Monday, January 29, 2024

GRIEF AND PRAISE - FEBRUARY 2024


 GRIEF AND PRAISE



Painting by Martin Prechtel

Dear reader,

In the world as we know it today, full of conflicts, sufferings and so on, it is enough for most people to feel depressed, sad, and helpless. But what is needed, urgently is, for the more courageous, to be more proactive. This means to be able to praise the many suffering and dying and not to praise those who sit and feel good for being shut off and hide from the truth.

But in the collective human soul, there is a profound radiance where individuals are coming out and conquer the banal disappointments about the future and pretend that all is OK and that  there is no need to suffer grief all the time. That is not necessary. Others tend to avoid the pain of being compromised and ridiculed by the heartless and hide their grief.

It is necessary to show the courage to BE and to imagine what would be needed to create a soul that is that shines more light. It is necessary to inspire the heart and join others in the experience of grieving. Inspiration is that light to the world indicating as to what it means to be human and to taste the freedom and capacity to participate in a culture that has the courage to speak up. Each one of us is a “nation” - we are a Nation under ourselves and as a Nation, meaning a soul, we do have the power to create change.

I am inspired by the great shaman MARTIN PRCHTEL. This is how he is described by others:

 “Inspiring hope, solace, and courage in living through our losses, author Martin Prechtel, trained in the Tzutujil Maya shamanic tradition, shares profound insights on the relationship between grief and praise in our culture--how the inability that many of us must grieve and weep properly for the dead is deeply linked with the inability to give praise for living. In modern society, grief is something that we usually experience in private, alone, and without the support of a community. Yet, as Prechtel says: 

"Grief expressed out loud for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honours what it misses."

Prechtel explains that the unexpressed grief prevalent in our society today is the reason for many of the social, cultural, and individual maladies that we are currently experiencing. According to Prechtel:

 "When you have two centuries of people who have not properly grieved the things that they have lost, the grief shows up as ghosts that inhabit their grandchildren.

These "ghosts," he says, can also manifest as disease in the form of tumours, which the Maya refer to as "solidified tears," or in the form of behavioural issues and depression. He goes on to show how this collective, unexpressed energy is the long-held grief of our ancestors manifesting itself, and the work that can be done to liberate this energy so we can heal from the trauma of loss, war, and suffering.

I am in tune with the story of how Martin learned through LOVE. He states:

“Love is always a matter of learning how to live in an unknown land. It is not just translation or about being secure in what one knows, but about learning how to give a true gift to what one loves by learning what it loves. Love is always about learning the Nature of things.”

He adds:

“Because the world is a boundless compendium of stories told in as many languages as there are things to know, the language of galaxies, of rocks, the languages of weathers, plants, and rivers, languages of animal and human cultures, I have never understood knowledge as a finite possession but more like a corral of wild language horses, with an ongoing responsibility to sustain and maintain them, upon whose unruly backs we must learn to ride; sometimes into the heart of twelve layers of holy stone, or into the heart of an old Jewish steel vendor in Armenia, or into the language of the tears of the Divine Female whose ever-birthing womb is a mouth that speaks this natural teeming earth and universe into tangibility at every present moment.”

I must say that Martin has inspired me to be able to recognise my own Soul learning in the many years as therapist and teacher at the university of Queensland, Australia. I both heard and told stories to many students and also involved in Men groups and am still enabling and supporting Australian military veterans and their wives in counselling sessions.

I highly recommend his books and particularly his book on GRIEF AND PRAISE. This is what we all need to study and practice NOW!

 “The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise” Here is a short description:

Inspiring hope, solace, and courage in living through our losses, author Martín Prechtel, trained in the Tzutujil Maya shamanic tradition, shares profound insights on the relationship between grief and praise—how the inability that many of us must grieve and weep properly for the dead is deeply linked with the inability to give praise for living. In modern society, grief is something that we usually experience in private, alone, and without the support of a community. Yet, as Prechtel says, “Grief expressed out loud for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise because it is the natural way love honours what it misses.”

