Do you experience loneliness? Do you feel isolated, sad, alone? Are you longing for a sense of connection and companionship?
You may feel this way due to life circumstances, such as a major personal loss, or this can be a lifetime pattern if you have felt this way for a long time.
Either way, our emotional healing retreats can help you.
If you have had a recent painful personal loss you may want to go to go directly to our Grief and Loss Retreat Page.
We all experience loneliness at times. But if you are stuck in it, it may be time to do your personal work to emerge from it.
Many people find that they particularly feel isolated and alone when they are are misunderstood or rejected.
Surprisingly, healing loneliness can be less a process of connecting with others than a process of reconnecting with lost parts of ourselves…parts we abandoned even as far back as childhood.
It may be time to reclaim your full self.
We come into this world with a lot of raw energy and aliveness. But we are also extremely vulnerable. We are dependent on our parents to feed us, keep us warm and safe, and meet our other basic needs.
Very early on we learn what parts of us are acceptable to our parents and others and what parts aren’t. And because our survival is in the hands of our parents, we quickly learn to reject those parts of ourselves as well. We learn the norms of our family, we internalize those patterns for much of our lives.
If we are too noisy or big for our parents we may learn to swallow our bigness and try to be small and quiet. We can tense up every time we want to shout and fully express ourselves. This can lead to depressed feelings later!
If we express too much anger or fear or grief we will learn to reject those feelings in ourselves, cutting ourselves off from our aliveness, power, spontaneity and enthusiasm
In this way we build a prison of isolation around ourselves…actually inside of ourselves. We reject our own feelings, often convincing ourselves we don’t have them.
We may even be proud of the fact that we don’t get angry or sad or afraid, not realizing that we’ve actually cut ourselves off from the power and life force of these vital feelings.
Our core feelings are essential to who we are and to our survival. Each of them offers us an invaluable gift of aliveness.
Grief is the gateway to joy, anger to connecting with others and to our passion, fear to our excitement. (There is much more about each of these feelings and their gifts in this website.)
Freeing ourselves from loneliness that has occurred for a long time is a process of reconnecting with ourselves and with the parts of ourselves that we’ve rejected. It is these parts of us that feel lonely, isolated, alone. We need to rescue them.
We focus on the rejected feelings because that is where our power and life force is. We are usually aware of the thoughts…”I’m lonely” and perhaps some feelings of sadness. But if we stay at the level of thoughts we won’t be able to claim the submerged parts of ourselves, the deep feelings that are submerged.
Writers and therapists have spoken of this process in different ways, as inner child work or inner bonding, for example. There are a variety of ways to do this work, although it can be very very helpful to have a guide. The right kind of psychotherapy can be useful, such as depth psychotherapy and some of the newer processes such as EMDR.
The intensive, deep emotional healing retreats we offer are an accelerated approach to healing emotional pain, including loneliness.
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Jon Terrell, M.A., offers retreats in Massachusetts, Florida and upstate New York. He has an office in downtown Manhattan and Northampton, MA. For more information, or if you have a question, contact him using the form below.