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EPISODE # 4

The REAL Answer to Loneliness!

If you’re experiencing loneliness after divorce, this episode is for you. Listen in as I share the real secret to healing loneliness and loving your alone time after divorce.

In today's episode I am going to pull back the veil on what's really causing your loneliness after divorce. And it's probably not what you think.

I’ll also be diving into all of the things that will not permanently heal the feelings of loneliness. And where loneliness after divorce actually comes from. It doesn’t come from being disconnected from others or your ex. And it doesn’t come from not engaging in enough activities.

And after you know what loneliness really is and where it comes from, I’ll be sharing with you a process to heal the ache loneliness anytime it surfaces.

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL DISCOVER: 

  •  The true source of loneliness after divorce and the myth about how to heal it.

  • The things that you may be doing to increase your feelings of loneliness and delay your ability to relieve the sadness that comes with feeling lonely after divorce.
  • The steps that you can take at any time to let go of those lonely feelings and start to fall in love with your alone time.

If you have any questions or want to do this work with me on a much much deeper level you can check out the work with me page on this website.

When you finish listening, I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, share it to your Instagram stories and tag me, @dianah_johnson

While you’re there, make sure you follow me on Instagram so you can see behind the scenes of how I help divorced women return to self love, rebuild their independent identity and experience greater peace of mind after divorce. 

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

I don’t know about you, but since this pandemic I have spent more time alone than I have in my entire life. And I’ve gotten more phone calls from loved ones saying oh my you must be so lonely… Because most of the people in my life have children or partners that are living with them. But it’s just me and my puppies. So having people ask me that question so often are you lonely really brought me back to the feelings that I used to have… Not only after my marriage ended but also through my entire life. I had that experience of being lonely even when I was surrounded by people. And then when I was alone I suffered from intense feelings of loneliness. Historic actually wants told my mother your youngest child is a really lonely person. I think about that now and I laugh because I know how the mind works and how we should never implant a seed like that in someone so they go ahead and believe it.

 

 Now after almost 9 months of being alone constantly because of the pandemic it became clear to me that I’m not the same person that I used to be in terms of the feeling of loneliness. And I know exactly why. So in this episode I’m going to dive into  how to heal those feelings of loneliness. I wanted to do this episode for you before the holidays because I do know that the holidays can be a lonely time for many and of course with this pandemic I understand. Could be even deeper. Before I dive in I want you to know I am not going to just say keep busy. And I’m probably going to say a few things that you haven’t heard before for dealing with loneliness… So stay tuned!

 

So back in the day before all of this subconscious reprogramming work, I was a lonely soul.   I just believed that being alone meant that I had no one in the world to talk to or that understood.   And I’m sure at points I believed I didn’t have people that cared about me otherwise I wouldn’t be alone.  Now how that showed up in my life is, I would lay in bed for hours trying to distract my self by watching TV and having my pity party for one.  I had a constant empty feeling in my chest.

I’m just sharing this  because I want you to know what is possible. I want to show you the difference between how you may be feeling and how you could feel. 

 

Okay before we Dive In,  do you think that you are lonely because any of these reasons… You’re single, you’re not active enough or engaging in enough activities, or because you are disconnected from your ex and other people./   

 

 If so I’d love for you to consider this for a second… If being single and having to do things alone or the reasons for loneliness, then you would never meet a single woman on her own that didn’t feel loneliness. and I will tell you as a single woman on my own it is possible to be single disconnected from your ex and doing things on your own without 

 

I also  love for you to think about what are the things that you have been told will heal loneliness. And based on the conversations that I have had I really want to say up front here or not the things that will heal loneliness permanently…

  • do anything and everything to keep as busy as possible
  • Find a new partner, any partner
  •  Down a few glasses of wine and watch Game of Thrones
  • Get a Hobby and get a dog 

 

No, no, no –  these aren’t lasting solutions to loneliness. Sure some of those things will make you feel a little better in the moment. But what we want to focus on is some long lasting relief from the ache of loneliness. 

 

Have you ever said the words I AM Lonely?  Instead of I feel lonely.  If so, know that you are not lonely. Loneliness is not who you are.  You experience the feeling of loneliness. 

