So today's episode is called Be connected: coping with loneliness. The whole concept of loneliness is much more common than you think. That experience of that feeling of not feeling connected with others, you know, just sitting around, even watching others walking around, holding hands, being in love, just kind of feeling like someone's missing in your life. Or maybe it's looking at people who have close friends, even family members, just looking like so happy and doing things together.
And here you are just doing your own thing, and you wonder, why can't you have that in your life? Maybe it's just feeling misunderstood or unrelatable to other people that around you.
It's a thing. Now, loneliness is an epidemic.
And more people are experiencing it more than you think. People are walking around, you know, trying to get on with their days. But really deep down inside, they're feeling this…within struggling and feeling so alone.
That's why this topic is really important. We're at a time right now. You know, where we're more separate than ever, even though we have a lot of ways of communicating. I mean things have opened up after the pandemic.
We are connected digitally more than ever, in a way that we could be more responsive by the second. And yet we're so separate. We're so separate that standing in line waiting for something. Maybe it's to be served, or even standing in an elevator. We can't even cope being around other people. We have to escape on our phone.
We're talking about really serious disconnection. But we're craving connection. So that's why today's episode's really important. We're going to go over. This whole idea about loneliness is an epidemic right now. A lot of people are experiencing it silently suffering.
And why are people feeling lonely at all like, why do people feel this way? Is it normal? Is it okay? And how can we become or be more connected and cope with this feeling. If everyone's going through it. You know, lot of people at different levels in some place in their life are feeling lonely. What can we do to cope with that?
And what are some next steps? What are some next steps here? in terms of some resources, community. So we don't have to feel this way anymore.
What are ways to be preventing ourselves from going into that hole of loneliness?
So really, let's jump right in.
Why do people feel lonely. I know such a weird question because people were, you know, just like, well, there's so many people around. There's lots of things there's lots of stuff going on really busy. But why are we feeling more lonely than ever?
First of all, like you did have the pandemic. We were super isolated in our homes when we weren't allowed to leave. But the whole idea of isolation in general maybe moved to new city, a new country. You've immigrated to a new country with a new culture. You feel super isolated, your family or friends that you grew up with. You're not around them.
So when you feel that sense. And I'm going to say sense of isolation. Of course you're going to feel lonely. You long for the people that are familiar to you. Okay, like. and the thing is that it's not uncommon to feel isolated, even though you're surrounded by a lot of people.
There's a level of relatedness that you can have. We're social beings. Humans are social beings. We can talk about it all the time. But when you think about it when you take a person, and you isolate them, could be in a cell. It could be in a place where they have limited reach with other people.
Yes, I know it's great to live in a cabin and hang out and hang out with nature, and just be completely isolated there, because sometimes it's really cool, just to talk to animals and trees right?
But if you think about it after a long period of time, that isolation does get to you. You can just reflect a couple years ago. That feeling.
That longing for connection, communicating with someone having a deep like meaning of the minds almost like you're connecting and vibing with somebody doesn't mean it's like you're dating them.
But it's that longing for that human connection. We love that feeling. and anyone can say that they're like, I don't need this we still do. Why else are we still looking around for something that feels that way?
Longing for human connection also makes you feel that sense of belonging. You want that sense of belonging. that sense that you are a part of something, a community group of people.
It's that feeling of being a part of something being of value, contributing to things. you know. And that's the thing that we are longing for when we're feeling lonely because life is lonely when you're doing your own thing, we have this perception that we have to do all of this alone. You're on your own journey. Yes, but that doesn't mean that there's no connections that you can make during that time.
Other things that cause people to feel lonely. Or maybe you don't have meaningful relationships in your life. There's a lack of it. And that could be. Love could be. Family could be friends.
And when I talk about meaningful relationships, it's not the relationships that drain you? Because yes, you have those you know, that person you hang out with or it could be a family member. You're around them, and you just feel like all the energy gets sucked right out of you. It's obvious you're going to feel lonely, because even with those people in your life, because they're not filling your cup. They don't make you feel expansive or free and feel good to just hang out, be around.
So, not having meaningful relationships makes you feel that lack of purpose and meaning in your life. There's something about that warm, fuzzy feeling you have when you're around people that you just want to be around just like, Oh. love this person!
It doesn't even mean it has to be romantic. I love them. I feel so good when I'm around them. We have such a great time, you know. Oh, my God! They're so sweet, or like, you know, that kind of soft, warm, fuzzy feeling like oh, I really feel at home.
