15 Feb Lonely Hearts
Whilst listening to the radio on Valentine’s Day I heard a statistic and it surprised me; it stated that 1 in 10 have never sent a Valentine’s card or gift. I guess I made the assumption that more people would be sending/receiving cards. It could be that some people simply make a choice not to send a card, or have nobody to send one to. There’s probably a multitude of reasons why some have never sent anything on this day.
Whilst listening, I got caught up thinking about the expectation to send a Valentine’s card, simply because “that’s what people do on this day”, the expectation of mass society. At the same time, I felt some empathy for how one may feel when they don’t receive anything. The occasion of Valentine’s can inadvertently encourage feelings of sadness, which touches on that core feeling of loneliness.
Loneliness, most of us will consider, as a negative feeling. It can be crippling, dark and very uncomfortable. The majority of people, most of the time, will want to escape the feeling. However, when viewed from a different perspective, it’s suggested that loneliness can be a positive experience.
Moustakas* suggests that “…loneliness is not solely an awful condition of human existence but that it is also the instrument through which man experiences new compassion and new beauty. It is the terror in loneliness which evokes new senses and makes possible the experiencing of deep companionship and radiant beauty.”
The experience of loneliness can be inspiring, it can remind us of what it feels like to be ‘me‘, a new sense of awareness of what it feels like to be oneself. From this awakened sense of self it can provide further depth when connecting with others; and to more fulfilling, and enriching experiences in your daily life.
So, if you have been feeling lonely lately, perhaps it isn’t all that bad.
*Clarke E. Moustakas (1961) Loneliness.