 

This is an important distinction because it’s so empowering to realize you are not a lonely person who needs to change. You simply have to change the feelings of loneliness.  And you have the ability to do just that.  You just have to get to the source of your loneliness – which is your programming. Those automatic thoughts running the show in the background.

 

The beliefs you have make you lonely.  Think about a time when you were all alone but you didn’t feel lonely.  Okay hopefully you have that in your mind right now. Were you busy thinking about other things or doing something fun and distracting?

 

Although you were alone, you didn’t feel lonely. This is simply because your mind wasn’t focused on your painful beliefs about being alone. So, it isn’t being alone that is making you feel lonely, it’s what you are believing about it.

 

Here’s an example that I’d love for you to think about… Have you ever had a night to yourself in the middle of the week and you decide to take a bath, read a book and do something for yourself.

And then the weekend comes and you’re alone again. If you’re like me and most women, you’ve been conditioned to believe that the weekends are for socializing or partner time. And because of this belief, weekend alone time creates loneliness when alone time earlier in the week didn’t.  Before I did this belief work most of my loneliness happened on weekends, holidays and special occasions. because I believed being alone was bad and I attached all kinds of meaning to being alone on special occasions and on weekends.

 

 

 

Christmas is another perfect example.  We have been conditioned to believe what holidays should look like.  Just look at all the romcom movies out there.  So we start comparing ourselves to others and beating ourselves or our exes up for being alone.  And that’s what creates loneliness.  Ofcourse, it’s special and important to have loved ones around on special occasions.  But it still comes back to our thoughts about what that means. So I only give you these examples to show how empowered you are to change how you think, and as a result, feel.

 

There’s other examples of this where you can be alone without feeling lonely. And then there’s times when you feel lonely when others are around. 

 

 

So I invite you to do a little digging …  when you feel lonely, what meaning have you attached to being alone?   Some examples I hear while working with divorced women include:  being alone means I will be alone forever; and I’m not good enough; and everyone else is happier because they’re not alone.   So whatever it is you think being alone means, I’d love for you to think about …  what if it didn’t mean any of those things.   Remember, nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it.

What if it didn’t mean you would be alone forever, you’re not good enough, or that everyone else is happier than you because they’re with someone… Here is a powerful way to start poking holes in the meaning you’ve  attached to being alone.  I want you to come up with evidence …

 

Do you know someone else that is alone a lot, but you know they’re good enough, happy and quite content on their own? You can write a list of all of the things that make you good enough and lovable regardless of  how much time you spend alone.

 

Consider the things that you have done on your own without feeling lonely.  The times you were lost in a solo activity and not in thinking about the fact that you were alone.  So you weren’t thinking of what that might mean. 

 

What you write down will depend on the meaning you have attached to being alone. You are shifting that meaning to shift the beliefs and the loneliness.

 

Relieving feelings of loneliness is a process of reprogramming your mind. Stop yourself when you’re thinking painful thoughts about being alone, put them on paper,  and release them with evidence against them. 

 

RECONNECT TO YOU

The second thing I want to talk about is reconnecting to you.   Because  Loneliness is not about being disconnected from other people. Loneliness is about being disconnected from ourselves.

 

What does that mean?  It means you can be lonely when there is a discomfort in simply being with yourself.  In solitude, with your thoughts and emotions. When you feel that you are not getting something from someone else, it’s often that you are not giving yourself something that you need.  So this is what I want to dive into a little deeper.

 

We believe that it is other people that make us feel like we belong and we are loved.  And that makes us feel less lonely in this world. But no one, outside of you, can make you feel that way because all of that happens by your perceptions in your own mind. When you connect to you, it becomes very clear that no one outside of you is providing that feeling of belonging and being loved.

 

For as long as we are  looking for anyone outside of us to end our loneliness we will continue to feel lonely. Or the relief from the loneliness will be temporary. When we able to fully connect to our own minds, we don’t look to others for relief from any emotion.  And that includes loneliness.



 

To ease loneliness it’s important to connect to your own thoughts,  emotions, and needs.

 

You may be thinking what does that even look like to connect to myself… So here are some examples that you could try on this week…..