Oh, my gosh! We haven't talked in years, but when we come together and hang out it's like no time has passed by. It's those people we're longing for feeling lonely when we're surrounded in an environment where those connections aren't there other reasons why people feel lonely is that we actually have a low quality. I won't. I don't know how to say it, but basically your social connections are of low quality.
And I know it's a funny thing to say, and it's not being snobby or anything. But it's really hard to make friends in a time where we're so connected. So online.
And we have different places where we can connect. Now that we can be physically outside of our homes, you know the quality of social connections. It's like, where's my people? You know this is the feelings like, where are they? The people I vibe with the people who are like me, who get me, who see and hear me.
Where are they like? Dating is hard enough, I know. but like just even having quality friends, right? You watch people. And you see people around. You're like, Whoa!
They look like they're such a tight, knit group of people it's like thinking about. Like, if you're going to plan a wedding or something you're like, who am I going to invite where my people aren't there. you know, was thinking about those types of things like.
Where are the quality people where I can speak my truth, share my things. People don't understand me. I don't get it, or people are flaky, or they don't show up. They're not there. They might need something from you, but they're never there.
Where are those people? Right? It's easy to feel lonely when you don't have people you can connect with on that level and also on that just feeling different. you know, when you're on your unique path or trying to get on your path into alignment of who you really are, being authentic, trying to, you know, live your life the way you want to.
It can get lonely because you feel separate from others, leaving the herd. Some of the things they say the black sheep, or you know.
I'll give you some examples of these things from my lived experience. But it's really about just feeling different..like, stick out like a sore thumb like there's all these sayings. People say you're just different.
And you know what I'm talking about the people that are around you. You look at them. You're like, I don't get why they're this way, and it's not because you're being snobby, it's just because they don't have the same perspectives as you.
And sometimes that's okay. But if you don't have people who truly understand you, you will never feel seen or heard, and that's lonely. It's so lonely. You might be going through a transition in your life where you're just. I won't want to say it this way, but getting rid of the toxic people who no longer serve you.
You know what I mean, like sometimes relationships like friendships, even though you've been holding on to them for 25 years. Sometimes those chapters are over. You just gotta turn the page and move on. But then you look around in your life and like, Oh okay, well. I've done the work. I've cut some people off. I've retired some relationships where I've parked these relationships as people who I'd like to just hang out with, to have fun, maybe go shopping or do an activity, but not go into deep personal connection.
Then you feel like I got no one left. Maybe me and my dog, you know, like it's like now I'm alone.
And then you're gonna get that loneliness sinking in feeling like, where are these people?
So I'm going to try to illustrate just some of these examples, because if I talk about these concepts. It might not sink in or be relatable. So things that make people feel lonely.
It's like for isolation. I remember I moved across the country like, now I'll talk to you about that. I won't go into the details about that relationship. Why, I moved across the country, but moving to a new town.
Even though it's in the same country, different province in Canada here. But there's still a culture to things, just the vibe or the energy of a place with the people I mean, the land was amazing where I moved to. But it comes to a point where you, if you're relocating physically, could be really far away. It could just be a new neighborhood in your town, like in your in your city there's a different vibe to things. There's a different energy around. The people are different than what you're used to. It happens. and that feels very isolating, very lonely, that awkwardness. you know. It's that awkwardness of not knowing how to be.
Necause maybe some places like where I lived I was on Vancouver Island and live from move from a big big city to a little big city, but on an island, life is different.
Maybe where I came from. It was super, fast-paced. super, fast pace. Then you come to an island and living the “island life”. Everyone is slow pace. Small town.
Picks up the phone and calls people because it's like it's not about text message and firing things off quickly or getting answers right away. People take their time in that adjustment.
You feel uncomfortable. You feel isolated because no one's like you and everybody is this way. So those are kind of some feelings you'd feel lonely because you can't relate. You feel awkward and uncomfortable. So you feel like you're on your own.
So another example, it's like finding meaningful relationships or the quality of social connections. So I guess in my lived experience, or even actually all 3 feeling the separateness from others being different when you're going in through this journey of self-discovery or rediscovering who you are.
You know we're always in a transition in our life. and that's something. First and foremost, we have to embrace:
Nothing is ever static. The only thing that's consistent in life is change.
Let me let that sink in for a minute.
The only thing that's consistent in life is change. So if you know that change is going to happen we can't hold on to stuff.
