Huffpost Healthy Living
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

S. Isabelle Harounian Headshot

The Case for Loneliness

Posted: Updated:

Loneliness... from the mind it triggers reflection, from the heart it asks for change, from the soul it pleads for mercy. A mystery at times, loneliness can be one of the most powerful emotions you can painfully and silently endure. It creeps into your soul unexpectedly, whether due to a gesture, a comment or a circumstance, and it hits home hard without warning.

As the key to many opened and closed doors, it's the fuel that drives things to happen; it triggers you to do the crazy, the surprising, what you'd never consider doing. From buying a dog to accepting a blind date, the list of pastimes loneliness creates tolerates little or no boundaries. And like a power surge that runs through your veins, loneliness awakens your senses and drugs you with sadness and joy that emerge from the same coin of this ageless emotion.

Without loneliness, life ceases to exist. And as an emotion that makes us aware of life's great value, loneliness lives, breathes and exists in all of us, whether we like it or not.

But hush, don't tell anyone. After all, no one wants to admit he's lonely -- at least not openly.

And yet, don't they?

As years have passed, so has our relationship with loneliness. The lonely are no longer playing hide-and-seek in the dark. Loneliness has set our egos further aside, allowing us to open up, reconsider, imagine and be creative about ourselves, others and life decisions.

Take dating sites. Creativity with online connections has become the new craze. Perhaps, once thought of as a subscription to a social taboo or a desperate attempt to end one's loneliness, signing up for dating sites has come to be a "matter-of-fact" thing to do. As part of the social media craze, dating site profiles continue to grow daily and so rapidly that they're taking over the world of the lonely near and far. No longer solely reserved for the single, "lonely" now labels the widowed, divorced and even the married. People continue to seek human connections, be it meaningful or meaningless, from every corner of their lives because we live in a lonely world where lonely people breed one-night stands, first-date kisses, love-at-first-sight whims, affairs to remember or hide, and wild imaginations that may end nowhere.

Social networking has become a way of life for all, the adult and child alike. Can you stop a precocious five-year-old from creating his Facebook profile when friends have the same online? Think again, as guess what? He's got friends, lots of them, including his teacher. And creating the impossible or unbelievable with just a click allows for the partial, if not sometimes total, fulfillment of one's feelings of loneliness. It's no wonder you'll find people reading self-help pages on how to connect with others, sending a friend request to a stranger, entering a chat room or updating their Twitter accounts.

Thanks to loneliness, we have more choices and outlets. So the question is this: what's so bad about feeling lonely?

It seems that it's not so bad after all. While communications are often lost, and while real connections are hardly ever made amidst the crazy world of networking, socializing and scheming to find love, comfort, companionship or anything even remotely similar, the case for loneliness should be a positive one, as it leaves room for hope. If loneliness didn't exist, would friendships, families, marriages or partnerships exist? Would you be willing to adopt that high-maintenance dog, reconsider the guy you never gave a second thought to, or sign up for that formerly-known silly dance class? I'm not so sure.

Life's a bitch. I say that thanks to loneliness, we don't have go at it alone, at least not most of the time. Loneliness can create wonders like love stories, second chances, best friends and great possibilities. Use loneliness wisely and to your benefit; then you may just find what you're yearning.

From Our Partners