#Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age

#Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age

by Tony Jeton Selimi


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504343992
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 01/07/2016
Pages: 236
Sales rank: 1,227,118
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

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The Virus of the Modern Age

By Tony Jeton Selimi

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2016 Tony Jeton Selimi
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5043-4399-2



Many of my life's adversities you'll read about all happened to me at a young age and resulted from plain bad luck and things outside my control. Some misfortunes, as you'll come to understand, came from my being in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong time. Other difficulties came through the choices I made from a place of pain, shame, and guilt and from not speaking or honoring my truth. I didn't know what my true values were, the importance the values played in making those choices, and the decisions I made for the things that I sought in life.

You may be at a place in your life where you are aware that through times of pain, adversity, and struggle, you have the capacity to yield the gifts and riches worth harvesting. Or you may be at a time in your life when you're finding it hard to let go of the pain, shame, fear, and loneliness that accompany those experiences. Unbeknownst to you, they may have become your constant companions and the best friends you don't really like but can't do without.

What I am about to share here are the life events, situations, pain, shame, and loneliness that silently and craftily entered my life. They became my best friends I deep down disliked; they were my constant shadows I couldn't get rid of. You know exactly what I'm talking about here — the disowned parts of you that have the power to keep you in the shadow of your light.

But they are the parts of you that, if understood — not judged — and accepted for the roles they have played in your evolution can help you unlock the treasure chest buried deep inside. Once opened, the treasure chest unleashes the leader, the doctor, the scientist, the problem solver, and the creator you were born to be. The creator who knows how to nourish the body, unlock mental faculties, navigate the ocean of emotions, and get you to the island of star-like living.

As you are about to find out, reaching the place whence I am bringing this gift to you wasn't easy. Many hungry sharks craved pieces of my flesh. I spent many sleepless nights praying to an invisible man called God for love, acceptance, and freedom from the pain, shame, and feelings of being different. These were the feelings I grew up with that accompanied me into adulthood.

Yes, I shed many tears, I faced many fears, and I went through many violent storms that destabilized my being. All that happened to me was under the blanket of a normal, hardworking, loving family that was unaware of the hidden pain, shame, inner discord, and guilt that had started in me at a very young age. It was a time when I just wasn't aware of what was truly happening and the impact it would have on my emotional well-being and physical health and the way it would shape my future.

By going through each of the twelve major life adversities you'll read about, I came to understand the darkness and appreciate the light in me. I became the person I am today in possession of the knowledge, wisdom, and tools to help many others from all walks of life liberate their imprisoned souls, pursue their hearts' desires, and live meaningful and inspired lives.

I now know that the journey I went through was essential; it freed me from the resistance that had been built up in me from early on. I was able to reconnect with and honor the disowned parts of me and reunite with the soul that was always there but had never been given the power to just be the free soul it was.

For you to have read this far, your soul must be yearning to find out more about how it too can liberate itself and help you be free with your love. I thank you for coming on this luminous journey through the compelling, personal, and traumatic life adversities that damaged my sense of belonging. I'll share with you the many life situations that led me to feeling I was riding in every carriage of the longest roller coaster of life called loneliness. No matter which carriage of that roller coaster I was in, I was always greeted by the many spin-offs of loneliness — I felt abandoned, rejected, separated, unworthy, unheard, bullied, fearful, invisible, unappreciated, and most of all unloved.

From a very young age, my constant companions were adversity, a curiosity to know why, and the feeling I was different from my family, my friends, the religion I grew up in, and my classmates.

As you read about my emotional roller coaster ride, I'll share with you the pivotal moments in my life that challenged me to my core and allowed me to arrive at the place I am now, where I'm connected, loved, and liberated from the shackles of loneliness and embraced by the love that lives in every cell of my body.


Throughout my life, I've had many physical health challenges. The first one presented itself the day I was born. I was born with crooked legs. From what I can remember, for almost three years after I took my first breath, I couldn't stand or walk. My deformed legs caused my hardworking parents distress and presented them a challenge; they had to work long hours to provide for six of us, and I know they did all they could to help.

In today's world, parents have all the support they need to correct what's now considered a normal birth defect. Back then, my hardworking mom did what any mother would do; she followed the advice of her elders and used what means she had to straighten my legs.

I remember crying in pain when my mother would daily tie my legs up tight in an attempt to straighten them. Sometimes, my sisters or my grandmother would find time to take care of me, but often, due to her having to work long hours at a restaurant, I was left alone in a cot unattended for hours.

Despite the daily pain, I endured. I remember curiously observing the world and wondering how everything functioned. Although I wasn't able to walk as every other child could, I faced the pain with courage and the deep knowledge that my mom would fix my legs and make me free to walk, run, and play like every other child.

I spent a lot of time in pain and alone, tied in a cot. As the time passed by, somehow, despite the odds, my mom succeeded in her mission to correct my legs using her nurturing, motherly instinct.

I was finally able to walk freely and unaided. I started enjoying what most children did in the early '70s. I played outside and learned to ride a bike; I appreciated my newfound freedom. I never realized until later in life the impact that stage of my life had on me.

