I’m extremely blessed to have parents who instilled the importance of family in my life and stuck with each other through all the hard times. I’m also blessed to have grown up with three lovely sisters who mean the world to me and now all have kids of their own making me an uncle to two nieces and six nephews whom I adore more than anything!I’m also blessed to be close to most of my dad’s and mom’s family. We truly are all a close knit family! And again, I’m blessed beyond words for that.However, the older I’ve become the more I’ve struggled with depression because of loneliness.Not because I don’t have people that love me. Not because I’m still single at 30 years old. Simply because I never learned to love myself. I never learned to spend time by myself. I never created my own identity.I’m not even sure if that makes sense to those that haven’t experienced what I’m talking about!I always been surrounded by family and I’ve always been an extremely social person.This has allowed me to make a lot of friends in my life. Not only a lot of friends, but also many different kinds of friends from all walks of life. I actually prided myself at how well I could make friends and how well I could “get” people to like me!However, instead of having my own identity I’ve always taken on the role of what those in my life expect me to be or should I say what I thought those in my life expected me to be.You see it’s a slippery slope when you start relying on other people to supply your happiness instead of relying on your own means. I’m not saying the right people around you can’t make you happy, in fact, I believe healthy relationships are one of the most important things on this Earth. We all need people! However, there will be times in your life when you will be alone or at least feel like you are and in those times it will only be your faith and yourself that will bring you through it!So what can we do in these times? How can we conquer that feeling of loneliness? How can we find happiness and enjoyment in our own company?Honestly, I’m not quite sure yet! I’m still working on it, but I’d like to share with you some things I’ve found that helped because I believe this is an enormous issue that isn’t being addressed in our culture!Find Something You Enjoy Doing Yourself!Surprisingly I’ve never really had a hobby or anything. Instead, I’d pretty much just join in with whatever my friends would want to do. Again, not that this is a bad thing as I actually enjoy trying new things, however, you need something that is all yours! Something that’s special to you. Something that you can do while you’re alone.This could be anything you want it to be! Maybe you decide to start doing some volunteer work. What about learning to dance? Maybe it’s just chilling on the couch playing some video games!What you decide to do is totally up to you and there is no wrong choice!And you know something? You won’t actually be alone! You’ll make new friends! We crave connections as humans and if you start doing any of these things without a partner or friend you’ll be forced to make new friends! You’ll also be doing something totally selfish and for yourself (in a good way) and you’ll grow from it!Purposely Seclude Yourself!When life becomes difficult and we find ourselves alone, we have a tendency to want to run back to old friends or relationships that may have been toxic to us. We may even start apologizing and taking all the blame in a relationship simply because we don’t want to be alone!I’m lucky enough to have a grandfather who owns several hunting properties in very remote places. He’s also amazing enough to allow anyone in the family who wants to, use those properties! Some of them don’t even get cellphone service which is rare in this world nowadays!There have been times in my life where I’ve literally had to just drop everything and get away so I could do some thinking in seclusion. Also, so I wouldn’t be able to just run right back into a relationship I was having issues with without giving it deep thought!By secluding yourself it also forces you to talk to yourself. To think about where you are in life and where you want to go. It forces you to think about your flaws and how you can improve yourself so that in future relationships you handle them better! It’s a truly magical experience and something you should consider doing!If you’re not as fortunate as me and don’t have a cabin in the middle of nowhere you can use, you may enjoy this article about the benefits of traveling alone as it offers a lot of the same benefits.Accept Yourself!This is probably the hardest one to work on honestly!You must realize that you are not perfect! We like to think we are and deep down I think most of us realize we aren’t, however, we also try not to think about that fact for some reason.You will make mistakes. You will hurt people! When you decide to take time for yourself you’ll have people in your life that may not understand. That’s okay! Apologize once you get it all worked out if you feel you need to, but one thing I can promise you is that if you don’t learn to accept yourself for who you are, no one else will either!You may even hurt some people and be unable to repair the relationship afterwards. That’s okay too! Doesn’t make you a horrible person, just means you messed up. Apologize, because you still should, then move on!The world needs you to love yourself, because it’s only then that you’ll be able to truly love others and that’s something this world desperately needs!In ClosingFear of being alone is normal and natural. What you decide to do with those feelings is up to you! You can run and try to hide from yourself or you can face yourself and learn to love who you are!Even with all your imperfections!One thing I can promise from my own personal experiences is that if you choose the latter you…Not only will you learn to love yourself, but you’ll come to cherish your alone time!Not only will you learn to love yourself, but you’ll learn greater empathy in dealing with others!Not only will you learn to love yourself, but you’ll change your life!Not only will you learn to love yourself, but you’ll change the world!Good luck! I believe in you!