I have felt an intense loneliness my entire life. I have a raging jealousy within me that I cannot just watch. It completely overwhelms me every time. It is isolating me. Any ideas on how I might overcome this demon?
Most people carry a sense of loneliness to some degree. Most of the time it goes unnoticed when we are surrounded by other people, by electronic devices etc. No longer call loneliness a bad thing. The worst part is our natural aversion to it. Along with the loneliness comes the desire for it to be gone, so many of us try to get rid of the loneliness by seeking company, external stimulation etc. The sense of loneliness, at first does not feel pleasant, so of course a resistance arises to it, which makes the feeling even stronger.
The only way to really dissolve this loneliness is to fully face it. Do not wish it to be gone, do not try to eradicate it from the inside (or from the outside), and instead fully let the feelings, and perhaps related thoughts – be there. Just give in. Welcome it. Go the other way to the norm of wanting the feeling to be gone, and instead accept it fully. You need not even interpret it as “loneliness”, instead just fully let the feeling be there, without trying to change it.
When we look at feelings like this directly, without strain or effort (which comes with surrender/acceptance), then they can no longer cause so much trouble. Your objection to the feeling is what keeps it alive. When the mind wishes the feeling not be there, this is what creates most disturbance. Don’t try to manage or police the feelings of loneliness, just let them be there, without trying to escape them.
At first the feelings may intensify, unpleasantness may arise, thoughts may become more strong. Don’t be concerned by this, just stay surrendered. The feelings kicking up a fuss shows they are under threat, and begin to rise to the surface to be released. With surrender comes a sense, even if subtle at first, that the feeling of loneliness is not all there is. There is also the untouched space in which it arises, which you can begin to give some attention to. The key is to have no aim, no intention to dissolve or transcend the feelings. Then, paradoxically, they are transcended, and lose power gradually or suddenly.
You can also notice, that as part of the loneliness, there is an inner “lonely person”. This person says “I am lonely”. This person, or any inner person, is not what you are, it is a visitor that most of us identify with. The inner person, however lonely, can be there, but do not take it to be what you are. Do not identify with “me” or “I”.
You can simply notice the futility of both this emotion and the related thoughts. Does it help? Does loneliness help you? If you can watch the loneliness, and realise its futility, then its power is weakened. You can also notice that in a strange way, something inside enjoys to feel lonely. The feeling is both despised and enjoyed at the same time. This is part of the human condition, which is the addiction to suffering or negativity. To notice this strange sense of enjoyment is to see that the loneliness is not as personal as it appears. It is an energy movement, tied in with the self-image of being a particular person. The feelings arise by themselves, they are not your doing, so don’t take them personally.
The reason the personal mind hates to be alone, without external stimulation, is that it knows in this environment, it is liable to collapse. With no one around to give you a label, the mind feels unstable, insecure. It must do something to enhance its identity, to make you believe that “me as a separate person” exists, and so it throws up the sense of being lonely. Lonely not only implies “me”, but it also implies “other people” – it is another trick to feel separate. The person that feels lonely is only a creation of the mind. This is your chance to go beyond it.
In the same way as with loneliness, you can first notice how useful the energy of jealousy is, if it helps you in any way. It need not be resisted, but just seen to be a futile waste of energy. Jealousy claims to be helpful, as if it will perhaps get “you” (the mind) what it wants, but actually, if anything, it does the opposite. A jealous person becomes repellant rather than attractive; therefore you can notice that the jealousy no longer serves any useful purpose. It may still function and take over “you” (the mind), but it is no longer taken so seriously.
Again, notice how the inner “jealous person” simply loves to feel jealous, in a masochistic kind of way. It absolutely loves the drama, the negativity, the sense of “otherness’, the enhanced separate identify that feels hard-done by or somehow unfairly treated. It even loves to hate the jealousy and the sense of helplessness of being overwhelmed by it. In a strange way, it is all love.
