By Christa Chantelois BSN, MAC
India Arie’s song “Break the Shell” poetically frames the transformational journey from loneliness to deep connection:
“Courage is not being hard
It’s time to peel back all of the layers
You put between who you’re meant to be
And you who are
And go be who you are”
What we commonly label as loneliness is often alienation from our true, deeper self. Our society teaches us to look outward for our self and security – instant gratification on smart phones, our sense of worth from Facebook likes, consuming new and hip products, and decorating our bodies, homes and resumes with the right accessories. This dis-connection usually is held in our sub-conscious; a forgetting of our “True Self”. Richard Rohr tells us that our DNA is divine, that our core remembers our truth and it’s waiting to be noticed and fulfilled. He encourages us to foster this by pairing our loneliness with our True Self. R. Rohr calls this the ultimate homecoming.
He goes on to offer us a promise: “I promise you that the discovery of your True Self will feel like a thousand pounds of weight have fallen from your back. You will no longer have to build, protect, or promote any idealized self image….” Could this be the key to shifting the human condition of loneliness and that actually unlocks the direction to true connection?
Let’s reverse the propensity to look outward for escape from loneliness and instead turn inward, greeting loneliness as one of humanity’s oldest friends and wisest teachers. This path of coming back to being our own best friend, remembering our true self as part of the divine, can transforms loneliness into profound, everlasting connection.
Dr. Daniel Siegel proposes, based on extensive neuro-physiological research that brain development and mind are where beliefs of self, life, relationships [with self and others] and worthiness are formed. In his latest book, “Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human” he states that where we put our attention is where neural pathways are fed and grow. This pivotal research information, now globally accepted, proves that our brain has plasticity. This means that we can change/heal our neural pathways to healthier, more authentic states of functioning and, therefore, of experiencing life.
“All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love…” Sri Nisargadatta
There are numerous simple tools available to assist us in transforming our loneliness to connection.
1) Come back to our breath: Take a moment or two throughout the day to stop and notice the in-breath and the out-breath. This simple technique is very powerful. It brings us back into connection with our body, with our internal being.
2) Forgiveness leads to self-love: Forgiveness doesn’t always mean saying something was/is ok. It can be letting go of the energy/emotion/pain to make space for freedom in oneself.
3) Yoga: A mindful way to come back to self, gently taking care of our physical vessel, practicing positive thoughts, releasing energies and beliefs that no longer serve our highest good.
4) Re-wiring our neural pathways: reading and watching positive things, seeking out and having positive experiences and relationships, shifting our negative thoughts to loving thoughts.
5) Being open and willing to know the divine within.
6) Reiki: Healing energy that assists in balancing our energetic body, releasing unwanted energies, offering of healing.
Bringing these into our daily lives creates a deeper and more expansive sense of freedom and open-heartedness. This life-long adventure can be filled with expansion, self-love, ease and significantly less loneliness. Ahhh the freedom to Be and experience life more fully and joyfully! Along this journey of “True Self” we are taken us to the deepest and most wonderful connections!