The next few years passed by very quickly; the pain I had experienced turned into pleasure. During that time, I learned many practical skills that came from living on a farm in Macedonia with my sisters and grandparents and from working with my parents in our restaurant in Zenica, Bosnia. I learned how to cook, clean, and feed the animals. I learned the alphabet, three languages, and math. I leaned to value money and appreciate my parents' hard work. I give my thanks and love to my mom, grandparents, sisters, brother, uncles, and everyone else who was present during that part of my early-life journey.


If having crooked legs wasn't enough, the next adversity that impacted me the most happened at age six, when I was sexually abused by a young employee who worked for my dad.

He was hardworking, smart, and good looking, and he was always smiling. I enjoyed his company. He'd take care of me daily; he treated me to ice cream, he took me on walks, and he taught me how to cook and use the equipment in the restaurant. One day, he took me into the storeroom where we kept all the vegetables. When I came out, my life was never the same.

Back then, I knew little of what was right and wrong. I didn't know what had just happened or that it would change my life. I ran out of the storeroom crying and feeling ashamed and afraid. I went straight to my parents to tell them about the inappropriate behavior. I felt helpless, shamed, abandoned, guilty, and in pain. He had told me not to tell a single soul; he said that if I did, my parents would disown me for the shameful act, that God would punish me, and that I would go to hell.

I stood there in front of my parents, tears streaming down my cheeks, trying to tell them what had just happened, but I wasn't given a chance to speak a word; my parents were busy with the customers. As was often the case, I was sternly disciplined and reminded that the customers and the business were extremely important and always came first. They told me that it wasn't the right time to cry, that instead, I should dry my tears, grow up, be a responsible member of the family, and help them out.

Although I was desperate for their ears, their love, and their protection, I did as I was told. I stopped crying, pulled myself together, and went around the restaurant to clean the tables.

From then on, I learned to live in shame. I learned to put on a façade, pull myself together, and appear strong while deep down I feared for my life and felt lonely, abandoned, rejected, disgraced, and scared it would happen again.

From what I can recall, when my family wasn't around, he'd find me, take me by the hand, and find ways to trick me into going into the same room. Each time I left it, I was filled with more fear, shame, and guilt. I blamed myself for what was happening and felt dirty, afraid, and used.

Most nights, I would cry myself to sleep. I confided in God, the only one I could talk to, the one who didn't judge me, the one I prayed to and asked to help me and take that man away. I believed my turn would come and my wish would be granted once God had helped all the other people who needed him more than I did.

Despite all the pain caused by what was happening, I comforted myself by telling myself that I was lucky, that I was better off than many children around me. I was well dressed and cared for, and I came from a hardworking family that gave me a lot of love. I was well fed and had a great home, and I knew God would ultimately respond to my prayer and send his army of angels to take that man away.

My mother instilled in me a belief that God always answered our prayers, and he did. He didn't send his army of angels. Instead, a miracle happened. One afternoon, the man took me to the room where we had a machine for making dough. That time, he told me to be silent and not go anywhere because he had to prepare dough before my parents returned.

He told me not to move until he had finished loading the machine. He slammed me hard against the wall, and I felt a sharp pain in my back. I had hit an electrical switch as I was thrown against the wall. I remember screaming as I'd never screamed before. I was in the most physical pain I had ever felt. As my back hit the switch, the machine turned on, breaking that man's arm into many pieces. He shrieked loudly in pain before the safety switch was activated.

Everyone came into the room. Seeing his broken arm, they turned their attention to him. They looked at me as if I were to blame. That made concrete the shame I was already feeling, and I ended up feeling guilty and responsible for what had happened even though I was just six. I was scared about what would happen next.

I was listening to everyone arguing about whose fault it was and why I'd been allowed into the room in the first place. I was in shock, crying, and very afraid my parents would find out about the things that had happened in the storeroom. I felt ashamed, afraid, fearful, hurt, and confused. I tried to make sense of why this had happened to me with this man, what I had done to deserve it, and why I couldn't tell a soul.

That man didn't take me to the storeroom again. I knew God had heard my prayers and had granted my wish. The man was dismissed.

From then on, I never entered the storeroom again or any other closed, dark spaces. From that moment on, I was claustrophobic and fearful. I was afraid that he would come out of the dark and punish me even more than before.

After that, I could never fall asleep in the dark, and I didn't like being alone. My family made sure there was a light on in the room so I could sleep. Sometimes during the winter, we wouldn't have electricity, but my mom or sisters would make sure a gas lamp or a candle was by my bed to keep me company until I'd fall asleep.

The trauma of this experience left me deeply wounded, scarred, and segregated. It triggered long-term amnesia that for many years I was completely unaware of.

Later that summer, my parents took me to Gostivar, my hometown, so I could start school in September. I was approaching seven, and I started spending most of my time at our farmhouse with my youngest sister Drita and my grandparents Akik and Satka. I'd go to Zenica, Bosnia, the place where the abuse had happened, only during school holidays. I loved going in Zenica, as it was where my parents were working, spent most of their time, and where I kept learning so many wonderful skills that I now know prepared me to handle all the life adversities that followed.