 

 
Drawing by Martin Prechtel" -  Grief and Praise

Friday, December 29, 2023

REINVENT YOUR LIFE - JANUARY 2024

 



                                             

 Dear Reader,

                                                                                                                              

I am reflecting on the past year and the events that were special for the world and for all humanity. I am not repeating here the many bad and good things that we all lived through and probably will live in the same way in 2024, but I am, more interested here, is to promote a sense of self reflection as individuals  that are living in the here and now.

My title for this blog is: REINVENT YOURSELF AND YOUR LIFE. Some people may say to you: “why bother? You are OK, and if you attempt a change, the result may be perilous” Then I may say: “Why not? What is the worst that can happen? Take a risk and grow!”

So, I am suggesting here a process that is rather simple if you take the suggestions and do your own thing. The task has two parts: one is a mental shift process, and the other is a body wellness process.

Mental shift process: It is well known by many therapies and cognitive skills to enhance your mind, that all people have a hooked or blocked lifestyle pattern called TRAPS. Here are some “traps” you may study and find the one you may be hooked to:

1.       * Are you constantly drawn to relate to relationships that are toxic?  

2.      *  Do you often feel unloved?

3.       * Are you a helper type that helps others and not yourself?

4.       * Are you being paranoid regarding disease? Any sore throat makes you feel like running to a doctor?

5.       * Even if you are successful in your job and other things, do you feel unhappy an unfulfilled in life?

 

In order to stimulate your own reflections, be free here and now to imagine that one of those aspects written below are some of the traps you may be experiencing:

 

·         Abandonment - this may have its roots in early childhood where you have developed a feeling that your parents have abandoned you and you were left alone without any attention.

·         Dependence - it is a process of attachment to others based on the above abandonment and you feel constantly in need to depend on others no matter how capable you may be as an adult.

·         Mistrust - it's also a history of your early childhood where you may have been abused physically or mentally as you were growing up, so you developed lack of trust as an adult.

·         Vulnerability - you may feel that some major disaster may happen anytime to you.

·         Emotional deprivation - the feeling that you will never get emotional support from others.

·         Social exclusion - a feeling of isolation from others like family or groups.

·         Personal defensiveness - a feeling that something is seriously flawed in you, and that you are incapable of managing.

·         Failure- “I believe that I am incapable to succeed, school, work, or sports”. As a child you were made to feel that you are inferior to others in the family

·         Victim - you feel that you are sacrificing yourself for others without any rewards.

·         Perfectionism - is an obsession that you are not perfect, and you have high expectations of yourself and high standards impossible to achieve.

·         Being special - you feel you deserve everything from others because you are very special and can do anything you wish.

·         Grandiosity - a belief that you and no one else is special and you deserve all the attention from others.


Now, if you have recognised one or more of those patterns that you are living now, be aware that most if not all of those patterns have been learned in childhood as you were growing up within your family environment. How your parents lived and loved you, and understand how those patterns were imposed on you, and how you swallowed those behavioural patterns and now you feel they're part of your life.  If you understand these life pattern/traps, you will note that there are three aspects present: 1: that they are lifelong themes. 2: they are self-destructive to you. 3: they struggle for survival or hold on to you for most of your life unless you become aware and change.

To make a shift from those patterns learned early in life, we must first become aware of them and how they are self-destructive to your ongoing growth and development as an adult. What you need to develop is taking a risk and experience, among other things, basic safety rules, develop emotional strengths with others and create a lifestyle of self-well-being.

Michael Meade, my mentor for many, many years, inspires me to develop a lifestyle by listening to his mythological stories that help me open myself to powerful themes for my journey through life and write memoirs about my journey as an ongoing experience.


TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY

These days, there is a very popular trend to relax your mind called MINDFULLNESS. What is needed also is a way to care for your body and I am suggesting that you experiment with the following:

1.       *Eat mainly plant-based food and products.

2.       *Aim for a relatively ‘normal’ or healthy weight. (Check out the book: EAT – STOP – EAT.)

3.       *Exercise regularly or at least walk for 30 minutes or more each day.