So as you're evolving as a person, or you're just like, Oh, I'm learning this about me. This is my core need. This is what I like. This is what I don't like. This is where I want to be. This is how I want to do things from now on.
You're gonna start to realize that the people you've surrounded yourself around seem to come to you in a different light. Do you know what I mean like. So they always say that the people that are closest to you like let's say, 5. The 5 people that are closest to you reflect you as you are. and you'll start to notice it, like, if you think about it in the past.
The people you hung out with you slowly change a little bit your behavior to kind of fit in or belong right like, I remember, I'm going off on the thing. But like I'm just saying, like we tend to emulate the people that surround us. Think of them all those people are filling in the soil that you're growing out of.
So if you hang out with a lot of negative people who complain and complain about life. You're gonna start complaining, too. Like I think about me. When I moved to the gay village in Toronto for a while, and it actually was so interesting because the people I started to hang out with were all gay. and then, like it just happened that way. I mean, I didn't cut off my friends from before entirely, but it just seemed like all my new friends were gay.
Sometimes very flamy, sometimes very. extremely outgoing, you know. I'm introverted at times, but like especially back, then, they're very extroverted and then, after a while hanging out with them. It was funny because I'd always joke. I'm like, Oh, I really have no straight friends anymore. But like, when I was there. I started getting very rambunctious outgoing, like, you know, out there doing some fun. Wild things that I probably wouldn't have done. And wild, I mean is like Karaoke on a stage in front of, like 300 people, the introvert, who can't even barely speak, doing some things. Even the way that I spoke my language. I use. The tone of my voice changed. So you probably could remember times in your life where, like, okay, well, I was around these different people, and I started to be like them.
Sometimes it could be like I started to hang out with people who were a bit heavier set. Then I started to gain weight, too, because all we did was eat. So you think about those kind of things.
Or it could be like you hang out with super fit people. You eventually start to become more athletic and fit yourself in best health and take care of your food and what you need to do activity-wise.
But People start to feel lonely when they feel like they don't belong, and they can't have people who vibe with them. So when you're in that journey, and you're trying to do this for yourself, things that make you feel good. And you're discovering this.
You're going to end up cutting off people. And that's what happens. So I started to just go, okay, you know what this relationship isn't serving me. And it's not about what people can do for me, but in terms of the energy there.
I can't relate to them anymore. And that's okay.
Sometimes relationships have a time and place. and there's lessons to be learned during that time and place, but it also has a time to end. or it could be outgrown. Or it could be like, Okay, well.
That friend doesn't understand my personal growth journey stuff. But we really have fun when we go and have coffees together. So that could be my new coffee, friend.
We don't have to take it into another place, because nothing's worse than to just drop all these things at somebody, and then we're both having weird expectations of each other and like, why can't you hold space for me? I'm just really, you know, trying to process my emotions. But the person that I'm relating this to relaying this information to. They're used to old stuff.
They're like Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! You know we were just talking about something like more surface level and hang out. I don't know how to cope with deep conversations about emotion.
So people are on different wavelengths in different paths, different timelines. And then that's Ok. But when you're doing that. as you start to realize that you don't have as many people in your life as that person that you want to be or reconnect with. It's lonely.
Right? So then. but we have to understand it.
Loneliness is a part of life.
If change and transitions are part of life, so is loneliness. We're always going to be in pursuit of that sense of belonging. that sense of feeling seen and heard and understood by others. And once you acknowledge that we're always gonna have this in her life. There's going to be times in transition periods where we're going to have to find it new people.
And once you embrace that the transitions of life you'll know. It's not like a sentence that you're doomed to be lonely for your whole life. Because we'll be so busy pursuing things. But then you're going to start to realize maybe the things I'm holding on to certain things or looking for might not be the right thing.
So when we start to embrace the transition and understand that loneliness is a part of life. There's going to be times where we have to do that because it facilitates change.
It'll be a lot easier and feel a lot better.
Another thing is that I don't. I don't have too much examples about it. But I'm just gonna throw it out there. Lot of people feel lonely because they don't feel good about themselves.
It's like, Oh, what was me? What is wrong? All these people have something against me. These people think that I'm this way. They're not doing these things like it's I don't know why this always happens to me. People are always this way.
Okay. I can get onto that for a long time. But when you start to get in that energy, or that place where it seems like everyone is against you. and you don't understand why people aren't what you expect of them.
You may need to check your expectations. You're placing on people.
