By Nanice Ellis, Contributing Writer for Wake Up World, March 8, 2015
I have a poster in my office that says, “Strangers in a Strange Land.” It would not be an exaggeration to say that virtually everyone who sits down in this room notices the poster, and relates to it in some way. I know I did, and that is why I hung it on my wall.
I won’t lie to you – this “waking up thing” often makes us feel like strangers in a strange land. The thing about waking-up is that it is often quite uncomfortable and sometimes unbearably lonely. It is rough being awake, when everyone around you is still asleep – and they are looking at you like you are out-of-your-mind!
If you have experienced a global awakening to the truth of world issues, many may call you a conspiracy theorist or if you have had a spiritual awakening, others may think you had a mental breakdown. If you have experienced both types of awakening, maybe you are even considered to be a “conspiracy theorist who is having a mental breakdown.” Nonetheless, the result is feeling alone, isolated and alienated – basically, a stranger in a strange land – indeed.
Waking up profoundly changes everything you see, feel and think. When you know the Truth, you cannot un-know it, and you cannot go back to the person you once were. That “you” no longer exists – that life is no longer available.
Many of us handle the downside of awakening by ‘checking-out’ or self-medicating to overcome depression and anxiety, and to get us through sleepless nights of overwhelming sadness – and even fear of being all alone in the world. Whether waking up was something that you wanted or something that randomly found you, it can be extremely pain-staking with little or no support, while the world dis-owns you.
I write about this because I know it all-too-well. My own family and my own children thought I was mentally-unhinged for many years. My ex-husband gallantly added to that belief. I either had to hide myself or subject myself to criticism, ridicule and sometimes even hostility. I was alone in a disconnected family and I was so lonely.
The Isolation of Enlightenment
It is our human nature to want to be part of a family, community or tribe – to be loved, cherished, protected and honored for who we are. So when we are squeezed out, rejected, judged or made fun of, it cuts to the core. Others accuse us of not being the same as we once were, and therefore they feel justified in their negative behaviors toward us – because they think that we are the ones asleep and they are trying to wake us up – for our own good! If we go too long without love and affection, and even hugs, we begin to emotionally and physically suffer; life feels like a bottomless pit of misery with no safe haven, no comfortable place to fall.
I tried to wake my family and friends up in every way I could think of, but it just pushed each one of them away – often causing them to gang up on me and talk unkindly of my behind my back. One time, I even went out and bought a stack of books and gave a book to each one I knew, but no one read the book.
Years went by like this, but then I made an interesting choice; in order to “be there” for my children, who were by that time teenagers, I put aside myself, and I made a conscious choice to be the best parent I could be for their remaining teenage years. It did nothing for my feelings of loneliness or isolation but I knew that it was the right choice. I was no longer trying to wake-up my family. I was simply going to show up in the best way I could without any differences being in the way. I continued my journey privately – I had no choice because once the journey begins there is no getting off this train.
At some point, I accepted my plight and I made peace with the apparent fact that my life would be a lonely one, but then the most unexpected and remarkable thing began to unfold; each member of my immediate family began to wake-up. At first I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t expect it. I had given up any hope of living in an awakened family, yet each one of them was now having their own private awakening experience.
I had been quiet about my knowledge and awareness for years at this point, and yet it was as if I had shared every bit of it – because somehow they knew what I would have said – even though I never said it!
I am writing this article now to provide some light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
We are all awakening. Even the people that you never thought would wake-up – they are waking up too! You and me – are just a little ahead of the crowd. In the past, we have been described as “way-showers.” I think that fits but it would have been nice if it came with an instruction booklet, and maybe some warnings. My hope is to share some insight with you that might help as instructions or guidance to help you emerge from this arduous process of awakening – feeling both fulfilled and fulfilling your mission – as a shower-of-the-new-way.
As a guide, I have included:
- What to do when you are awake and alone
- What NOT to do
- How to relate to the sleepy-ones… and
- How to overcome loneliness
So, let’s begin….
