Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Fear of Being Alone

Connection by detachment. We live under the delusion (albeit a delusion that we come by naturally and honestly) that physical proximity defines ‘not being alone’. But physical proximity does not necessarily cure loneliness. Psychological proximity, emotional proximity is that which ultimately connects us with others. It is the internal - call it mental, emotional, spiritual – aspects of our humanness that provide us with basic human sustenance, the food that produces growth.

It is a sad paradox in life that our fear of being alone is ultimately the catalyst that leads us into isolation and loneliness.


  1. Really good to hear you JSS...

    I've read your post and been trying to work out what (in my mind) links this post with the last one (Genesis) and I've come to the conclusion that in both, I hear something about feeling acceptable and VAILD enough to have 'emotional proximity', or at least, to feel safe enough to.

    I'm interested in your last comment on this post. Is there any way you could say more about the paradox you mention?

    Somewhat bizarrely, I have very recently invested in a book about mindfulness meditation.
    It is very unlike me to do such a thing (given the volume at which my natural inner cynic speaks) but I did... I should probably say something in my blogabout it... but it hasn't gone down very well...

    I'm glad though, that you are beginning to see things which you have not been able to see before perhaps...
    I particularly liked the phrase that there were no end of things that needed to be 'undone'.


  2. Hi WS – I can certainly say more about the paradox of which I spoke but I’m going to have to say it in a post and I’m going to have to take some time to organize my thoughts. That was a short post – just something that happened to show up in my mind this morning and clearly I did not elaborate much. I will expand on the idea soon.

    Your comment about feeling valid and accepted is spot on. There was not much of that in my youth. We were forced, whether covertly or sometimes overtly to conform to my mother’s idea of what was right, what was acceptable behavior. She was passing along what she had learned about child-rearing to us. It is a very confining mode of existence – doesn’t lend itself well to a lot of self-expression. On the contrary self-censorship is more the norm. It’s also very difficult to climb out of because I don’t oftentimes notice when my thinking becomes tunnel-vision. I have to remind myself constantly to expand my point of view, pay less attention to my internal critic, try to stay away from defining things as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and remember that our creativity flows freely only when our thoughts and emotions are permitted to flow freely.

    This is also by the way where my 'connection by disconnection' paradox comes into play. In an enviroment where one's thoughts and feelings are not welcome or subject to criticism one becomes fearful of putting them on display and so one shuts those aspects of themselves down in order to maintain that connection with that significant person. In other words my method of staying in connection with the people that were important to me was by disconnecting from them emotionally. That's what was acceptable. My fear of being alone drove me to disconnect from myself in order to remain connected with those significant people.