And when I'm talking about expectations, because sometimes we are expecting people to fill that void of loneliness. And I'm saying, sometimes we expect people. I'm saying it again. Sometimes we expect people to fill that void of loneliness in ourselves.
How is that fair?
You think somebody's like, Oh, hey, Steph, cool! We really resonate with each other. Maybe we can be friends. This is alright cool. Let's hang out, and I'm like, oh, my gosh! This person is so amazing! I love them right like you. Just say it like I'm just going there like they're my person. They're my soulmate as a friend. We really we really vibe well together. Oh, my gosh! We're gonna be friends forever, and and everything is hunky-dory, and then I'm expecting them to be able to do all these things for me like hold space for me, make me feel seen, heard, understood, acknowledge my traumas, help me do my healings. You know we throw all these expectations to somebody.
And then we get disappointed like what the hell! What a jerk that person isn't even seeing, hear me, or understanding me, or listening to any of my problems.
Sometimes we need to check ourselves with the expectations we have on other people. How would you like it? If you met somebody I'll be straight up. You meet somebody, and they're like, here's all of my baggage.
Help me and I'm going to get pissed at you if you don't. and I'm going to go and complain about you. If you don't do this stuff..
I'd be running away the minute I see somebody running with all these bags at me. I'll be running away the opposite direction. because we can't expect people to fill that void of loneliness in our lives. And this isn't just friends. This is your partner, your family, everybody else.
The only person that can fill that void of loneliness, even though we're dying for human connection. it starts with us.
It starts with us to fill that void of loneliness.
The thing is is that I talked about people who of lower self esteem tend to feel more lonely. They have the victim mode on. What is this? What's wrong? I can't find these people here.
And I mean, it's okay to be in these brief periods in their lives. Although some people hold on to it.
We need to be able to say, Okay, Whoa! What expectations do I have of people? If I want people to be in my life, what kind of expectations do I have on them? Is that fair to them.
Some people would love it find it. Is it being fair?
What sort of aspects of these people am I expecting of them to do? What can I not expect them to do, and really have some reflection on that?
Because we don't want to be that person who just dumps.
If I have that void within myself, and feeling that loneliness within, will anybody ever be good enough for me to fill it?
I'm not telling you to go, “Woe is me. Oh, my gosh! I'm not going to find anybody who's going to fill my void.”
We have to take action. It's like sitting at home, being, you know, Cinderella, hoping my Prince Charming will come. Bring me my glass slipper, so I can have my life just they just knock on the door, you know, have my life changed for the better.
It's not like that.
So like like I said, loneliness is a serious epidemic right now. A lot of people are going through it. So you don't have to feel alone. We could be having a community of lonely people because a lot of people are feeling lonely, and for many reasons. I've just listed. Some.
You know, like some things can happen. People's lives that do change their lives dramatically. like being left in a relationship, or like losing their partner who passed away. There's tons of other examples of loneliness.
But it's so widespread. It's like it's actually weird. We need to question, why is everyone feeling so lonely? Why are we always on seem like we're on our own.
You know, some some places I read online. It's like the the best way to kill like, So I'm thinking about community. Community is really the key community makes you feel seen, heard, understood. It doesn't mean that you have to be 100% completely feeling that way. But different communities can help you fill those needs. But it's not only community, but it's also how you show up for yourself as well.
And it's understanding like online. You know, people are so separate. You hear about stories of some people in different cultures. You know, they don't even want to get married anymore.
They're cool with getting married to something artificial feeling like they have a relationship with someone online instead, just chatting with something even like bots or AI.
Okay? Like, I mean, some people may think this is ridiculous. But this is a thing a lot of people are not getting married. A lot of people. A lot of people would just like to be on their own. They're just isolating themselves.
And you think about how much and how often we are actually antisocial. Now you just imagine how it was before, especially for people who are remote workers. I'm a remote worker. How isolating that is, we don't get to just walk over to the kitchen like, you know. Get your food out of the fridge, and then just go. Oh, hey, you know, hey, Sally, let's have lunch today.
We don't have that. We don't even have people to complain to and bitch about our coworkers, too. We have to type it online. But be careful. Because people can read the email trail. We don't even have that or like, you're poking into somebody's cubicle and going. Hey? Can I ask you a question? We don't have that. We don't even see people walking around.
It's it's such a weird time. It's almost as if, like, you know, when we first came out of the pandemic, and I'm sitting outside, people watching. It's an unheard of act like, Oh, my gosh, this is my socialization watching people walk around.
