St Andrews Counselling & Psychotherapy
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|Posted on 8 October, 2013 at 10:26||comments ()|
This poster seems to make sense of the idea of choice as I see it, choosing to be alone might be positive but being lonely through a lack of choice is more a negative feeling.
"I like to be alone" infers a positive idea to being alone, one that's made consciously when there are times when modern daily life can overload ourselves and our senses. We withdraw within ourselves to think and reflect about what's happened to us or we might choose to be alone to pursue our interests which maybe solitary ones such as reading, writing, running, going to the gym or walking the dog. We can even be with another person but work in silent companionship, doing what we each do by ourselves.
"But I Hate Being Lonely" reminds me of the old saying "You can feel alone even in a crowded room". So even being with others when we are lonely is a very powerful feeling. Solitude without the need for others is a very different concept. We can choose to be alone for short periods of time to recharge our batteries and recreate, rest and recuperate. There is intention in this choice.
Feeling lonely and alone, for a significant period of time, is often a feature of mental illness, social isolation or ostracism from ones friendship or working group. People who are bullied, subjected to physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse feel lonely and isolated. There is little or no choice and often fear accompanies being lonely, feeling different from other people and frightened of what others may think of them.
From the moment we are born it may be argued that we are all alone and we can make peace with or come to terms with this existential reality we all share as humans. For some this reality is hard to process and they may fill their loneliness with sex, drugs, alcohol, food or gambling to anaesthetise the feelings. For some, mental illness, causes intense feelings of loneliness as well as loneliness causing mental ill health.
So....I hear you say what can we do to avoid being lonely?
I would suggest you consider these questions: When do you feel lonely, what's just happened? When do you choose to be alone? How do you know the difference between them?
If you feel lonely what is it you do to try and fill that gaping hole of loneliness? Once you have thought about these questions you may be a little clearer about your next step to change something in your life causing you pain.
I would really like to hear about your thoughts and ideas on loneliness, please comment
|Posted on 22 September, 2013 at 8:01||comments ()|
Do you find why, when and what we cry about intriguing?
Crying is our earliest way to communicate our needs, from the first moment of our lives we cry, probably surprised at moving from the world in utero to the huge expanse of life that awaits us.
Of course the 1st few wails and the breaths that accompany the first few moments after we are born form a vital biological function in closing the hole in the septum of the heart, opening the lungs and establishing the bodies circulation. Our heartbeat and breathing are therefore linked, forever together until we die.
Before we can verbalise our needs and until we are around 2 years old we communicate our needs through crying. We cry if we are hot or cold, hungry or thirsty, over stimulated or lonely, frightened, scared, in pain or need to be comforted. Our cry is pitched at such a level that makes it difficult for the adults who care for us to resist responding to what we need.
If we are fortunate we have parents who are patient and tune into our cries and the pattern of our life rhythms and remain calm and accept our distress and learn ways to soothe us. They accept the crying, try to find out what's bothering us, and address our needs. If we are fortunate our parents don't see our crying as being a judgement on their abilities or evoke their anger when the crying goes on all night.
Infants crying does evoke many emotions in their parents. Those with children know something of a continuously crying baby, awake all night, nothing sees to help and eventually taking them into bed where they settle.
As we grow through infancy, childhood, teenage and adulthood we cry less and less as we have other ways to get our needs met, we can ask or get what we need for ourselves. As we get older crying becomes less and less socially acceptable, well meaning parents start to tell us to stop crying, don't make a fuss, "You're a big girl/boy, and big girls/boys don't cry".
We can become self-conscious about crying in public "what will people think of me?" and suppress our need to cry and judge ourselves as weak and become ashamed of "being emotional".
We deny ourselves the healing power of crying which connects us back to childhood. We can express such different emotions when we cry of course sadness and loss, but also joy and happiness and sometimes these emotions join and mingle together. Crying can feel bittersweet at times.
When was the last time you cried? Why and what did you cry about?