4.       *Do not smoke and keep the alcohol content low when enjoying wine.

5.       *Make social connections regularly.

In conclusion, the way to change and shift and grow is not easy as mentioned above. Yet, I am proposing here a way you may start your journey to self-awareness and personal development. Explore the following resources:

-                        Create a personal vision for yourself

          Develop an empathic self-confrontation like looking in a mirror and sharing with yourself alone.

-                          Enlisting the help of others

-                          Selecting a therapist, preferably a gestalt therapist

 

We shall not cease from exploration.

 And the end of all our exploring

will be to arrive where we started

and know the place for the first time - here and now.

T.S.Elliot

 

Here are some very useful articles' by Caroline   Myss

 


And here some questions for the Neu Year's reflections

 https://www.myss.com/7-questions-for-the-new-year/


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

THE WAR WITHIN A WAR

 

THE WAR WITHIN A WAR




Dear reader

We are coming to the final month of 2023, and I am reflecting on the many things that happened over this year. Some are very good events, and some were bad events but all events that we all experienced lead us to learning and to become more to be resilient and find ways to become a better human being. Please reflect: What is your gift to the global human needs?

The wars in Gaza and Ukraine are only a small example of other evil events and deadly wars conducted by psychopathic leaders that are torturing and killing people of all ages just to remain in power and fill up their greed.

My own example here is Putin, as a psychopath who does not stop to not only bombarding Ukraine but also forcing Russian  young people to go to battle for no other reason than to fill his needs to become the “ZAR” our of all Russia.

Michael Meade, my mentor, speaks of War within a War as he describes Putin as the mythological God Cronus. He says that Putin is waging a war also with the Russians that suffer from his lies and false propaganda.  Therefore, the suffering of some people requires the suffering of all people.  We all think of good intentions and to hope and believe that things may be better, but we are at odds with the evil premiering every part of the world. We all suffer like the Ukrainian people suffer as the bombs and killings that destroy towns and many leave their country. It is hard to balance and avoid so much evil that can exist yet, we hope for peace for all in the future, as our parents witnessed the fall of the Nazi Germany.

Yet we know that many Ukrainians are standing up and fighting for freedom and truth for all with a kind of nobility of spirit that can only come from the human soul, the human soul that values truth meaning and beauty and the fullness of a good life.

My reflection is based on Mead’s podcast where he speaks of Putin and is reflecting on the fight for truth and beauty that is not only in Ukraine that also these things are happening also in Russia, where people themselves are protesting but are quickly imprisoned and then many are simply staying passive, and Putin gets all day glory he wants.

This reminds me, as I am reflecting here of Cronos, the God of the ancient Greeks that devoured his children so that they would not grow up and take over his power.


Cronus learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own children, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon by Rhea, he devoured them all as soon as they were born to prevent the prophecy. When the sixth child, Zeus, was born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save them and to eventually get retribution on Cronus for his acts against his father and children. (Wikipedia)

 

We must reflect on the CORE ideals of humanity that come to light during the dark times. Do not despair and stay positive, not passive, but stay in the struggle for truth and beauty. We are capable to transform and grow more AWAKE.

HOPE is like a butterfly, it is very beautiful and at the same time very delicate. The podcast is a gift for the New Year and please listen to the podcast below.




THE WISDOM of the BUTTERFLY

Michael Meade

Click here to listed the podcast

This episode of Living Myth looks at both the need to transform and our resistance to change through the lens of the metamorphosis of butterflies. The fact that the Greek word psyche means butterfly implies how we are secretly connected to the essential dynamic of transformation in life. As if compelled by the primordial poetics of transformation, scientists named the cells that carry the potential for a true transformation of the caterpillar “imaginal cells.”

The capacity of the imaginal cells to develop into a butterfly and transform life completely is related to the inner capacity of the human soul to also transform repeatedly in the course of life. In the same sense that the imaginal cells hold all the information and energy for the butterfly to be, there is core imagination and deeper self trying to awaken in the soul of each person.