It's it's such a weird time right now. So not just only like isolation like that being a remote worker. But it's like we've lost our social skills, too. We don't even know how to communicate with other people anymore, because we're so used to texting.
How do I talk on the phone? How do I make conversation to people and read their body language when their body language was across on zoom. I don't even see how they're sitting. I just see their face. Maybe it's just their photo.
And we're on like, you know, video conferencing. And people are just. You're just looking at their picture, and they are not even you don't even see gestures.
What is a gesture? Right? So we're setting ourselves up for more loneliness the way that we set up our lives. what might be convenient like on demand? Quick answers, texting like rapid fire responses like getting things done that way, sending an email.
There's no connection.
Because within it true, like, we read somebody's message, maybe we might not even know them an email or something like that. But we read the context of that text in the way that we're feeling that day.
Somebody's message could be so cold and transactional. But they really didn't even mean it that way, because we're looking at it in that lens of how we're feeling that day. People like oh, my gosh, that person's so rude because they're not being rude at all.
We're losing that sense of connectedness with human beings.
You think about how awkward it is even more now to try to stir up a conversation. We live in a time where we have to text somebody to see if it's okay to call them. And it's not about boundaries either.
It's just that we would rather talk to somebody by text or email them to actually hear their voice and try to adapt in that moment to think about how to respond.
How is that connection?
How was that connection that you feel meeting a person online do text email, or just even video chat compared to meeting somebody in person physically being together
Should really think about what that's like. And if it has to come down. Maybe we've numbed ourselves out a little bit. You know. Modern-day work life working online at home on your own. You turn around all you see are your cats right, or your dog?
You don't see people. Maybe you're working at home, and then you have a young child. You're like, I can't even speak adult right?
And when we're in a social setting, we're just sitting down like, maybe we're in a nice restaurant. We're just texting on our phones looking on like, you know, Googling something.
And this is what I talk when it what it means about the cure for loneliness is connection in asking for help. We're too self-sufficient, too.
We always think we have to do things on our own, I mean, even in personal development. Everyone's on their own journey. If everyone is on their own journey doesn't mean you have to do the journey alone
Doesn't mean that you have to be self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency is praised right. We love people who are self-sufficient, especially if we're a manager at work like oh, they're great! We don't have to micromanage them or tell them what to do or hand, hold them while they're in the office. But being self-sufficient, closes the eye, closes the opportunity for others to help you.
You know you love helping other people. It makes you feel that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. You feel like you have a sense of purpose, which is something I'll talk about in a minute. But you're taking that opportunity away from other people to do that for you.
So if everybody in the world was self-sufficient, everybody would be even more lonely, there would be no more connectedness.
Don't you love going to the store? Say, you're going to the store? You bought some stuff you you overloaded on your grocery bags or something. You're trying to get out or open the door to the parking garage or something.
Don't you love it? If someone comes by and go like, Hey, hey! Let me get the door for you. They run over and they hold the door and like, Okay, great, have a good day.
If you're scoffing, if, like, that never happens anymore. That's the problem. This is human connection, community feeling, that sense of being seen, heard, understood, a sense of belonging and feeling. Community dies when people are too self-sufficient.
Communities help lift you up, make you feel good, grow, feel a sense of belonging. feel a sense of purpose like you're contributing to something.
And we are such antisocial beings, even though we might be immersed in social media. We're antisocial being on social media because there's no social, and in-person connection.
So how do we cope with this? Okay, you're like, yes, that. Okay. I hear. Ya. I'm perpetuating my state of loneliness. Because I'm antisocial. Right?
Yes, a lot of people are okay. Yes, I know it feels awkward. I'm standing in this elevator here. My elevator ride feels like it's 15 h long. And I'm just on my phone trying to keep my eyes busy. So I have to make eye contact with this dude on the other side. I get it.
I get it right. So how can we cope with this? Because we're at home numbing out? And I know you know what I'm talking about. You're numbing out every day because you feel so lonely watching all this TV binging on episodes, seasons of things, playing video games and just putting the headphones on and not listening, you know.
Being overstimulated and finding things to keep busy keeping busy with stuff to make you busy. You're like. Oh, no, no, no, I can't go and hang out, because I'm so busy doing this stuff just to make you so feel like you're doing something. But really you're lonely inside.
Over overextending yourself in stuff like work. That's like my story right? 100 h work weeks. Oh, no, I can't be social. I can't do these things, you know. But then I feel so lonely because I'm always working.
Maybe I don't have a relationship because I'm always working.
