“There is great possibility in loneliness”.  Eckart Tolle

“Why do you think you’re a good fit for this job?”

I was NOT a good fit for the job.

“Because I’m tired of working alone for years and I want to leave the house and be around people”, I said.

Well, I did not get the job. Nor the next 2 I interviewed for. I was not looking for a job. I was looking to escape the loneliness. I blamed it on the fact that I was a writer working alone all the time, and it was time to do what most people did, work in an office around people.

That was a big lie.

I love writing alone, more than anything. I spent 15 years in corporate America, trying leave to write alone for all 15 years.

So what was this loneliness that I was trying to escape? That potential employers saw and pointed me towards the door? And how could I get rid of it? 

Last week I woke up early and found myself sitting on the steps in front of my house in my pajamas with a cup of coffee and my notebook and my iPhone.  

I wanted to write my way out of this intolerable hole gnawing from my core.

I couldn’t find any words.  That hardly happens to me, so I turned to a podcast by spiritual master Eckhart Tolle. I wanted him to soothe my pain and tell me to just be in the present moment and it will all pass.

The podcast is titled “Dissolving Loneliness”,  but he did not say what I thought he would.

What he said was that the great, intolerable pain of being with this ‘lonely me’ can force you into utter and complete to presence. To allow it. 

To let go of any interpretation you have about ‘me being alone, me being lonely, me not having anyone in my life’.

To allow it to dissolve. That this is what pain can do, similar to other kinds of pain. Force you into presence.

The pain of loneliness can dissolve the essence of self, and all that remains is presence, and the field of awareness.  Then you can then look around. Watch, and then some action may come that you hadn’t though of. 

Maybe you’ll talk to other lonely people, the world is full of them. 

Here is the best part of what he says:

Lonely outsiders and outcasts had the breakthroughs  because they were forced to go deeper. They were so lonely they went deeper and reached solutions deep inside. Not solutions outside of themselves in things and relationships.

That’s how I imagine most of our great artists, musicians, photographers, painters and thinkers came into their greatness. By being outcasts, lonely, and forced inside themselves, and we get to witness their evolvement, their creations. 

This was exactly what I needed to hear. That through acceptance of my loneliness I can go deeper inside myself for the breakthroughs I need to make, the changes I want in my life. To create what I am meant to create.

Had I gotten any of those jobs I went for, I would have been just seeking solutions to the problems in my life outside of myself when its all inside me.

He goes on to say that through acceptance loneliness is transformed into solitude.

Loneliness – you’re alone and you don’t like it

Solitude – surrender. alert presence

So take his words to heart if and when you feel loneliness visiting you.

I took his words to heart and made a list of how I could turn my loneliness into solitude and surrender to being in a state of alert presence. To accept this, and stop trying to seek outside security to guarantee and prove that I am not alone.

To use this time, until it passes, to create, to write, to marinate.

This is my list of how I will listen inward:

  • draw
  • color
  • music, listen
  • play piano and guitar
  • sing (off key when no one is listening)
  • run
  • swim
  • dance breaks
  • write in my journal in the morning for my eyes only
  • write in my blog daily to share
  • organize drawers closets etc
  • meditate and prayer, fill up on inspiration
  • work on my novel
  • intention around others to listen more than talk
  • gratitude lists
Below is the recording I listened to that took me from seeing loneliness as a bad, sad state to be in, to realizing what a gift it is to have the forced opportunity to turn inward and find presence and awareness.
No need to rush to the mall, get a job I would hate, socialize when I don’t feel like it or seek outside guidance.  I know that from this inward state I will know just what actions I need to take.
In gratitude that I got this gift of the state of loneliness, I just hope it doesn’t leave too fast – I kind of like it here. 

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