At the same time, something within us resists changing, even when the time for transforming our lives has come. In the mysterious way of the world, the metamorphosis of the butterfly also offers ways to understand why we resist the exact changes we most need in order to transform ourselves and help change the world. In simple biological terms, an exchange of one kind of cell for a different kind of cell changes a crawling caterpillar to a winged butterfly. In terms of understanding the essential dynamic of change in the world and at the core of the human soul, a great mystery is revealed that can be called the wisdom of the butterfly.


Sunday, October 29, 2023

THE LIGHT WITHIN DARK TIMES - NOVEMBER 2023





 


THE LIGHT WITHIN DARK TIMES


Today I am reflecting on the increasing ‘dark times' that the world is entering with another war in Israel with the Gaza terrorists were killing and kidnapping on Oct. 7.

 The war in Ukraine is entering its second year with little chance of peace. Europe and USA are losing its grip on unity and what was once a strong democracy, is disintegrating. In Germany neo-Nazi groups are reviving the old “Reich” and so on.

In times like these, I turn to my Mentor Michael Meade, that for years now, has been bringing hope by speaking out in his podcasts. He makes me believe that it is possible to open our hearts and enter in contact with our spirit and soul to bring the creation of a new world and feel that the light is in all of us. Here is some of my favourite words of encouragement:

“Each soul has treasure buried within it; yet each heart must be broken for the inner gold to shine forth. The heart can be the place of great pain as well as the place of our greatest coherence. Something must break us open to let the spirit that brought us to life emerge more fully. Only the broken heart was seen to have the potential for wholeness. Once wounded, the heart releases a spark of consciousness that has the potential for true transformation.

As nature and culture rattle and old forms crumble, a crisis of imagination occurs, and we are called to see the world with different eyes. Finding and following a genuine vision requires an open heart as well as an open mind. Thus, transforming our lives involves a genuine “change of heart.”

While the heart fosters feelings and love, the heart within the heart is also the seat of imagination and the place of wisdom. What was known as the “eye of the heart” sees with a kind of vision that opens to revelations about us and the world.

The divine word set within the heart’s core is the source of vitality, true resiliency and continuous creativity. Yet, for the heart to open and the spirit of change, to enter us, we must let go of our perceived(false) ideas and restrictive attitudes.

Love is the divine spark in each heart, intended to illuminate the true path of one’s life. Such a path with heart reveals who we are in essence and how we are aimed in life. We are each intended to serve something greater than ourselves; when we serve in that way, we become truly whole-hearted. To be fully alive, growing the soul and incarnating spirit is the only thing that satisfies the longings seeded in the garden of the heart.”

So, in a sense, to really change, to transform, we have to let go the belief as to who we are, in the sense that we believe our own story of how we were wounded and how we were traumatised. Later in life, what originally protected us; that is, the attitudes and the practises of the ego. This will shatter and limit our lives unless we learn to let go. We have all this gold within and that's the core of so many stories found around the world. That is a common fact: that life will break us down and break us open and then there's a psychological fact that we have inner resistance against change when what we really need to do is change and transform if we are to grow, if we are even to sustain ourselves, if we are to find meaning and purpose. And that is a path with heart!





 Your comments and reflections are welcome


Yaro I. Starak


 

 






Saturday, September 30, 2023

HEALING SELF AND OTHERS

 







HEALING SELF AND OTHERS



OCTOBER 2023 BLOG - REFLECTIONS YARO

 

Dear reader,

October is my birthday month and I tend to reflect about my life and the life of our world. When I lived in Canada, I looked at the yellowing leaves on the maple trees and felt a nostalgic sense of life ending and that someday new life will emerge in the new spring leaves. Now, living in Australia, I note the spring flowers and the purple Jacaranda trees blooming and here they are re-newing again and life goes on.

 

As I listened to my mentor Michael Mead where in his podcast, he refers to today’s false leaders. He said that old leaders like Putin, will not give up power but instead create wars and destruction. Putin attacked Ukraine last year and the war goes on without any results only much damage and destruction and death to the Ukrainian people defending themselves bravely and will continue do so until they win.

