This holiday, I’m finding myself single again. And, as I think back to holidays past, I am remembering all of the times, whether I was with my family or not, where I felt really alone.
But, this year is different. And, as I reflect on why this is, while it’s taken years to cultivate this, I am realizing that it is because of one singular (no pun intended!) reason:
My relationship with myself.
You see, for years, I had wanted to be in a relationship, and yet, I kept doing the same thing, expecting different results. One year a little less than ten years ago, though, I finally chose to do something different to create a different result.
While I wouldn’t realize it at the time, my journey to love was always meant to be a journey to creating a relationship with myself, first and foremost. Yes, in part, this would mean loving myself, but it was really so much more.
Of course, if you told me this at the time, I would not have known what this meant, and even more importantly, how to cultivate this.
But, years later, my mastery of this has meant not feeling lonely, even in the hardest of times (especially 2020). Of course, while this is a never-ending journey, here’s a few things that I have found that can help immediately, if like me, you’ve found yourself alone this holiday season:
1.Own your feelings.
Whatever you’re feeling right now, if you’re not honoring it, it’s highly likely that you will feel lonelier as a result of this. This is because, when we don’t honor our feelings, we are leaving ourselves. While I dive into what leaving ourselves looks like in much greater depth in my Putting an End to Painful Relationships Masterclass, in essence, when we aren’t owning our emotions, we don’t feel safe with ourselves. This, in turn, can create a deep hole from within.
So, instead, I like to sit with myself and my emotions and get as present with them as possible, really feeling them. If this is new for you, I recommend just first stating out loud what’s true for you, which might look like:
“I wish I wasn’t alone this holiday season,” “I feel so lonely right now,” or “Why do I have to be alone this holiday season?”
Whatever the case, I recommend saying this out loud multiple times in the present tense, seeing it leaving your body, if possible.
Then, notice how you feel. You might feel lighter, calmer and more peaceful. Most importantly, you will likely feel safer with yourself, with that hole you’re feeling in your heart a little fuller.
2.Honor your needs.
Another tool that has truly helped me in not feeling lonely has been recognizing how to meet my own needs.
So many of us grew up in households where we didn’t even know what our needs were, let alone meeting them.
But, the more I’ve been able to recognize and honor these, the less lonely I feel.
Some great questions to get you started can include:
What do I want right now?
What am I needing right now?
If I could have anything right now, what would it be?
Then, whatever your answer, meet this yourself.
So, for instance, if you want love or to feel loved, you might give yourself a hug, draw yourself a bath, make yourself a nice dinner, or even, just look at yourself in the mirror and tell her or him that you love them.
The important part of this is doing it, and, doing it as often as you need to. (I.e., This is not a one-and-done process.)
3.Be in nature.
The third thing I recommend is nature.
For me, whenever I want to know I’m not alone in this life, I get out in nature. While we may not always be tuned into it, there’s something bigger than us that’s always at work. Nature helps us to connect and attune to this.
That being said, whether it’s taking a walk at your local park, beach, forest, or even the botanical gardens, being in nature helps replenish and connect us to ourselves, which can leave us feeling so good and filled to the brim!
I highly recommend it, especially when you’re feeling lonely.
No matter what you choose, though, know the journey is, and has always been, returning to ourselves, and one of the biggest ways we can do this is by cultivating a relationship with the person you spend the most time with, and really the most important person in your life—you.