You Are Never Alone: Breaking the Chains of Negative Thought Patterns




Is it not such an irony, if not one of the greatest ironies in the world, that in a world with about 7.8 billion humans, there are people who strongly believe that they are alone?


As promised, I would write two articles this week, and I wasn't waiting for the motivation to come. Just before I started to write, this article title just came to my mind. I don't know why, but I decided to write on it anyway.


A recent survey by Meta-Gallup shows that about 1 in 4 adults feel alone! That is a surprising statistic! 1 in 4 adults feeling alone isn't just a surprising statistic – it's a stark reminder of the loneliness epidemic weaving through our interconnected world. While factors like poverty, discrimination, and mental health play a significant role, it's crucial to acknowledge the diverse nuances of this experience. Loneliness manifests differently for each of us, and feeling disconnected doesn't define your worth. While healthcare, advocacy, and systemic solutions deserve thorough exploration, this article focuses on empowering individual mindsets and actions. Remember, you're not alone in this journey, and fostering connection starts with understanding ourselves and each other.


I believe the feeling of aloneness can be a trick that the mind plays on people.  If we look at it critically, we are never really alone because there are many avenues created by the different people that we've encountered in life which create feelings of love, a sense of belonging, and support - three critical pillars to be well understood for people not to feel alone.


So, all your life, you've met with a lot of people, at least thousands. You likely grew up in a family or with some people who were your primary caregivers. Our first feelings of love and belonging come from our families or the environment we grew up in.


Now, I have to expatiate on that. Not everyone has the privilege of being raised in a family that treated them with love and a sense of belonging. There are dysfunctional families, broken homes, families where parents abuse their children, etc. So, it's important to recognize this and understand that not everyone experiences love and belonging from their homes.


You may be fortunate to have experienced so much love and a close relationship with your family, but never make the mistake of assuming that it is exactly the same for everyone else across the world!


So, the family is one place. If you are feeling alone and you have a loving and supportive family, the aloneness you feel has no basis really.


Okay, let's assume you were not privileged to experience that love and support from a family, grew up in foster care, or for some reason did not grow up having a close relationship with your family.


It's quite unfortunate, but it does not make you alone either. In the course of your own unique experiences, there are people you've met in your life, maybe they came in the form of friends, older people who advised you, younger people, mentors, colleagues, or just people who understand you and understand your situation.


It will be hard to argue that even with your good experiences with these people who you do not see as your 'family,' you still feel alone. Why is this? Why is it that many people do not appreciate those people that are there for them or that have made an impact in their lives in some way but rather focus on thinking that they are alone?


There are a couple of answers:


People think that their lives must be like the lives of other people before they can admit that they are not alone. So, if someone didn't grow up with a close relationship with their family, and maybe they see that almost all the friends they have enjoy solid relationships with their family members, they feel that something is wrong with them or that they are not loved. It's not necessarily that they are not supported or loved in other ways or from other sources, but they "expect" that they must have perfect families who love and support them before they can accept they are not really alone. So, they have some expectations fueled by unhealthy comparison.


Another answer is that some people who feel like they are alone do not appreciate what other people who try to support them or be there for them do. What do I mean? Because these people who think they are alone in a world of billions expect to overcome this thought by hopelessly trying to fix the source where they expect their sense of belonging, love or support to come from, they fail to see or notice the many other great things happening to them. Let's say, for example, they expect to have a close relationship with family. They do not really see how other people they have encountered in their lives go out of their way to be there for them. They usually don't think about it or try to put themselves in the shoes of those persons they've encountered in their lives who were there. 


It takes a lot for someone to leave whatever it is they are doing and want to support or help you in any way. Now, of course, great people do not expect you to reciprocate when they support you, but everyone, including the 'great' ones, loves some sense of appreciation. So what usually happens is that over time, the people you do not appreciate for providing you with companionship, love, and support will eventually disappear. I mean, they have other things they could be doing rather than spend time with someone who doesn't even appreciate their presence or support. Yes, it's true. The fact they do not appreciate others means they lose the opportunity to build those relationships and this further compounds their problem.


So either way, love and support can come to anyone in different ways. It doesn't have to be expected from a single source for you to have a sense of belonging. The mere expectation of it coming from a particular source makes the problem worse because it blinds you from seeing that what you seek has been seeking you in various other ways.


Now I'm using the family as an example because it's what many of us can relate to and usually the first place people develop a strong sense of love and support. People can also make the mistake of expecting their feelings of aloneness to go away from loving a particular person who they know is not good for them. So they do everything to hold on because they expect their feelings of belonging, love, and support to come from one person. Blinding out all the avenues where these flow and overlooking the dangers in constantly expecting this source to change. It can be any other sources; I can think of many. But I believe my readers are smart enough to grasp it.


Love, support, and a sense of belonging are everywhere around you. You have not seen it because you have not allowed yourself to be open to the possibility that it could come from elsewhere. You may be making the mistake of expecting people to change, expecting things to be perfect, thinking that somehow these sources you are expecting from will eventually provide you with that sense you are looking for. But that's an unending trap.


You have to accept the possibility that some people may never change, some families may never go from being dysfunctional to functional, divorced couples may never come back together, your abusive partner may never change, etc.


These are possibilities. You cannot build your life around things you have no control over. You can exert some control, and it begins with correcting your mindset and focusing on the things you currently have. Recognize all the love, support, and encouragement that flows to you every day and every time. Then you will naturally become appreciative, and your thinking that you are alone will disappear without you even realizing it.


Of course, when you are in that state of gratefulness and appreciating what comes into your life regardless of those bad circumstances you wished could change, you are in a healthier position of mind, body, and spirit because you will be naturally happy.


If circumstances change, like say divorced parents now get back together or people you were expecting to give you a sense of belonging now change, it becomes a bonus, and you are in a position to decide what you want to do with that. You are now happy and not feeling alone anymore anyways, so it doesn't matter if those circumstances change or not.


But just imagine for one second that you were hell-bent that your thinking that you are alone will come from those circumstances changing, and let's assume those circumstances never change. You will keep feeling that way all your life, close off on all the love and support you haven't been noticing, and what good does that do you?


That's a lot of writing 😄. The bottom line is you are never alone. It may just be that you are worried too much about things you may never change.


Adopt the right mindset, stay open, and recognize that no matter what you may be going through right now, love and support will always come your way. But to see them, you must stop focusing or expecting them from somewhere. Train your mind to see everything and not focus on one narrow tiny spot. The world is too vast for minute mindsets.


Keep on winning!


Ike



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