My own reflection is focussed on a sense of deep sorrow that such terrible destruction is happening with the world looking on and perhaps afraid of possible nuclear attacks.

Yet there are other countries also involved in a sectarian war like Armenia in and Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan where over 120,000 people are leaving their homes and seeking shelter food and safety for their families. Here is a news item, September 2023:

 

“Since March 26, 2023, the Azerbaijani government has formalized its blockade of the Republic of Artsakh by seizing strategic ground around the Lachin corridor both within Artsakh and Armenia, installing a military outpost that blocks a bypass dirt road that provided relief, blocking the old section of the Lachin corridor, and installing a checkpoint at the new section. Azerbaijan has ignored calls from the Russian peacekeepers to observe the 2020 ceasefire conditions and return to their initial territorial positions behind the Line of Contact. Azerbaijan has also ignored calls from the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, and other international entities to restore freedom of movement across the Lachin corridor.”





war in Armenia & Nagorno-Karabakh

 

Mead talks about this senseless leader like Putin who is unwilling to give up claiming more and more power at the expense of destruction and death. We are entering again a time of darkness that is not only covering the specific people running away from war but also the whole world is part of this darkness that is recalling the days of World War I and World War II. In some way, we are all participating in the horror of war due to the high-speed technology and fast changing social and political development. False news is creating much doubt and confusions.

This month reflections are an attempt to propose a model or healing the inner and the outer worlds or self and culture because we are all in this together. This, I hope, will encourage the readers to share ideas and reflections of healing with those around you and help healing the world. If we do not participate in this, we deny our being and our soul and the opportunity of a future generation to live in peace and happiness.

 NOTE! As of this week, the republic of NAGORNO- KARABAGH ceased to exist  as people left and the minister has dissolved the republic.



A HEALING MODEL

 

The current global multiple crises as symptoms of our inner disturbance. Politics, terrorism, pandemics, relationships, religious beliefs, and wars etc. These are some of the sources of anxiety.

Anxiety is ONE of the many symptoms that we experience by attempting to find solutions to our inner self.

 

EXERCISE 1: Open-ended problem solving (you may close your eyes)

 

1.            Select a problem that involves you and the environment.

2.            See the problem as a metaphor or symbol of your inner disturbance

3.            Notice how you feel in your body. What parts of your body are affected?

4.            Check with your ‘spirit body’ or awareness. Allow energy flow all over your body.

5.            Have your ‘spirit body’ show you how this problem looks/feels like when resolved.

6.            How are you affected by your ‘solution’? Catastrophic or anastrophic expectations.

7.            Give a ritual gift – to yourself and the outside or other.

8.            Let go of expectations for success

 

EXERCISE 2:  Finding balance.

 

Most people feel that they are burdened or lack of one of the following:

1             Money

2             Possessions

3             Health

4             Body image & attractiveness

5             Relationships

6             Sex

7             Time

 

Make a list of the above in 3 categories: 1. Deprivation (too little) 2. Excess (too much).  3. Balance (just right)

 

The categories you selected as “too much” or “too little” are the areas of your life where you are lost or are losing power. In the “too much” list, start the ‘destruction’ ritual. Select what you do not want and discard it or let it go. Burning a  written list of things or relationships that you no longer want is another way to discard the unwanted.

In the category of “deprivation” use the ‘creation’ ritual. This is a way of learning to receive a gift. When the ‘spirit world’ offers you a gift of special talents, opportunities or good advice, respect that and do not feel you need to reciprocate. Everything in life is a GIFT. Receive it with grace and honour it. Light a candle and focus your energy on its flame. Allow the ‘gift’ to penetrate you and warm you all over.

 





Now, you are welcome to listen to the podcast by Michael Meade – 

Copy and paste to your web page.

 

 

 D:\MICHAELMEADE\Episode_269_-_The_Edge_of_Nobility_and_Despair.mp3


 


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

SEPTEMBER - 2023 blog

 



                                       APOCALIPSIS NOW










Dear reader,


On a remote island in Greece called Patmos, a man called John of Patmos wrote about the coming of the end of the world as we know it. In Greek he called it Apocalypsis. The actual meaning is Revelation.

