
But loneliness is the lack of love that we have inside ourselves. It’s our own inability to give love, not receive it. The inability to love is what causes loneliness in the first place. But instead of healing this, we are looking for a pill, for someone else to give us the love we ourselves should already have inside.
This is where the paradox comes in : the more we seek love from others to feed the lack of love we have inside, the more we actually feel the hole in our hearts caused by the lack of it. And this takes us, little by little, on a downwards spiral – even if we do manage to find someone who can give us the "love pill" and heal us momentarily. If you try to find health in a pill, you will never really be healthy; and if you try to fix your loneliness by finding someone to love YOU, you will never heal your heart's wounds or find peace, love and fulfillment.
Generally, when a person directs the majority of his life’s efforts towards satisfying his own desires, or seeks the love he needs from others, he becomes self-centered. Even if we see him suffering, and want to love him or give him a hug; even if he cries and suffers tremendously in front of us. The truth is that this person is 100% self-centered. When a person is focused entirely on his own problems, his ability to love freezes.
So then what can we do? What is the solution?
Start seeking to give love, not receive it. Start by giving love to people, animals, trees, plants, the Sun, the Moon, and the rivers. Start loving! Love is a verb, an active verb. When we say I love you, we do not mean I receive love from you, but rather I emanate love, I send love towards you. Can you see the difference?
I SEND OUT LOVE. People who give love to others become lovable in the end! The truth is that people appreciate and admire those who give love – not those who seek it. It's a paradox, but if you can see it, then you will be able to clearly understand it.
We’ve got to stop focusing on ourselves and our own traumas (because this is what makes us egotistical, self-centered, and negative) and begin to be genuinely interested in the well-being and happiness of those around us. Create more joy and spread it wherever you go. We need more joy in the world, not more misery and more problems. Beginning with the end result in mind, the result of loving others, with no thought to what we’ll receive in return, is the first step to real love. And this is what will ease the pain of loneliness.
Learning to Love
We can all learn to love. It is how much we are willing to give -- and not how much we ask for -- that determines how much others will want to give to us freely. Deciding to love others with no expectations (including wanting to satisfy the ego or relieve a feeling of guilt): this is the way to go. When you ask somebody: "What have you given me?" you are failing to love them. Remember that to truly love others, your mind must be focused away from yourself and what you will receive. Otherwise, it will not work, and soon what seemed to be love will turn into resentment.
Be careful not to search for love but to become, yourself, ABLE TO LOVE. If at the start, you are only able to truly love a little bit, do it anyway. Little by little, this small beginning will grow and blossom, like a flower opening its petals. That little bit of real love will empower you to grow and radiate even more love and as it does, you will begin to receive more and more love from others, as well.
About the Author
Northern Deer Alexander is the founder of WOW Academy. When he is not working with his students, he enjoys leading shamanic journeys and meditation sessions, going for walks, traveling and meeting new people, engaging in energetic and physical training, reading books, and creating online courses on spirituality and personal development.