My chief concern since childhood has been trying to understand why I feel lonely when I’m around other people. I could be alone in a cave under an avalanche (with oxygen), and I would feel less lonely than I feel at most parties.
I have matured. I’m 36, and despite my grey hairs, thankfully, aging has garnered me an awareness of what loneliness is, not what it’s supposed to be. Loneliness is a word we consider (mistakenly) as a binary feeling contingent on one variable: “Are other humans around?” How silly. If the cure for loneliness was: “being around people,” Starbucks would be so busy they would have to open a Starbucks inside each Starbucks to satiate the constant demand for the simple cure for loneliness.
I filed for and consummated my divorce in the first half of 2017. This occurred for many reasons, but one of the two main reasons was because I was tired of feeling lonely, despite living with my family. I was confounded and demoralized. I had met a nice woman, we had dated and traveled and fallen in love, we had been engaged, we had gotten married, and we had birthed a planned child; how could I feel lonely?
I was lonely because I had no connection at home to anyone spiritually conscious. My son, bless his heart, will get there, someday, but at that time, he wasn’t even two, so he didn’t need to converse about Spirit; he was living in Spirit, like most children, happily pooping his diaper all day long. It was my wife who wouldn’t meet me there.
Flash forward six months from my divorce. I sit, completely alone, in a new house, without my wife or my son, and yet I feel anything but lonely, despite being alone!
What changed? I met people who care about what I care about: consciousness, spirituality, and leading meaningful lives of purpose, despite life’s tomfoolery of tragedies (read: shit shows). My cure for loneliness is “conscious conversations.”
I’m Mike Oppenheim, and I’m a recovering alone-aholic. I used to seek the stagnant energy of being alone over the loneliness of partying with people with no interest in “partying consciously.” This doesn’t mean you can’t have wine, eat cake, or skinny dip; it means you do all three while caring about humanity and a spiritual connection with yourself and others.