Today, we seem to be coming back to those ancient times where ‘gloom and doom’ was the theme of many so-called prophets. We can clearly name our modern events as apocalyptic. Note the following events taking place in the world today:

-              MAUI VOLCANO

-              FLOODS IN CHINA

-              WAR IN UKRAINE

-              INDIA HEATWAVES BY THE SUN

-              STORMAS IN KOREA

-              HURICANES IN THE NORTH

-              MELTING SNOW IN ANTARICA

 

Michael Meade, a brilliant mythologist today, speaks by way of his many podcasts, the necessity for each human being to be awaken to purpose and meaning. The way to find purpose and meaning today, he says, is to reveal to ourselves the unfolding of soul. Each of us is born which soul that is very specific. It is important then, for each person or Soul to continue revealing our uniqueness and capacity to heal the world. Meade invites us to use our imagination both individual and collective to bring forth healing of nature and culture.

This capacity for creative imagination has been largely forgotten as many people in many countries, are faced with events that block and try to delete this capacity. Yet, the Soul, or the big self within, is eternal and forever available as we learn to be more present to this phenomenon and be aware that the possibility to awaken is always possible.

Forgetting who we are (as soul), leads to despair and confusion and conflict. The more dangerous reaction to loss of soul is addictions and attachments.

We come into the world from being fully at home and feeling that place, we have a little shadow of it. For example, when we come home at the end of the day and put your feet up or relax or have a cup of tea or whatever, there is that feeling of coming to a safe space or feeling back at peace. And when we get separated from that which is our home, that separation is created by the mind.  The mind seeks that  emptiness by filling it with substances or actions that era addictive,

This basic ignorance in the mind, that is the root of suffering,that the Buddha keeps pointing out, is the basic root of all suffering. Once this separation has occurred, there is incredible pain. We can call it being thrown out of the garden of Eden, or we call it original sin, whatever you want to call it. When you're doing something like cooking, the way you turn it into just the joy of the process, or it could be any number of things that reinforces your behaviour and you start to do that behaviour more and more because it feels good, it takes away the pain of the separateness - then we eat more.

The use of drugs, the use of material possessions, the use of relationships. All of this, when you get busy and get upset with relationships and want to get closer and closer to somebody and trying to get to the place where you want to come back into that oneness. Then this becomes an addiction.

Dealing with addictions is a journey of much pain and then a revelation that we can do it! But first comes the self-rejection and dealing with self-esteem. So, I may have some thoughts like:

“I am bad” and then that starts a reaction and then you come down, then you feel guilty. “I must be bad I should have done something else, why didn't I do the practises that would have allowed me to stay well rather than the thing I did”. That may be a short-term solution.

 You see your predicament as it is: an immediate gratification.  It is what is called in psychology the choice of the ‘little candy bar’ now or the ‘big candy bar’ later. Children always grab for the little candy bar now! Because they want what they can get now. They do not have a delay of gratification.

 Spiritual practises are more like delayed gratification versus immediate gratification like coke or alcohol.  Observe your predicament and see what you are doing. There is a way to stop addictions from a spiritual perspective in which you begin without a slight bit of awareness. To extricate yourself from the chain of reactivity you develop the spaciousness, a space of free awareness, you start to look at where you can intervene in the process of the sequence that goes on and as the awareness gets deeper, you intervene at different places in the sequence. For example, the hunger begins, and if you felt unloved as a child, you eat to fill this gap.  You eat and get fat and then you hate yourself.

We usually understand the psychodynamics of that one level, but let's take it from the point of view of the mind.  For example, I had eaten too much to reduce my anxiety because my mother fed me food when I was upset, and I learned that pattern. Instead of going into “I'm no good” I break the chain at that point and then I just go back into my spiritual practises. Developing deep awarenesss!

Spiritual practices do not require that we go to a monastery or temple but require that we become deeply aware of our soul needs. The answer of all difficulties is already inside us.


