One of the things that becomes apparent when I speak to people who are in unfulfilling relationships is that it’s amazing what we’re willing to put up with if it means not having to be alone. Only, we still end up feeling alone in an even more painful way — lonely and isolated. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, it’s time to get into the subject of fear of being alone.

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Some nuggets from the episode:

  • When we insist that we’re fine with being on our own and that we don’t need anybody, and then we get into a relationship, and it ends, and we feel like we can’t survive, our hidden fear of being alone has risen to the surface. 
  • Loneliness is the emotional state we experience when we are emotionally adrift and cut off from ourselves and our intimate relationships.

The more ashamed you feel is the less you can talk about things. You end up feeling increasingly adrift and cling on to the unhealthy relationship(s) that you need to get away from.

  • Vulnerability plugs us back into intimacy. It uplevels the intimacy in our relationships each time we stretch ourselves beyond previous levels. When we reach for a higher level of authenticity and intimacy, we plug back in — to ourselves and our close relationships.
  • Loneliness is a call for us to reconnect with ourselves, to plug back into intimate relationships and to, yes, disconnect from that which cuts us off.
  • Sometimes we’re so busy pursuing something that we don’t realise that we are more OK than we think, or that we would be OK if only we learned how to take care of ourselves.

Some of us associate being alone with unloved.

  • If we see being on our own as being a statement about how successful we are, you can see why we avoid being alone.
  • There are a couple of ways in which we devalue interpersonal relationships: We devalue non-romantic relationships as if romantic ones are the prize. And when we feel as if we’re OK with being alone because we’re very guarded, we devalue relationships in general.
  • If we live our life from a place of love, care, trust and respect, our relationships feel harmonious and fulfilling because we are experiencing compatibility while meeting our emotional needs.

Sometimes our aloneness isn’t a happy choice; it’s a defensive choice against the past.

  • We put ourselves in proximity to certain people, things and opportunities because we want them to speak for us. We attach ourselves to the popular, charming person with a harem swinging out of them because we’re trying to catch self-worth.
  • When we outsource our needs to someone else, the only path we’re going to be on is a painful one.
  • When we’re afraid of being on our own, we don’t feel as if we’re capable of making our life better, so somebody else is given that job.

The truth about being used: When we acknowledge what’s really been going on, we were willing to allow ourselves to be used and taken advantage of if we could get what we wanted out of the situation.

  • When we attach ourselves to relationships to mask our fear of being alone, what we’re often really trying to avoid is not being ‘alone in the world’ but alone with ourselves.
  • Why am I so afraid to be in my own company?
  • What has gone on in my past that I’m prepared to accept a sub-par relationship?
  • What’s the baggage behind it?
  • Fear-based choices lead to desperate decisions and desperate relationships.

Links mentioned

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