 

– Not pushing your feelings away.  So you feel them with grace and non judgement

 

– Checking in within yourself throughout the day and asking, how am I doing?

 

– Sitting in silence through meditation.

 

– Listening to your thoughts and journaling them.

 

– Spending atleast ten minutes alone each morning to set your intentions for the day

 

– Doing things to nourish yourself

 

– And No  overworking, over promising, and causing chaos in your days, to distract you for you.

 

 

Most importantly, remembering you again.  What makes you feel nurtured?; what brings you joy? ; what makes you feel good? The things that have nothing to do with something someone else gives you.  

 

You may be thinking right now “but we’re social beings we need that love and connection”. Yes love and connection it’s a beautiful part of life but that doesn’t change that our feelings of loneliness is driven by the thoughts.  And loneliness is deepened by a separation that we have from ourselves.

 

You don’t need to be connected to others as much as you need to be connected to you. Your relationships with others will be a direct reflection of you relationship with you. If being a social person and having love and connection was the only cure then you would never find a woman who is alone and never lonely. And they are out there I’ll just put my hand up right now for that one.

 

How many of us actually sit and allow ourselves to feel. And to observe the self-talk happening inside. We’re so often in reaction mode to the people that need us and the jobs that were doing, we seldom pause to question our self-talk.

 

To heal that ache of loneliness you have to be willing to be with yourself. To listen to your thoughts and how they affect your emotions.   I was working with a mentor of mine and he asked me to sit in silence for 4 hours. And that meant no phone, No going outside, no talking to my dogs, no reading or writing or taking a bath. I simply had to just sit for 4 hours..  I’ll do another episode on all the incredible things that happened in that 4 hours of silence.  You definitely don’t need to start there but, if you are feeling lonely, I invite you to take some time connecting to you. And just be with you. It will take practice and may feel uncomfortable but the more you do it the more you connect to how you are creating your feelings with your thoughts.   When you connect to you, you’re in a better position to plan the things that you need to shift your feelings.  Including that feeling of loneliness . 

 

So the more connected you are to you the more you know how to soothe and nurture yourself when needed. Your connection to you will help you understand how your body signals emotions like loneliness.  It could show up as ache in your belly, a headache, a tenderness in your heart. However it shows up, once you get really connected to you, you can plan how to soothe and nurture yourself when you need it.  Because remember, the answer is not outside of you.  I can’t tell you the number of women that I work with who just simply don’t know how to nurture themselves. They know how to nurture every human being that has ever crossed their path including strangers.  It is natural and innate, yet when it comes to themselves they have no idea how to do it.

 

I was speaking to one of my friends the other day who I consider the most loving and nurturing person that I have ever met. And I was talking to her about nurturing herself because of something that she is going through.  She said to me, I have no idea how to nurture myself. And this is from the woman who’s the most nurturing person I know.

 

So I invite you to put some thought in to how can you can nurture yourself. Your version of dealing with loneliness is different than someone else’s. You don’t need a checklist of things that your friends told you to do. They are not you and you are not them and everyone feels nurtured and loved differently.  So this has to be about you.

 

ok, to recap what we covered today… first, uncover the meaning you have attached to being alone.  Bring those thoughts making you lonely to the surface.  And poke holes in them with evidence against them. And then you pause, and practice being in solitude and enjoy simply being with you. Listen to your  thoughts and how they affect your emotions.  And tap into what makes you feel loved and connected to yourself and by yourself.



 So to rap today’s episode up I want to give you three reflection questions to support you if you are experiencing loneliness

 

First question, 

 

What am I most often thinking or believing when I am feeling lonely? For example, everyone else is happy with someone else, or I’ll be alone forever, or there’s something wrong with me because I’m alone. Spend some time reflecting on what you think it means about you that you’re alone or just simply uncovering what the thoughts that run through your mind when you’re feeling lonely. 

 

Second question is, can I find any evidence that these painful thoughts of loneliness are not true

 

 

 And thirdly how can I make myself feel more connected and loved by myself during the time that I’m feeling most lonely

 

 And that’s it for today I am hoping that  you found today’s episode helpful.  If you do have any questions you can find me in our private FB Community Beyond Divorce: The Thriving Solo Sisterhood. 

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