Copy this link for your computer to learn from THE GITA story about the meaning of life


                                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK3fg5GclZA

 


                                                                          FEAR IS A KILLER                                                                                                                       

Sunday, July 30, 2023

REFLECTIONS YARO - AUGUST 2023





 

LONELINESS IN MEN

                                                                   

Dear reader,

Recently I read an article on the topic of loneliness.The authors stated that 45% of men in Australia suffer of loneliness and deprivation of contact with others.

I am reflecting now on this matter as I am very aware of this large number of men who come to me for counselling almost every day and tell me how disconnected and lonely, they are. Some say that one way of dealing with this issue is consume more alcohol to calm themselves down and not to fall into serious depression. So, I question this: if depression so common in men is it a cause of being lonely?

Alone is different, being alone is a positive state where we withdraw from any contacts on purpose and spend time in meditation end retreat to regenerate our spirit and soul. Yet loneliness is somehow considered a problem in our society.


.

Here is a definition of Loneliness:

Loneliness is an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation. Loneliness is also described as social pain – a psychological mechanism which motivates individuals to seek social connections. It is often associated with a perceived lack of connection and intimacy. Loneliness overlaps and yet is distinct from solitude. Solitude is simply the state of being apart from others; not everyone who experiences solitude feels lonely. As a subjective emotion, loneliness can be felt even when a person is surrounded by other people. Hence, there is a distinction between being alone and feeling lonely. Loneliness can be short term (state loneliness) or long term (chronic loneliness). In either case, it can be intense and emotionally painful.

The causes of loneliness are varied. Loneliness can be a result of genetic inheritance, cultural factors, a lack of meaningful relationships, a significant loss, an excessive reliance on passive technologies (notably the Internet in the 21st century), or a self-perpetuating mindset. Research has shown that loneliness is found throughout society, including among people in marriages along with other strong relationships, and those with successful careers. Most people experience loneliness at some points in their lives, and some feel it often. The effects of loneliness are also varied. Transient loneliness (loneliness which exists for a short period of time) is related to positive effects, including an increased focus on the strength of one's relationships. Chronic loneliness (loneliness which exists for a significant amount of time in one's life) is generally correlated with negative effects, including increased obesity, substance use disorder, risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, risk of high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Chronic loneliness is also correlated with an increased risk of death and suicidal thoughts.

Medical treatments for loneliness include beginning therapy and taking antidepressants. Social  and counselling treatments for loneliness generally include an increase in interaction with others, such as group activities (such as exercise or religious activities), re-engaging with old friends or colleagues, and becoming more connected with one's community. Other social treatments for loneliness include the ownership of pets and loneliness-designed technologies, such as meetup services or social robots (although the use of some technologies to combat loneliness is debated). (Wikipedia)

Here are some ideas and actions to deal with loneliness.

Don’t be afraid to reach out - It might sound obvious, but the best place to look for a friend is the friend’s you already have or have had in the past. Reaching out to someone you already know can be intimidating and hard but it is also the shortest route to authentic connection. Keep in mind:

Most people appreciate when an old friend or former colleague reaches out to say hello. Life gets busy, and just because they haven’t said hello to you, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect.

Re-establishing a connection is much easier than starting a new one - you’ve already got things to catch up on, shared interests, or old stories to laugh at.

It can be easier to start a conversation with old colleagues, friends of friends, or that interesting person you once met, compared with people you don’t know at all.

Try reaching out to someone you already know. If they don’t reply, or don’t want to connect, don’t be disheartened, it’s likely more of a reflection of their busyness than it is on you.

More ideas for you:

  • Schedule activities
  • Stay occupied
  • Practice gratitude
  • Revisit your relationship with social media.
  • Practice self-care – yoga & meditation
  • Spend time outdoors 
  • Set a daily routine
  • Try to look forward to alone time

Here is a recent ABC article that you may read in this link and reflect on your own time.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-07-14/middle-aged-men-experiencing-high-level-loneliness/102563492?utm_campaign=abc_news_web&utm_content=link&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_source=abc_news_web