So how do we cope with this?
So like, I said, some people who have such low self-esteem with themselves feel like they actually can't deserve these human connections. They're so bogged down with like fear that they're not going to be understood. They can't express themselves. People are going to think they're stupid or weird. you know. That's why we got a first start first start, acknowledge.
Hey? I'm feeling lonely, or if you don't want to get into the words of feeling, I'm experiencing loneliness and experiencing that void within. It doesn't feel good. I'm looking around at people being a lovey dovey. I want that. you know, like I see all those friends having a good time. There's this huge crew of ladies going out and doing her bachelorette, or something like I want that.
You know. It's like, I want this. I want that. I'm watching all these things with people. And like, Ok, well, I'm just going to go home and numb out like, eat my eat my chocolate, or, you know, numb and something else. So I don't have to think about how lonely I actually am.
So here we are. ground 0. Let's start start first with the inner work. And I know you're gonna be like, oh.
Inner work! What the hell does that have to do with loneliness. You need to get to know who you are.
Sit down and witness some things like I talked about it earlier.
What expectations am I putting on to people. How am I wanting people to be a part of my life? What kind of people do I like? Who am I? So if I meet somebody new.
Who do I tell them I am?
What do I like about myself? Where am I feeling insecure about things? If I'm building a new relationship with someone. Am I going to feel insecure about myself? What can they bring to the table? Here's some a lot of questions. I'm throwing them at you if you're not being able to answer them quick enough. Rewind this podcast and sit down and think about it.
Okay, these are the things that we have to start looking and being more self-aware of who we are. So then, you know when you belong or not. If you don't know who you are, which is okay. You don't have to be knowing yourself. 100%. You can know or have a sense of who you are, a sense.
Not a firm grasp yet, because we're just starting our journey. Then you will. When you are looking for this community, you won't have to change or contort yourself to adapt to fit in.
Okay. So when you know who you are or have a sense of who you are, what you like, what you have expectations of other people. This is the inner work being more self-aware.
Then you won't have to change yourself, bend over backwards, contort yourself, do whatever to fit it. or have someone like you.
So I want you come in guns ablaze and like Hey, here, here I am. This is me ain't changing. If you can't accept me tough, tough tits. I'm out right. He's like, fuck this. This is not my job. I'm out, so you won't be at that point where you can come in and understand if this is right for you or not. if you don't know who you are. Done are the days of us having to be like in high school, you know. starting to try to be like the cool kids wearing weird clothes and saying weird sayings.
Then you're just like. Come in. Oh, here's Steph! Baggy jeans, excessively baggy jeans hanging low, big T-shirts walking with this swagger.
My big glasses, “like yo! What up?” But no more of that. That's odd. Those times are done. You don't need to change who we are, I like to wear my clothes that I like. Then the people that are going I'm going to be seeing and spending time with are going to be okay with it. They're not going to judge me. They're going to accept me as I am. I don't. I'm too old to be changing myself to fit in and that's what I'm talking about for you.
If you don't do the self-awareness work and inner work. You'll always feel lonely because you'll always continuously be adapting yourself to someone who you are not, and you will be more disconnected to not only other people, but disconnected to yourself, because you won't be able to have those meaningful relationships and have quality. When I say quality it's in. It's in your perspective of quality. social connections. because they will never be true. They will be based off of some facade that isn't real.
So one, you start with the inner work first and then 2. We need to think about the idea of sense. Getting that sense of belonging. So what hobbies interest you? What kind of things are your things? Right? So I love crystals. I'm all about it. I'm all about the spiritual stuff like meditation. But I'm also like all about being athletic and sports and things. So get your ass to a club who does it so you can geek out together. Geek out on these things. So if you're like, oh, I'm into outrigger paddling. not rowing, partner will kill me if I call it that, or say something else. But if you're into outrigger paddling. You find those paddlers. If you're into crystals, you find those people who love crystals, they're adorned in crystals all the time crystals all over exploding out of their bra kind of girls.
I love them. I'm in that kind of thing. People who like maybe clay clay, making clay, pottery, knitting cats, dogs. There's dog groups out there with your those. There's special types of dogs label the clubs. When I go off roading they have off-roading clubs. They have clubs for everything, and I'm not going to say, Oh, my gosh! Stuff! I'm too old for that doesn't matter.
There are people of all ages who do those things you just geek out on the things that you actually geek out on. Why do you think those people at Comic-con has so many friends that are like them.
