We all have different stress levels and triggers – stress that has a negative effect on our psyche and body. Whatever your stress theme is, there is a deeper reason why you end up going beyond your limits, giving more than you have, running faster and longer than what is good for you, and compromising yourself. In fact, it is not about stress – or what or who is causing it. It’s all about something socially profound: loneliness.
This is crucial to your well-being
Let’s dig into this: the context and reasons for loneliness are different from person to person. However, I do believe it all boils down to one primitive thing that gets triggered – deep down we’re all afraid of being abandoned.
We all want to feel loved, seen and accepted for who we are, and for what we want to become; we all want to be an involved and respected member of our family or friend group; and we all want to feel safe and secure when expressing our true selves. Walking through life with a sense of belonging and meaning is simply crucial for our well-being.
An infant will not survive without its parents. Caring and nurturing are key. There is a built-in fear of being abandoned; an infant would not survive on its own.
The threat of being lonely is massive and follows us through our upbringing in the way we interact with and adjust to our caretakers, so we are not abandoned and lonely. When our caretakers are unable to nurture our rainbow of needs and feelings, it means that only part of the child will be accepted and encouraged to grow. The child is given and takes on their roles and survival strategies in order to fit in, and be accepted and included. No matter what it takes or means, a child abandons herself in order to belong and survive.
The implications of not having access to all parts of yourself may cause a sense of loneliness, a feeling of homesickness, and not living your truth. This will follow the child through life in her relationships, until the pain and longing to become her true self is bigger than the fear of being abandoned and lonely.
At this point, you discover the roles that helped you survive as a child do not serve you any longer. You realize you have to recalibrate or even redefine yourself (to the truth). You face being nobody before you can be somebody. This is where the journey of finding out who you truly are starts.
Telling people you feel really lonely can be hard or nearly impossible. It brings with it a sense of shame. Why? Because it means revealing what you believe is the hard truth: ‘I am abandoned’. Translated into the perspective of a child, it means there has to be something wrong with me because I am not wanted. It is unbearable. Because when you realize that, you also have to deal with the loss of the caretaker’s (unconditional) love. The hard fact of being “not valuable.”
Now, caretakers do what they are capable of doing. Sometimes that is not enough, and this leaves deep wounds in a child. We all bring our memories with us in life. Some are stored and hidden unconsciously because they are too painful to remember. And that makes it complicated to deal with.
The stress of loneliness is unbearable
Traveling through life with the burden of feeling lonely and abandoned is very stressful for our body and psyche. The loneliness and uncertainty of never belonging not only makes you miserable, but can also reslut in all kinds of stress-related symptoms if you are emotionally and socially disconnected. Healing and connecting with your true self and your inner child will eventually make you feel less lonely. You will become your best friend. You are the only person you know for sure will travel with you the rest of your life. So why not embrace you as your best friend?
Of all the stress-related things we face, I believe loneliness causes our body and psyche the most stress. I believe there is a biological link between loneliness and stress-related symptoms. And I’m convinced that the loneliness within people is easily trigged by the way many of us are living today. Being included in a group has a strong survival advantage, and this makes our desire for community in order to avoid loneliness very strong. It is like a constantly activated biological warning system that makes us seek a friend group. One result can be that we (continue to) hang out with people with whom we no longer have anything in common.
The bottom-line is: your stress symptoms are linked to loneliness and fear of not being accepted – and thus excluded. You might be able to influence external factors, but on a deeper level, you are unlikely to heal yourself if you don’t know where your symptoms come from.
If you have been abandoned in past incarnations, those wounds will travel with you through future incarnations and get triggered by your loneliness in this life. This is where you need to meet loneliness and stress – and release what is no longer serving you.