Loneliness

I read an article yesterday, published in an Australian on-line news site about loneliness. The article echoed research explaining that;  “Social isolation is more lethal than smoking 15 cigarettes a day”… “Public health experts in many countries are debating how to address a “loneliness epidemic”.
Loneliness used to be more of an issue for older people but these days it affects younger people as well. We are ‘herd’ creatures and like the company of those we feel an affinity with — and social media is not an adequate substitute.
Is there a ‘grand purpose’ to this “loneliness epidemic”? Perhaps. In the face of loneliness we have several options; connect with others, avoid the feeling by temporary distractions — or we can open to it, feel it, meet it fully, without telling ourselves any story about it.
The last option seems the worst because the tendency for all life-forms is to avoid pain. But the discovery is, that when we open to this feeling, it does not lead to a bottomless pit of bad feelings, but suddenly it’s not there!
 What is deeper than any bad feeling is presence and presence feels good and brings a clarity and a feeling of connectedness and unity — a conscious return to our true home. 

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