They found their community of people with like mindedness. They feel a sense of belonging. Wouldn't it be great if I'm talking about problems around like energy and the feeling in the universe. And I'm like, blah, blah, blah, blah talking about this stuff, or like, maybe the planetary movements.
Wouldn't I want to be around people who understand what I'm saying? That's what you need to do. You want to have that sense of belonging. Find something you like to do. There's something for everyone.
And you can't tell me that there's not. If it's online, then do it online.
Get that sense of belonging. So people can see, hear and feel you around. That doesn't have to be about everything. It's not a catch-all community.
Okay, so get that sense of belonging by finding that club, that activity, that hobby so that you can start to feel like you fit in somewhere.
Ok? Another thing around the inner work, too. It's like really finding things that fulfill you or give you a sense of purpose. So it's not necessarily a hobby. But this could be around a club, too. It's like, Find a community who also shares the same purpose as you, and mission in life, or something that's really near and dear to your heart. When I lived on the island I was part of, like the green, greater Victoria Green team. We go out and and take out invasive species, but we'd also do some tree planting. I loved it didn't have to get into the nitty-gritty. Tell everybody my whole life and talk about work or other things. We just thought we just did the work together.
Take our frustrations while we're ripping out like invasive species like, take that. And you know, and really do something that fulfills my one of my life purposes around environmental restoration. Just 1. One invasive species at a time doesn't matter. Surrounded by other people who also like that stuff.
So find something that makes you feel like you're giving back, makes you feel fulfilled and a sense of purpose. And you will find the community there.
You won't feel lonely around that, and you'll feel that greater sense of accomplishment within yourself as well.
Other things like I talked about. We're way too self-efficient, sufficient. I am one of those people. I really had to learn how to not be so self sufficient.
And I talked about my upbringing, but I grew up really on my own. I got some the basics, you know, but a lot of these things that are going on in my life, including some really huge life transitions that especially the ones I'm going through right now.
I didn't have family support. I don't have family support. Sometimes when I was going through things I didn't have my partner, whoever I was with at that time support me or friends.
had to go through a lot of things on my own. I've always been self-sufficient, like, oh, there's stuff she's so independent.
It's not that a lot of people who are independent want to be doing it on their own. We've been so ingrained and glorified that being self-sufficient is the way to be.
And we need support and talked about. Community dies when we don't need each other anymore. But when we don't need each other anymore, we're dying of loneliness and isolation.
We need community. We're social beings. We need the people to help. We share the load with each other. And that's what communities were like before.
Sometimes I'm going through some stuff. Now I'm lucky. I'm thankful I have a really supportive partner. I don't have to go through things alone, and, believe me, after 41 years of doing shit on my own. It is damn hard to ask for help. It is so hard to ask for help because you've been continuously disappointed by people who won't show up for you.
And it's a learning process. You got to learn to ask for help and allow people to help you so you can do things together, give them the chance to feel that sense of fulfillment and purpose to help contribute to your life. I'm so thankful like
I have a really great partner who's done that for me? But it was. It's like every time I'm like, no, I got this. I'm like, wait Steph, let her do it.
You don't have to do everything on your own stop and just start to learn. It's not about delegating, either. It's about teamwork. In approaching things as a team.
You want your partner to know that they can be relied on by you, too. They want to have that opportunity to show you that they can help you. So we all need support.
We need support to help us with this loneliness, feeling inside and like, you know, you can go to therapy like this void within. So we can have a little bit more understanding. We need to be able to talk and be vulnerable about this. Because if I'm saying, this is an epidemic, then that means it needs to be talked about. It's widespread globally. It's like our generation. Like my parents generation, they knew what it was like to walk across the street and talk to the neighbors. We don't anymore. Some people do, depending on where they are. But a lot of us aren't asking for things. We're just nameless people that live and walk across each other in our condo complexes. We don't know who we are like who our neighbors are. Anymore. we need to be able to have a support system.
You can get support through therapy. There's some groups out there that you can talk to. I actually run a group called the Harmony Collective. Right now it's sitting on Meetup.
It's transitioning out to another platform by like we have about. I don't know 1,200 people that come together to talk about their lived experience and sharing things with each other.
And you know there's groups out there to talk about it. I'll include the link to the Meetup group on the show notes, and the community. But you want to find your people.
People who are like you, or you can feel, seen, heard, belong be vulnerable and accepted as you are in. That's I would like to invite you to come and join one of our one of our meetups if you feel so inclined to. It's a really safe place where you can just be be yourself.
