Within each of us, lie the imprints of learned behaviors, habits, and characteristics inherited from our parents. We carry the wounds of our predecessors’ inner child. The past continues to linger unless we address and heal the suffering within. To free ourselves from pain, it is vital to acknowledge the presence of our wounded inner child, listen to its voice, and gently embrace it in a compassionate embrace.
“Loneliness is the suffering time. We can feel lonely even if there are people around us. We will be lonely together. There is a void inside us. This irritates us. That’s why we try to fill this gap by socializing with people. We think that if we can connect with people then this feeling of loneliness will vanish, and we will feel better.” –Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thich Nhat Hanh beautifully expresses the experience of loneliness as a shared suffering that can persist even in the presence of others. The void within us can be overwhelming, prompting us to seek solace through social connections. Yet, true healing begins with nurturing the love within ourselves. Mindful awareness, the practice of sitting with ourselves, allows us to generate love and deepen our understanding of who we are at our core.
Home, the place where loneliness dissipates, resides within us. Its pathway starts with the simple act of breathing. A few seconds of mindful breathing can help alleviate suffering.
If you want to come home, then don’t judge or evaluate or your feelings. Don’t shove them away. Come home to understand your feelings and their origin. When you see your suffering come up, don’t try to run away, or escape from it. Face it head-on, tenderly and with quiet breathing.
If you must forgive those who have wronged you, then do so. If you need to say sorry to someone, then do that. Even if they have died, they and their memories are still part of every cell in our body. Ask them to forgive you and express how much you love them. Forgiveness is a transformative act, whether it is directed towards others or ourselves. We can express our love and seek forgiveness from those who have departed, engaging in conversations with loved ones who have passed, and writing love letters that bring peace and compassion. The act of writing such a letter holds the power to profoundly transform us.
Resist the urge to judge others for their actions. Be empathetic and kind towards others. Everyone is carrying the burden of their own wounds. “Compassion comes from understanding suffering. We all must learn to accept our own suffering, listen deeply to it, and look deeply into its essence.” Thich Nhat Hanh.
With each breath, you can start anew.