The Earth has never been as populated as it is today. Cities are overcrowded, traffic jams can sometimes last for hours and the sky is rarely without airplanes or drones. It seems that people are constantly surrounded by others and never alone, not only physically, but also virtually through social media, global gaming platforms, emails and various phone applications. At the same time, however, it seems that people have never been lonelier.
The feelings of imperfection and incompleteness that mingle with loneliness, culminate in times of great celebrations such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas or New Year. During this time we feel a stronger desire to close the inner gap and become whole again, often creating expectations that can turn into an emotional spiral, giving space for the appearance of sadness, fear, anger and the full spectrum of other emotions.
But in fact, what we all search is that cosy and safe feeling of being “at home”, feeling of being welcomed in this world, of being loved. If this is missing, the feeling of separation and loneliness arises.
As we watch others prepare for romantic dinner, family reunion or party, we often assume that everyone is more fulfilled, happier, and less alone. However, the presence of people or an illusionary connection through social media and technological devices can not convey a lasting sense of love, acceptance or inclusion. Only when we connect with ourselves we can open up to other people and get in touch with them. Without the first step, the second is not possible.
Christmas is one of the best times to ask, "How can we connect with anything or anyone else when we are not present, or not connected to ourselves?"
But what does it mean to be connected to ourselves? It means bringing the awareness back into our own centre and everything that exists in the present moment: our own breath, our body and our feelings. We let go of thoughts and worries and embrace all feeling, even if that is sadness, fear, or anger. In this way, with every breath and step we take, we come closer to ourselves, heal and grow. We become like a turtle, always carrying its own home, protected and safe wherever it goes.
If we feel lonely, the most important practice during the Christmas time should be a practice of presence in the moment. When we are present, we can more easily see that we are at home everywhere, if we are at home in ourselves. We can see that our loneliness disappears and is replaced by a sense of connection with others (whether we are alone, surrounded by family and friends, or by people we have never met before), when we connect with our own nature. Evermore, once we are connected within ourselves, we will realise that we have never been separated from anyone at all. And this realisation will make loneliness disappear - forever.