But it helps with being like with the loneliness, especially if you're isolated. Maybe you can't go out. And you're immunocompromised. You can't leave the home for Bay or meet people that are new.
And you know, just jump online. There's communities there finding support through existing friends. Maybe you're like, okay, yeah. You know, this person is really cool with me before. Maybe I need to nurture and foster this relationship and friendships takes work. I'm not saying it's like going to be like. it's just like dating. You're in a relationship with somebody any sort of relationship. Family friends, lovers.
It takes work. Every single relationship takes work. So you got to show up as much as you're expecting them to show up for you. and then it will help with feeling that sense of feeling seen, heard, and a sense of belonging, understood, other ways. You can cope with loneliness is, you know, some self care, and I hate the whole term of self care. I can rant about it all day, but it's really doing some things to show yourself some love.
You really being that being present in the moment, really present understanding, like even just having emotional awareness and like doing, continuing that inner work, but doing maybe some exercise. There's other things to make you feel more healthy. spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally.
it's really emphasizing on those things because when you start to start to feel whole, and it's not even about the presence of a person, but just being self-aware of yourself.
Knowing where you have to insert yourself in communities and sense of belonging and being social, it will really start to help you feel not so separate, not so isolated even when you're in the company of yourself during a transition period where you're moving to a new community. You're like, Okay, I know what I am. I know what I'm like. I know what works for me, what doesn't, even though I'm in a completely different place across the world cause it really comes down to that sense of home and feeling, that sense of home, it could even be surrounded by community. Community is important. But then also some that level of self awareness and love for yourself.
So as you're doing self-care and taking care of yourself, it means you're taking a time out. You're taking a time out from being too busy from numbing out self-care is not numbing out.
Self-care is being present in the moment and taking care of the needs of your body and your mind, your spirit, everything.
It's not numbing out. not numbing out with doing self care things like, Oh, I'm gonna just do all these things to keep my mind busy. It's not because when you're in that state you'll feel more connected to who you are, your sense of self, your well-being. You'll understand who you want to connect with. you'll feel that sense of higher self-esteem. Sense of belonging feeling understood, because when you are self-aware, you know what means what it means for you to feel seen, heard, understood, that sense of belonging. You'll know what it takes for that.
And as you're doing more self-care, you're gonna be really present in the moment.
Instead of us sitting down, going, why can't I have that? What is like? I want that I want this. I want that relationship. I want that friendship because we can sit down and just live lonely.
Complain about people and not understand why they don't want to be our friend. Complain by. Why? Why am I been single for so long? You know we need to love ourselves too.
Being self-aware. Then we can find the people that we really connect with. We need connection. We're human beings. And connection means feeling that connectedness with ourselves. So being self-aware, understanding being present with others when we're with them. Really seeing, hearing, understanding, others being, that with that human connection.
Feeling, connection even with nature in the land. you know.
It's just so sad with the world being so technologically connected. We're so separate.
We're so separate from each other. Although we are all going through a lot of the same things. We're going through the same struggles, not not every single detail, but the feeling within, even just with loneliness.
There are so many people feeling lonely, so many people yearning for human connection, so many people for yearning for human touch. Even, right? Remember, we're talking like I can't even hug somebody. So many people in the world, even dismissing that core need of human connection and numbing out through watching endless seasons of TV shows. playing video games, eating like excessively drinking. smoking, weed. numbing out whatever not being present. This is a problem.
We need each other. And even if there's a little bit of human community like connection and having a sense of community, even just a little bit each week when you've had none.
Start from There
Because we're not meant to live our lives alone. We are social beings. We thrive with community. Find your community. find your support system. If you can't find them. Come to mine.
I'll welcome you, and our people here would be so happy to host you. And you know it's time to not live your life so alone. It's time to feel that sense of belonging, that sense of purpose, that sense of being needed.
When was the last time you felt that sort of human connection?
Why are you listening to this podcast were here right now in a time where we can have so much more connection if we just allowed ourselves to.
So thank you for listening today. it's really near and dear to my heart, because community is everything. and you don't have to do this alone.
I know you just want to feel seen, heard, understood, feel like you belong somewhere without having to compromise who you are, be somewhere where you can just be you.
if you can't find that place. Come. come, visit us. We'll be here welcoming you in. But if not, I hope that you do find that for yourself.
Because life is still long. We've still got a lot of journeying to do together and growing in the journey is way more fun with other people. So take care of yourself and I'll see you next time.