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Reflections on Loneliness and Lovelessness

March 19, 2018

Loneliness is a very difficult problem for me and I am sure for many others. I find it very difficult to make friends for one reason or another, and very difficult to form close friendships. It makes me question a lot if there is something wrong with me. And it can be very frustrating as the harder you try to improve in this area, often the harder it gets, as you become unnatural and desperate in your ways. I do mainly prefer just my own company, but then, it is good to have the option sometimes of the company of friends. But this does not seem to be an option very much for me, and it makes life quite difficult.

I enjoy books, I enjoy music, and walking and running, activities I often do alone. I feel I do not have much care for other people, or much to give to them or offer them. I can be polite, I can be friendly, within my boundaries. But I seem unable to be open, trusting and intimate. I know there was a time when I could be trusting and intimate, but it was an awful long time ago. I have been philosophical in my outlook since a very young age, as young as 10. Always reflecting on things, always self-conscious and rarely able to let my thoughts go and just embrace the moment. Being here in South America in Colombia the past two months so far, has really emphasised to me just how far down a road of being a cold and unloving person I have gone, compared to the open friendliness and lovingness people exhibit here.

I thought I could learn from their ways here, but so far I am struggling. I am too stuck in my strict, rational, anglo-saxon, protestant paradigm. Even though I despise the Western work ethic with the rat race and all. Even though I do not like how organised and controlled things have become in my country, the UK. With health and safety regulations covering everything, with multiple laws covering every aspect of any job or task you do. The political correctness, the way people are so quick to take offence, and are so uptight. The herd mentality that results from controlled predictable behavior. Despite not liking anything from this paradigm, it is the one that has moulded me and defined me for 34 years. As much as I resist it. As much as I like and see the value in aspects here in South America that are more laid back, regarding regulations. I also see the downside of them in that they leave more space for crime and accidents. And it is very frustrating trying to plan things here. Everything has to happen almost spontaneously at the moment its required. Nothing, or very little, is planned in advance. Yet still people here go through the motions of planning things, they just don’t stick to their plans very often or very accurately. Plans are like a token gesture here.

I wouldn’t want to change the people here. I would not want them to follow my ways. Even though I myself seem to be doomed to follow those ways. Because I am not sure there is any standard of “better” when it comes to these things. The western imperialist notion of progress is one I am very suspicious of. Like any social change or project, what it gives with one hand it takes with the other. And any social change has bad unintended consequences that come with the good things. So, for instance, we get more security in the west, more control, but then we also get less joy of life, dangerously low birth rates, and high levels of depression.

I find myself at a loss, as to what I should do. I feel I have reached some dead end of mental or spiritual evolution. I loved and embraced the heightened awareness I had of things for some time, back in my 20’s, it was like a drug. The insights that came from learning philosophy in depth. But what can I do with it now? Where can I go, and what does it matter, when I am incapable of loving or allowing myself to be loved? All the reason in the world does not show me how to love or care about others. It all seems futile, like I have reached some sort of intellectual mid-life crisis. I have began to realise I am in an ageing body, that will one day or another disintegrate in death. I am still in good shape, but injuries seem to take longer to heal, some never seem to quite heal properly. Not getting as much progress as I would like, and not having as much energy as I once had. I wasted my prime years on intellectual pursuits and obsessive personal goals, when I should have been embracing the energy of youthful life.

Now I feel somewhat jaded. I feel my inner being has been so long repressed and held back for the sake of my rational pursuits and goals that it has grown cold and lifeless. There is little warmth in me, and I don’t know what I can do about it. My only ability seems to be the ability to be aware of it as its happening to me and to express it quite accurately. Well, I carry on here with this journey, if you can call it that, for it feels I never move much at all from my set way of being where ever I go and whatever I do. Possibly something will start to make sense someday. For now, I can only apologise to everyone around me who comes into contact with me that I am not able to give more love and care, or to receive more love and care. My ego, or whatever it is, has too strong a grip on me and I don’t enjoy being this way, but I am currently condemned to be this way.

 

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