Okay, so maybe you say, “I’m willing to play my part but why does it have to be so lonely?”
All awakening beings go through a solitary process, where one only has oneself. Fear and loneliness often keep us from seeing that this is a powerful time for personal growth and further awakening. It is unbearable when we resist this alone-time, and we yearn for the former comforts of relationships as we once knew them, but if you were to surrender (resistance) to the process that you are now experiencing, you might discover that your higher-self is asking you to go within and discover who you really are – without the distractions of other people and relationships.
Birth and death are both experienced alone, and, in many ways, this part of the journey is both a death and a birth. The death of who you once believed yourself to be or that you once believed the world to be, and the birth of the truth and who you really are – a birth to who you are becoming.
Your most essential connection is to your Self.
If you are experiencing tremendous loneliness, it is likely because you are missing the most important connection and that connection is to yourself. This primal relationship to self cannot be found in anything external and that is why this part of the journey is a journey to self, and why it must be done alone.
If you go all the way, you will discover that alone transcends into All One – where you are connected to everyone and everything, regardless of external conditions. From this place, new types of conscious relationships can be established, unlike anything you have ever experienced.
Many of us get stuck at the ‘alone place,’ thinking that it will go on forever, and so we begin to anchor our emotional and energetic vibrations there – not knowing that at some point we are really doing it to ourselves by the lonely beliefs that we now carry.
In this way, we may become addicted to loneliness.
Whenever we have been feeling anything for a long period of time, it is easy to get addicted to that emotion. When we have an Emotional Addiction, we gravitate unconsciously to that particular emotion on a consistent basis. When we consider the law of attraction, it also means that we will attract more of whatever we focus on. So, if you are consistently feeling lonely, you are energetically telling the Universe that you want to feel lonely, and then the Universe will bring you more and more opportunities to feel this way.
But, you do not have to allow your sadness or despair to attract more of what you do not want.
To heal this emotional addiction, first you must take responsibility for your loneliness – no one is ever doing anything to us – we are only doing it to ourselves, despite evidence to the contrary. As long as you blame the outside world, you have no power to change anything. In order to shift out of loneliness, you must stop focusing on loss and separation – or any emotion associated with loneliness.
You must also release all the stories about being lonely in the past, present or future.
If you don’t change your inner story, the outside world cannot change. Yes, this takes a great deal of focus and presence to attain, but you can do it. The key is to re-focus your intention on creating connection and then you must place your attention on your intention through inspired action. Also, notice what behaviors you partake-in that might actually be worsening your loneliness and isolation, and shift to align with behaviors that will attract love and connection, which we will explore in a moment.
Others Are Awakening
I had a dear friend who told me that I was the only one that he could really talk to about his experience of awakening. He said that his other friends didn’t understand and that they were all still very asleep. One day, I met one of his friends. She and I spent the better part of a day together, walking the boardwalk and getting some sun. This friend confided in me and said that she was so relieved to talk with me because she had no other friends who were awake enough to understand. Hmmm, I thought, here were two good friends who were afraid to speak openly with each other – both feeling alone and alienated. I have witnessed this same situation several times over.
You just never know who is having an awakening!
No matter where you live in the world, you are not alone on your journey. There are others feeling exactly as you and maybe they are too afraid to reveal their inner plight – just like you. You may be surprised that some of them might be the same people who seem to judge you. Many awakening people are in denial about the process – after all, it may look very unappealing. It is easier to judge and be in denial (or at least it seems so) than to open up and be the one criticized. People don’t easily accept new ideas and many resist the whole process. With hindsight, I can see that many who judged and criticized me were actually going through similar experiences.
Why does everyone think you are crazy?
It is tough when those you care about think you have lost your senses, but let’s stop and ask, “Why do they think this?” Your friends and family have known you to be one way for years (maybe your whole life), and suddenly you change and you are talking about things you never talked about before, and maybe doing things that seem completely out of character. Your behavior does not “look awake” to the people who are still asleep – it just looks, well… crazy!
