Why we feel alone – and why it isn’t unhealthy to need people

In the world of work the message is, “if you work hard, you can make it big.”

In the world of therapy the message is, “only you have the answers you need.”

In the ideology of spiritual living, “you must find your own way.”

Yet in reality – the greatest gift there is in life is connection. The unmatched excitement of meeting someone and *SNAP* – you realise you connect, you GET each other. Meeting a stranger and suddenly realising you’ve been talking for three hours. Watching a beautiful sunrise together, laughing at the same film, singing out of tune in the car with your loved one.

No-one makes it in their career alone – they join teams, they rely on managers to teach and subordinates to sustain.

You cannot find your own way in therapy – only ‘a way’ – because we are only who we are with others, we are defined by and shaped by everyone we meet – along with all our experiences alone – but we understand those solo experiences by talking with others, by placing our life in the context of the family, community, town, country and world in which we live.

To grow spiritually we need to be helped, and more importantly to help others. Sitting on a mountain a thousand miles from civilisation might teach us tolerance of solitude, a certain inner wisdom – but why does anyone go to the mountain? Because teaching tell us it can aid enlightenment – teaching from OTHER PEOPLE. Even solitude functions primarily in its opposition to being with others. Solitude is given shape and meaning by the very people it removes.

I am sick and exhausted by the constant message that it’s all down to ‘you’, to make it alone, to prove yourself, to stand out from the crowd, to be independent.

Fuck off.

It is always down to US – to work together to achieve, to talk together to create, to act in harmony to relieve conflict. My job has no value if I don’t work with others, provide something of value to others, and in turn seek things of value from others.

The false God of individualism is a remnant of industrialisation, of the early stages of capitalism – it seeks to divide and create competition – so that I can seek to hold power over another I – through position or riches.

Only while we are all ‘I’s’ – all alone, all fighting for ‘our piece of the pie’ – can we be made to buy things: food to comfort ourselves; possessions to hide behind; botox to lie with; make-up to disguise our truths and place looks above brains. We become so distracted with fighting and striving to afford our comforts we are too busy to intervene in the political realm. Education fails, corporations buy governments, medical care is slashed… we buy a game console and more cake.

If we were always WE, it would be senseless to compete – we would know that the only way was together – and then who could persuade us to spend millions on the obscene array of bullshit we buy ourselves in each day at the cost of connection. Why would government exploit the public if it saw itself as part of the public.

Fuck off. I will not do this alone. I will connect.

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