Jul 11, 2007

Inside outside

J wrote: Hi Aekta,
I have run out of things to talk with my friends. I am an intensely private person and dont have much to say outside my work life. The only person with whom I can share my life is my fiance and yes he is wonderful. Yet I often feel lonely and miss having good friends around. How do I resolve this?

Dear J,
First of all, there's nothing wrong with not having much to say and being an intensely private person. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round and make the ride worthwhile. It is not a compulsion to be a social animal and push yourself into doing something that makes you uncomfortable.

On the other hand, you are bothered that being an intensely private person has made you lonely. It hasn't. You can be a private person and never speak to a soul for long periods of time, and yet never feel lonely. The two are not as related as you think.

(1) Loneliness is when you feel isolated, lacking companionship, and it saddens you. But there is not a single soul in the world who is isolated or lacks companionship. Technically, there are 6 billion other humans alive at the same time as us, so how can any one of us be isolated? Even if you are the last person on earth, you are not alone. You are a unit of a universal consciousness, which includes the sky, the stars, the rivers, the mountains, the sea, the clouds, the rain, the breeze, the soil, the leaves. Love yourself, because you are beautiful and divine, and enjoy your own company, because you are full of magical experiences, thoughts, feelings and stories.

So there's nothing really to be sad about. You are protected, secure, surrounded by beings who are made of the same material as you are (yes, we are all made up of the same elements as the stars), and all you have to do is acknowledge it, embrace it, and open your life to the life around you. Trust me, there's a lot you can learn from a stimulating intuitive conversation with a tree. Try it sometime.

(2) Having a social circle and close friends comes easily once you start feeling one with everyone around you. People will automatically enjoy your company if you enjoy your own company. Once you love yourself, like a mirror, the universe will love you too.

A practical hint: Take interest in people. Ask questions nicely, show compassion and kindness. You'll be amazed at the amount of stories each one of us contains within us, more than enough to keep a conversation going. Give the other person the feeling they are important to you, and that you respect all that they have to say. The topics will gush forth.

Another hint: Don't hold yourself too close to yourself. Earlier in life, I was an intensely private person too. I never talked about myself, either out of a silly inferiority complex, or fear at not being good enough or living up to some hypothetical 'mark'. Today I realise I have interesting true stories to tell and I just never run out of conversation. I am not selfish with the lessons I have learnt; I hand them around generously, even at the risk of sounding like a premature mataji! There's no fear of rejection, for I have accepted myself, and my own opinion matters most of all to me. And I do believe that others love sharing their lives with me too, and I genuinely enjoy hearing them.

A month ago, I met a woman for just an hour at an event and we ended up sharing our most intimate feelings. It is quite fascinating, because the minute I shared my life with her, her eyes grew wide open, and she said, 'I know exactly what you mean, I feel that way too. Let's meet up again.' We haven't met, but I will soon; there's something we still need to learn from each other.

Every person you meet will have something in common with you. It's another law of the universe, like attracts like. And you will never run out of things to share, because the universe is as limitless as you are.

Open yourself to all the stories the world around you has to offer, and be comfortable in being who you are. Not only will you never be lonely, but you'll never be alone either. But don't believe me. Try it for yourself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Aekta!