It is not uncommon to feel disconnected from other people, but after much soul searching, I have found ways to overcome this painful feeling. Many of us don’t realize the extent to which we contribute to our own isolation. In my personal experience, I was overly sensitive. If I said hello to someone without getting a positive response, I immediately felt that something was wrong. I had to teach myself to grow a thicker skin.
I’ve trained myself to not take things personally. Maybe this person was deep in thought, or maybe had other concerns and the serious face had nothing to do with me. I’ve learned that other people’s issues aren’t my problem. I’ve spent most of my life with this deeply imbedded feeling of separation and exclusion; it has taken some time to redirect my thoughts, so I believe that I am always included and connected.
If you feel separate, it is just a thought that you have accepted as truth. You can turn that around and retrain your brain to believe something better. Today, if a person or situation triggers this old, negative feeling in me, I pause. I literally stop and tell myself, “Of course I fit in. Of course I am included, and I am going to enjoy myself.” Find something positive to say to yourself in that moment. The more you pause and practice positive-talk, the sooner the feeling of separateness will disappear. I also make an effort to avoid situations and people that I know will activate these feelings. It is life-changing to be surrounded by kind, warm, supportive people.
I don’t give this feeling of separateness attention anymore. When I sense it happening, I immediately redirect my thoughts. I focus on anything that makes me smile: my family, my writing projects, my daily meditative walk, the sunshine on my face, my pillow, and the cup of coffee I look forward to every morning – just to name a few of my favorite things. I honor my gratitude journal for opening my eyes and heart to all the blessings in my life that I used to take for granted.
Journaling and deep reflection have also shown me that if spirit is within me, I am never alone. We are always connected; We just need to feel it and believe it.