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Ending loneliness does not require other people.




To be brutally honest, loneliness has nothing to do with other people.


Loneliness is one way to experience the absence of other people.


Yet, we know that we can feel loneliness in a room filled with people. We can even feel loneliness surrounded by our nearest and dearest. In fact, loneliness can be most acute in those situations.


We can also experience solitude in the absence of other people. Solitude, unlike loneliness, is a positive experience.


Absence of other people does not make us lonely. Our perception of what it means to be alone is what makes us lonely. It’s an inside job. It’s not the circumstances.


This is not to imply that we can make loneliness disappear simply by willing ourselves to experience solitude or to experience belonging if we feel lonely in the company of others. Sometimes, some of us can do that. 


The main point is that understanding the truth of the matter–that loneliness is the result of how we process the situation, not a result of the situation–is a step toward happiness and peace.

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