I know of a woman who so longed to be loved, held, and not feel lonely that she gave her lover, a man she hadn’t known long and knew to be a criminal, all of her life savings—some forty-three thousand dollars to be exact. He promised, along with his abiding love, that he would give her back her money with interest in only two short months. When she told her friend what she had done her friend pointed out that she had a small child to feed, and reminded her she had just lost her job—and, incidentally, two other boyfriends just like this one. She quickly replied in her defense that he believed in Karma.

Several months passed, having heard from him only once, when she began to inquire about his whereabouts. Hoping to reclaim her inheritance and self-respect, she learned that he had died in an automobile accident and had left behind a young widow and three small children. When she told her friend what she had discovered, her friend asked her what she had learned. To which she replied, “He died in the car he bought with my money.”

For some of us, being internally referenced or taking responsibility for all you experience is a foreign concept. I know it was for me. I, like so many of us, believed that my circumstances were designed or slated by some dark fate, bad luck or perhaps my difficult childhood. And I didn’t have to look far to see many of my role models and contemporaries following suit. Failed marriages and relationships that fell apart like a strand of dominos over the years, all to the Western tune of: “That rotten, no good, cheating son of a, and he even took the dog!” song.

Starting with five things you can do when you feel desperately lonely:

Feel. I say we gotta feel it to heal it. And if we don’t know what we feel, we don’t know what we need. Get a pillow, sit on the floor and bring it on. Facing our fears sometimes is the perfect answer. Two and three o’clock in the morning are when they hit me the worst. Whatever time it is, facing the boogeyman is ultimately what we all have to do if we want to be free and choose a relationship out of love rather than need (or desperation). If I was gentle, waited and sat with myself long enough, I would begin to feel and heal. I spent many nights (and days) just letting the floodgates loose and seeing what was underneath all my anxiety.

Move. Release what’s inside. Let it out. Oh my, can I just tell you that moving saved my life?! Sometimes I had so much energy, so many feelings welled up in me, that I stood in my kitchen barefoot on the hardwood floor and gyrated around spastically flailing my fists at God and everyone, like James Brown on crack. I screamed and cried and danced and collapsed until I was empty. Running, hiking, swimming, dance classes—you name it, I did it!!

Read. Yes, it is not easy to quiet that restless mind, so pick books that are inspirational and that will engage you every time. Ones that have exercises and great “if I can do it, you can, too” stories. I always had a stack of self-help books and autobiographies nearby, ? still do.

Write. One of my single girlfriends told me she writes herself love letters. One every night, and they get longer and longer. Then when she wakes up she reads them to herself. Whatever you have pinging around up there, put it on paper. Doesn’t matter how you do it. Journal, write letters to God (he/she will answer back). Who knows, maybe you’ve got the next NY Times bestseller in there!! I wrote copious amounts of dark, intensely feeling poetry in words from the 13th century, channeling my “DNA gone bad” from the past. It was so great to get it out of my body!

Collage. I love to collage, as I am very visual. Pulling pictures out of new magazines (great way to recycle) of people, places, and things that made me feel happy or inspired always worked for me. Sometimes I was surprised at what I learned about myself, what I really liked or longed for.

I'm not simply talking about activities that take up time, but rather, things that will help you discover who YOU are, and put you on a path to where you want to be!

Author's Bio: 

Maryanne Comaroto is an internationally known relationship expert, talk show host and author. Her weekly live radio talk show reaches millions of listeners in the U.S. and around the world. Maryanne's philosophy is "Great relationships begin within!" http://www.maryannelive.com

She leads popular workshops and seminars for men and women http://www.corrcertification.com, and has had a private practice as a clinical hypnotherapist for more than 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning memoir Skinny, Tan and Rich: Unveiling the Myth. Her latest book, Hindsight: What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers, outlines the 14 critical questions to ask before you get intimate in a relationship and gives the reader six tools for their Relationship Toolbelt.

Maryanne is also the founder of a leading non-profit, The National Action Organization, a 501(c)3 organization committed to changing the way our culture values women.