Loneliness is one of the greatest challenges in the Game of Life. It’s also one of the greatest absurdities. Everyone faces loneliness at some point. It can appear at any level of the Game and even when you think you’ve conquered it, the monster reappears in all its slimy, nasty glory. Some say loneliness can’t be eliminated, but there are tricks to thwart the beast and keep it at bay.
What is loneliness?
Loneliness is a clever creature. It can attack anyone at any time—at home or in public, at school or at work, when you are by yourself or with others, whether you’re famous or not so much. This is one unpredictable ogre. It knows how to get under your skin without even touching you. And it can cause unbearable pain. When this fiend attacks with full force, you feel like you want to die. But you won’t. Loneliness can’t actually kill you. It can make you feel awful, though.
Like any pernicious predator, loneliness looks for those who are isolated and pounces. And the twisted part about becoming a victim is that it’s partially your own fault. Loneliness only preys on those who are vulnerable. If you’re strong, confident on your own and enjoy being alone sometimes, the monster will pass you by. Loneliness only attacks those who are scared of it. This mutant feeds on fear. If you fear loneliness, it will find you. Really. It’s like a heat-seeking missile of misery.
How can you tell someone has been attacked by loneliness?
Although everyone battles loneliness at one time or another, they don’t always recognize when others are facing it down. Someone can be attacked by loneliness right in front you and you may not even notice. Why? Because players try to hide their loneliness battles. Sounds strange. It is. Even though we all battle loneliness, we pretend we don’t. We fear the weaknesses that attract the monster will repel other players. That’s the absurdity. We each fight loneliness alone because we’re scared to let others know we’re being attacked. However, if we were honest about it and banded together, the demon would be defeated. That’s part of the Cosmic Joke. We’re all alone together. It’s one of the things we have in common that actually unites us–the fear of being alone.
How do you beat loneliness?
The bad news is that loneliness can’t be destroyed with just any turbo-charged weapon. The good news is that it can be defeated if you learn the tricks. These maneuvers have been mastered by all high-level fooles and now the secrets are being passed onto you. Be warned, they’re not easy and take lots of practice but you too can banish the brute. First, you must be brave. Loneliness smells fear and eats anxiety for breakfast. You need to be able to stare the hideous monster in the face.
Next you must understand the nature of loneliness. This terrifying beast that causes so much distress does not actually exist. That’s right, it’s not even real. And the moment you realize that it doesn’t actually exist, it will vanish. Now this is not a simple feat. When loneliness confronts you with its jaws gaping wide, slime oozing from its long, pointy teeth, you will have trouble denying its existence. But that is precisely the moment, you must say “HA.” Tell the monster that you don’t believe in it. Tell it to go away.
Show you mean business by calling in back-up. Grab your phone and dial up a friend. If no one is home then get out of the house. Run. Escape the scene. Loneliness can’t run. It just kind of rolls in like a fog. And loneliness can only attack one opponent at a time so go where there are other people—other friendly people. Loneliness attacks players who are physically or emotionally separated. The monster has been known to attack couples who are together but fighting. It’s very important that you be with other players who you get along with if you want loneliness to retreat. When loneliness attacks while you’re in public, find a friendly soul. Seek someone with a smile and strike up a conversation. If loneliness is bearing down on you, deploy a well-timed joke. This monster can’t stand humor. Laughter will cause it to flee.
Can you avoid loneliness?
Yes, you can learn how to be alone without being attacked by loneliness. “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company,” said Jean-Paul Sartre who clearly had battled the monster. Many artists have fought this horror and survived to tell the tale. Some say it’s required of all who wish to understand the Game of Life. Those who befriend the monster are the most foolish players of all. They don’t avoid loneliness, they dance the tango with it.
How do you help someone who is being attacked?
Once you have conquered your fear and danced with the demon, you can help others. Look for the signs. Victims often seem tired, shoulders slumped, head drooped, worn out by the constant fight. They appear to stare into space but are silently confronting the monstrosity looming over them. In fact, the best way to recognize someone battling loneliness is that he or she is alone. A friend disappears without any contact. A stranger sits separated from everyone else. The person may try to fake it but no one prefers to battle loneliness over making a new friend. Studies have shown that relationships are key to health and happiness. And not cyber-pseudo connections but the real-world-give-a-hug sort.
The following is worth bonus #foolepoints:
Tell us about a time when you battled loneliness, made peace with it and watched it disappear. Or go fight it right now. How did you do it?
Share a story about how you’ve helped someone else beat the loneliness beast. Or go find someone who needs back-up and help them conquer the monster.
Post your Mission Report on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #emagofefil #foolepoints #8missions