As the car pulled out of the driveway and headed down the road I looked out the rear window and watched my home vanish into the distance. I was overwhelmed by emotions. Grief for the loss of the only family I had ever known. Fear of the future that was completely unknown. Self-doubt about the decision I had made to leave. I was fourteen.
What had previously unfolded was the accumulation of many years of all types of abuse by those who had been entrusted with protecting me throughout my childhood. The sacred bond had been broken long ago by those who were supposed to love me the most and forever. I had just driven away from the people whos one role was to be there for me no matter what. I was now completely alone in the world.
I was completely alone
There would no longer be someone to go to if I needed advice on love, money or life. There would be no one to call when I needed unconditional love. Thrust into the overcrowded foster care system I could no longer rely on my brother for physical protection. There was no ‘safe space’ anymore. But there hadn’t really been one for a long time anyway.
I had made the decision that my life was worth more, and walked away from the only family I had ever known.
I had accepted that I was destined to have a life of intense loneliness and for most of my young adult life I believed that to be true. I built a rock-solid wall to protect myself from being harmed and I became fiercely independent. Never asking for help from anyone or allowing anyone to give me love or support.
Did I survive? Yes. Did I thrive? Well, from the outside looking in it may of seemed that way. I was successful in my career and business. My life had all the trimmings (nice house, car, social life) but inside I was a mess. I craved a real connection. I craved that unconditional love that having a family provides.
After several heart-breaking experiences, and many years later I finally realised that it was my perception of what ‘being alone’ was that was holding me back from the level of connection I wanted. It was the meaning I had attached to the word ‘lonely’.
If I had chosen to believe it, there were always plenty of people who had cared enough to be there for me, even in my darkest times. I just had to let go of my belief that not being alone was associated with having a family. Instead, I chose to give the word “alone” a different meaning.
How to change your belief
When I looked back on my life there had always been people who cared about me, even during the darkest times. Yet, I hadn’t seen them because I was so attached to my belief that because I had absolutely no family, I was meant to be alone.
1. Recognise the limiting belief
The first step in changing my limiting belief was recognising the belief I had around loneliness. Awareness is the first key to making any change because you need to know where you are at before you can create who or what you want to become.
Then I began questioning it. Have you ever been in a crowded room and felt completely alone? How is that possible? Have you ever been alone at home or even alone on a holiday and felt unconditional love? How is that possible? Does being alone really equate to having no family?
2. Create a new belief
Once I had muddled my belief with this curiosity I then gave the word loneliness a different meaning and created a new belief. My belief now is that “I am only ever alone if I choose to be” and “If I am alone, I am always still loved”.
This new belief gave me the empowerment that I have a choice. And that I am connected and loved. The reality is, we as humans don’t want to be alone. We have an innate core need to connect. Therefore, if I choose to be alone it just means I am having some quiet time and I am still loved.
3. Replace negative thoughts
The last thing I did to cement my new belief is to watch my thoughts. Any ‘old’ thought patterns that showed up trying to drag me back were quickly eliminated and replaced with my new (and much more positive and realistic) thoughts of love, connection and choice.
the result of changing my ‘alone’ belief
This gave me a new lease on life and completely turned my personal life around. I was no longer afraid of creating meaningful connections with people. I trusted that the universe had my back and wanted me to have friends. And I learned how to accept, in all its forms, the unconditional love I had always wanted.
Once I changed my belief, that’s also when my real (natural parents) showed up in my life and now I am part of a huge family with eight brothers and sisters! Not long after that, I met my now husband and we permanently travel the world creating amazing connections everywhere we go.
It’s our choice to feel or be alone
So, when it comes to feeling lonely…it ultimately is our choice whether we choose to feel that way or not. The reality is we all come into this world and walk this earth alone because no two people are alike. But we are never alone. There is always someone who cares about us if we choose to see them.
Tell me, what are your beliefs around loneliness? What are the ‘rules’ you have in place that are stopping you from experiencing the level of connection you deserve in your life? What meaning do you give the word ‘alone’ and is there a different way to look at it if you chose to?