I’ve realised that, for myself, spiritual loneliness is a thing. It feels almost taboo to say it, due to numerous teachings that suggest loneliness stems from a disconnect from one’s own soul and the answer is to go within. That is doubtless a very important and valuable truth, but it’s also true that it’s possible to be connected to oneself and the universe yet still feel lonely for likeminded company. It doesn’t have to be either/or. The key issue is balance.
I’ve started dating again after a break for a couple of years and many more years single. I decided that I’ve spent too much time alone. This is coming from an introvert with health issues who loves a dog for company! But alone time can be too much of a good thing. I’ve spent many years focusing on my spirituality through meditation, journaling, self-reflection, and I believe I have reached a good level of self-awareness, albeit I will never stop learning (who does?). I know I have not fully integrated all the wounded parts of my being, but I know they are there. I have compassion for them. And I just….feel lonely sometimes. The two meditation groups I was part of pre-pandemic have ended and there seems to be little around. Online isn’t the same by any means. I am fortunate to have friends, a couple who are also on a conscious path, but most are preoccupied with family and relationships and don’t have the time or inclination to sit and talk about the topics that matter to me.
As Carl Jung says in the above quote, loneliness stems from being unable to communicate about the issues that seem important to a person. Of course I can blog and that is great, but sometimes good quality in person human contact is what is needed. I wonder if this is a common feeling post-pandemic, a genuine spiritual loneliness and longing for a deeper connection with others? We can do all the inner work and re-connect with our own souls yet still hunger for community. Buddhists call it sangha; Christians go to church; for me it was meditation groups. Somewhere to go and share and grow through a shared understanding and mutual love and respect. Relationships are a mirror; we need them to keep ourselves honest.
I don’t know if dating is what I want/need or simply a spiritual tribe. But I will see. I’ve joined an online meditation group and I have someone coming to meditate with me tomorrow for the first time after I posted on a local group. I am hopeful that I will start to re-connect with people after this long season of retreat. I feel like my soul is in spring time, ready to burst forth and bloom. I know the garden will soon appear!