This doesn’t mean that they don’t love you.
It just means that they don’t know who you have become and they don’t know how to relate to the things you are talking about – so they react as if there is something wrong with you, and this may appear as judgment or rejection. If you are the only one who becomes sane in the midst of insanity, others will perceive you as the crazy one, and the more you try to wake them up, the crazier you seem.
How Do You Relate to the Sleepy-Ones?
Find Things in Common
Maybe those you love or care about aren’t as awake as you, but there are probably still things that you have in common, like shared work, interests and hobbies. You can experience connection in these way, without having to discuss areas where you don’t agree. Since you are more awake, it is your responsibility to guide the conversations in a manner that moves toward connection, in whatever that means for that particular relationship.
Forgive the Sleepy-ones
Yes, sometimes we are met with the anger and aggression of those who don’t ‘get it’, but it is important that we do not return those lower vibration emotions. If you can be forgiving of those who are less awake for their ignorance, that will go a long way in repairing relationships that have grown distant.
Mind Your Own Business
When you wake up to the truth of the world, it often provokes a deep sense of urgency and responsibility. After all, people need to wake-up before we create the apocalypse or humanity is completely enslaved with no way to escape. When time is of the essence, how can we sit around and wait?
The thing is, it is not your job to convince anyone of anything. The same Source that woke you up knows how to wake everyone else up, as well. Just stay committed to your own journey of discovery, align with the truth, take inspired action and do what is best for you, and you might be surprised that others are directed in the same way, at the time that is perfect for them – not you.
What to Do When You are Awake, Alone and Isolated?
Often when we awaken, we slip back into sleepiness because we want to interact and connect to those who are still asleep, but this just brings us more feelings of disconnection – because we are disconnecting from ourselves in order to connect with others.
What is the remedy? If you could commit to staying awake and maintaining your connection to yourself, after a little while, you would notice that others are, in fact, awakening. When you do not compromise yourself, and “go down” to meet others where they are, they will either fall out of your life or eventually rise-up to meet you where you are. It is not that they are changing. It is that you are actually aligning with a new reality where there are more highly evolved versions of the same people.
Find Like-Minded People
If you have awakened to world issues, find a group, or start a group, that supports an issue that you feel most passionate about – there are plenty of people who feel and think exactly as you do. This will put you in contact with like-minded people and you will be doing some tangible good.
Sometimes we are lonely because it is the Universe’s way of pushing us in one direction or another; in order to alleviate the pain of loneliness we end up doing something we otherwise would not have considered. What should you be doing that you are not doing? This is the “inner wise should” not the outer manipulative “should” of the world. This is your higher-self speaking to you and guiding you in a particular direction.
Be Your Own Best Friend
Learn what it means to become your own best friend. Fall in love with yourself, or even date yourself – take yourself to the beach for a picnic, out to dinner at your favorite restaurant or even send yourself flowers. Do for yourself what you wish someone would do for you. Make sure that you don’t attach sadness to these actions. It must be done from a space of pure self-appreciation.
Remember, this is a time for self-reflection, self-honoring and self-care. You might even want to create a sensual experience for yourself: bath, candles or aromatherapy – whatever makes you feel good about you.
Find Ways to Have Physical Connect
Get massages and body work – anything that allows you to have physical contact with others. Skin to skin touching can make all the difference in the world.
Get Back in Your Body
When we are lonely, we tend to dissociate from the body which only adds to the experience of loneliness. Getting back in your body through yoga, exercise, breath-work or any physical activity will naturally make you feel better and more connected.
Be in Nature
If you cannot connect to people, you can always connect to nature. It is said that the DMT in our bodies communicates with the DMT in nature. This intuitive and energetic communication creates an experience of connection. This is one of the reasons why it feels so good to be in a natural environment, such as the mountains or the beach. Talk to the plants, the trees, and the birds. This might also include gardening or even growing food.
