Loneliness, and the problem of finding meaning in life

There’s an emptiness I often feel that makes it hard to find meaning in my life. A feeling of desolation. It’s not lack of energy, it can’t be. I have enough to eat. I want to do some work, I just don’t feel motivated to do anything.

Also, I always seem to question and doubt about my direction in life. Like for example my art and writing. I often doubt if it’s what I should be doing. The emptiness I feel inside makes me question my desire to be an artist. Perhaps I’m on the wrong path? Is this my calling my niche? It’s hard to focus on a path and get good at it when you’re full of doubt.

I have in the past thought it was the lack of meaning in my job that was the reason for this doubt. But the doubt always seems to be there lurking in the background.

Yet I now see my error because I’m reminded of the book Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick.

I see now that it’s the loneliness I feel that’s making me doubt my path in life, not the job I have now.

This is perhaps why is often hard to find a path in life for many of us Because loneliness that many of us feel tends to poison our worldview.

It’s a double whammy of destruction. Loneliness destroys our passion for work leaving us unmotivated. But it also messes with our sense of direction about what path to take.

This feeling of desolation is what can cause us to give up on a venture prematurely. Thinking that because we’re not passionate about our purpose then it can’t be our purpose. We equate doubt with being wrong.

It’s here that we see just how much connection and relationships are linked to our work, our purpose. Without it, everything else seems colourless. Without a connection, it’s hard to find a direction in life.

This is why it’s so important for everyone to have deep meaningful connection to other people. It makes you feel less alone and it gives meaning to your life through helping others.

It just goes to show that a good life must include a social connection with friends, family, and a partner.

For freelancers who work alone a lot, it’s especially important. Without regular connection with others disillusionment and despair can take hold.

So the next time you have doubts about your work. Stop for a moment.

Maybe it’s not the work that’s making you feel desolate, but the lack of meaningful and fulfilling connection you have with other people.

Your lack of motivation, why you procrastinate is because the desolation of loneliness is sucking away your desire and direction. It’s hard to know what you’re passionate about if the desolation sucks the joy out of anything and everything.

Such feelings discourage any form of engagement with the world. Without that, you can’t learn what you have to offer this world, and without that, you feel disconnected, unlovable and worthless. Which just leads to more feelings of desolation, so the vicious circles continue.

Don’t let the emptiness inside cause you to retreat from the world, but propel you to reach out to others.

The feeling of desolation is like pain, and like pain, it requires you to take care of the wound.

Think of it as a wake-up call, to work more on your personal life and spend more time on finding and maintaining deeper meaningful connections. It’s a sign to take better care of yourself, you have neglected your needs for too long.

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