Yet, I see that you have said you simply cannot just watch it. The above two points may help with this, but if the jealousy still commands great force, then accept that you cannot just be aware of it without getting involved. Don’t try to watch it, just accept that you can’t. This takes the pressure off.
It doesn’t actually take you over, it takes over the self-image of a person, which claims to be who you are. So if the energy of jealousy completely takes over every cell of the body and mind, then what can you do? Nothing. To fight it is to suffer, so give up the fight. Have no preference whether the jealousy be witnessed and dissolved, or if it be tyrannical and overpowering. Simply surrender your desire for anything to be different at that moment. When you no longer want it to be different, the fuel of resistance diminishes.
As with all emotions, the jealousy arises and subsides by itself, it is an energy field with its own intelligence, it is not who you are, yet it needs you to survive.
All negative emotions need to create a disturbance, need to cause an upset. If they do not cause an upset, they have no more ground to stand on. They may upset the personal identity, but you are aware of this upset as well. Let all upset be there, don’t be upset with being upset, if that makes sense. In this way you are no longer fighting the Life-Energy which takes the form of these emotions, and they begin to refine and clean themselves, by themselves.
So to sum up, no longer be hard on yourself. Give yourself a break. If feelings can not be watched or witnessed, - fully accept it, this is ok. From here, you notice that there is actually a deeper awareness, an awareness that can tell if jealousy can be watched or not. This awareness is so immediate, that it is overlooked to be who you are. Notice that whether these feelings take over the mind and body or not – you are aware of it. This awareness is untouched, even if the body/mind is in pain. Without this original, primordial awareness, you would not be able to report “I can not just watch”.
These words can only point to this awareness. They can not fairly represent it, since this awareness is not a thing to be grasped, maintained or reached by effort. It has no name, it is not a concept. It is what you already are, but the imaginary identity of a person often seems to mask it.
If you can not allow feelings to be, if you still find a strong desire for the feelings to be different, then surrender to this as well. Give up completely. All resistance that arises is not your doing, it is habitual, part of the negativity itself.
Our conditioned mind thinks in this way: “my resistance to unpleasant feelings (or anything else undesirable) helps them to go away. If I wish they were gone, then they will go. If I let them be there, they will become stronger and will completely take over. If I give in and stop arguing with them, then there is no way this can be resolved.” Actually, the opposite is true.
I hope this has helped in some way, if you would like to ask anything else, feel free,
All the best,
Comments for Loneliness, Jealousy, Isolation
(from previous website)
Apr 22, 2014
Thank you so much for your response.
Are these feelings and thoughts instincts?
When for the odd minute or so I am able to detach myself from the drama, I find myself searching for the feeling of awareness so that I can have something to refer to when the drama really starts to wind up, but I find it doesn't have a easily definable feeling. I find it difficult to maintain this odd feelinglessness. I sometimes have trouble finding awareness when my mind gets noisy. Does this make sense to you? Do you think I might be on the right track? This is exhausting in a way.
The spell check tells me that 'feelinglessness' is not a word, but I think it is effective so I will use it.
Apr 23, 2014
by: Adam - InnerPeaceNow.com
The response I wrote was too long for this comments section, so please see the "Click here for Part 2" link above this comments section, or see it near the top of the Blog.
Apr 23, 2014
Thank you, you're very good at making the obscure complexity of all of this seem very simple. I don't know if I will ever be able to escape my head. It truly fascinates me at times, but I will continue to try to not be myself :)
Apr 24, 2014
by: Adam - InnerPeaceNow.com
The "I" that is trying to escape the head, is itself part of the head. It is only another idea. Don't identify with this "I".
I realise you are joking in a way, but you need not try to do anything, including "not being yourself", just stop trying to make anything different. The person that tries to be at peace, the person that tries to get out of the mind, is the very masker of the natural being. You need not make effort to overcome the personal mind, just don't take it to be yourself.