Pets always love us and never judge us. If you don’t have your own cat or dog, and cannot get one, go to the park where people walk their dogs, volunteer at a lost pet agency, or just go to a pet store where you can spend some time giving and receiving love from a fuzzy friend.
In 2012, Yale researchers discovered that physical warmth was an effective quick fix substitute for emotional warmth. Research showed that when people held a hot pack, they recalled fewer negative emotions about a past lonely experience. This means that warm baths, hot showers and heated throws can actually ease the pain of loneliness.
Give of your loving heart. It is very difficult to experience loneliness when we are giving of our hearts to others. When we are lonely, we tend to close down, but if you can open up to others through giving, you may experience an immense shift in consciousness.
You don’t need a lot of people who relate to you and support you, you just need a few.
What Not to Do…
Don’t share with people who don’t understand or don’t care to understand. Keep it to yourself. One day these same people will be turning to you for support and information – at that time, do not hold their former ignorance against them; be compassionate and give what you have.
Do not take it personally – it is not about you.
Stop judging yourself or calling yourself derogatory names. Don’t let others do it to you. Set boundaries for how people can treat you and kindly tell people what those boundaries are, when appropriate.
Don’t preach or persuade. It only creates resistance in others.
Be quiet about your awakening and wait for the right moment (opportunity) when the other person is open and receptive. That moment always comes if you are both patient and aware, but don’t push it.
Those who “go first” shine the light for others to follow. I know that it can feel like a burden but it is an honor and a privilege. You may not remember signing up for this assignment but nonetheless you did, or it would not be happening. When others are ready to wake up, you can invite them to embrace, or simply allow their own process of awakening, but it is not your job to wake anyone up. Remember, the awakening process is different for everyone.
A couple of years ago, my then 18 year old son, who had awoken, said to me, “Mom, it must have really sucked when we all thought you were crazy – that must have been really hard.”
“Yes,” I said, “It was really (really!) hard.”
If I could speak to my past lonely self, I would tell her to be her own best friend, take the time for even deeper self-reflection and to keep going – it gets better. In fact, it gets great! Maybe there is a future-self who is speaking to you now and maybe he/she is saying, “You are not alone, be strong and empower yourself to one day empower others!”
Do not despair – there is a light at the end of this tunnel – and it is worth any journey to get there. One step at a time, and remember to breathe between the steps.
Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad
From the editor…
It’s easy to express your spirituality when life is going the way you want it to, but what happens in the middle of everyday chaos, when your days are not long enough, your car breaks down, and your significant other is driving you crazy?
Nanice Ellis’ book “Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad!” is not about Gandhi… or Buddha — it is a book about you and your spiritual journey through the chaos of daily life, the challenge of the modern day seeker. This book will help you to discover the secrets to making every day the spiritual adventure it is meant to be, and what it really means to be a spiritual being having a very human experience…
“Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad” is available here on Amazon.com. Or check out Nanice’s other publications here on Nanice.com
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About the author:
Nanice Ellis has been a professional Life Coach for over 17 years, successfully coaching women and men from all over the world. Nanice is also a Theta Healer and Master Neuro Linguistic Practitioner.
Helping people to make quantum jumps in their lives, Nanice’s very unique coaching style is often referred to as the “Nanice Effect”. By using powerful and proven manifestation techniques, Nanice coaches people to tap into the power of the Universe and live their dreams, bridging the gap from the imagination to the realization of that dream. She works with leaders, coaches, healers and anyone who wants to live life to the fullest. You can learn more about the coaching programs offered at: Coaching Programs with Nanice.
Nanice is also the host of radio show “Chai with Nanice” and the author of several books including The Infinite Power of You! 22 Secrets to Unlocking Your Personal Power, and her latest publication Out of the Jungle (a beginner’s guide to Ayahuasca). Her books are available here at Nanice.com/6/Books and Amazon.com/Nanice Ellis.