On the other hand, living on the farm with nature and with my younger sister was amazing. I was very happy to do my chores, work the land, look after the animals, and sell our produce in the market and in the gypsy community that lived near our farm.

I learned how to milk cows, harvest wheat and corn, pick cherries, apples, and pears, and keep bees. I also did extremely well at school.

Since I remember, I was always self-aware; neither my parents nor my four sisters had to tell me to do my chores or finish my homework. I was surrounded by many friends who spent most weekends with me at my home. Upon reflection, I think that was due to my fear of being alone.

To my parents and the outside world, I was a happy, loving, and supportive child. But deep inside, I knew I had a buried secret. I knew there was something troubling me that like a virus kept spreading through my body.

In the next journey, I'll share with you what happened next.


When I was nine, I was hospitalized due to severe pneumonia, a heart murmur, bacterial infections, and many other immune-related illnesses. In total, I spent just over two years in hospitals feeling alone. I was isolated from my family, friends, school, and everything I loved and enjoyed. The freedom I had felt after my mom had managed to straighten my legs so I could walk was very short lived.

As my health deteriorated, I started to have near-death experiences. I would observe my body from above my hospital bed. I was floating in midair. I saw everything that was happening, and I heard all the conversations taking place around me and everything my family said when they visited me. I saw what my mother was doing and the way the nurses were treating me. At some point, I learned I could go through walls and see everything happening in the hospital. That was the first time I truly came to understand there is life after death.

When I was in less pain, I seemed to easily get back into my body. Being bedridden, I learned much about pain, being alone, and suffering in silence with no one to help. Despite being very ill, I considered myself fortunate; my mother was at my side. She spent most of her time by my bedside, as did my eldest sister, Feleknaz, who was at university and had just started to date her then-boyfriend and now-husband, Xhavit. I was blessed to have a visit from a family member every day. However, I observed how so many people in hospital had no one who would visit, nurture, and care about them.

During that time, I was heavily medicated, and I gained a lot of weight. I had been slim, but I became a balloon about to explode. While I was still able to walk, I'd visit and talk to the doctors, nurses, and the patients who were lonely and had no one to visit them. I knew just being next to them, talking to them, and telling them jokes helped them feel better, cared for, and nurtured.

After I had spent a year heavily medicated in the main hospital in Gostivar, my parents were told that I was too weak, that I wouldn't make it, that I had a maximum of a few weeks to live. I recall floating above my body and seeing my mum praying over my body just the way I used to when I was praying to God to make my former abuser go away. It was heartbreaking. I told myself to go back into my body and that way not leave my mum or my family alone.

My parents, having cured my brother from epilepsy by alternative routes, turned to the esoteric world of spiritual healers, priests, and imams for help. My mum went to many sacred tombs to pray, and she lit many candles.

They decided to take me to the main state hospital in Skopje, Drzavna Bolnica, where better medical professionals might be able to save my life, but my family continued to work with spiritual healers.


Excerpted from #Loneliness by Tony Jeton Selimi. Copyright © 2016 Tony Jeton Selimi. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Foreword, xxiii,
Introduction, xxvii,
Chapter 1 My Journey through Loneliness, 1,
Chapter 2 Source of Wretched Solitude, 67,
Chapter 3 The Human Energy Field, 82,
Chapter 4 Listen to Your Alarm, 88,
Chapter 5 Know the Cause, Reveal the Effects, 97,
Chapter 6 Duality: The Nest of Solitude, 103,
Chapter 7 Loneliness Is Toxic; Its Effects Are Global, 114,
Chapter 8 Technological Armageddon Is an Evolutionary Necessity, 120,
Chapter 9 Awaken Your Truth, 129,
Chapter 10 Your Health Is Your Greatest Wealth, 141,
Chapter 11 Know the Switch That Activates Your Light, 150,
Chapter 12 What Next, 180,
Acknowledgments, 183,
About the Author, 187,
A Path to Wisdom, 191,
Bibliography, 193,

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#Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ReadersFavorite4 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite I have always thought that loneliness is just a natural part of the human condition. I never really considered it a virus or disease that there might be a cure for. Since reading Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age, I have had to rethink all of my ideas about loneliness, as well as many of my ideas about life. This is a very powerful book, written by a very smart, educated, and compassionate man. Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age is not only well written and logically structured, but also provides real techniques and advice which you can immediately put into practice for the improvement of all areas of your life. Tony J. Selimi has a vision and by sharing his knowledge he improves himself and the world. Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age is easy to read, but at its core it is full of very lofty ideas and ideals. I like anything positive. I like ides that help individuals and contribute to the betterment of mankind. We need this more than ever today and this book is a good example of how each of us can make a contribution, no matter what obstacles we have had to overcome. Tony J. Selimi talks about his own negative experiences and how he overcame them. Then he gives you practical advice based on his own experiences. I like this approach. I like this book. I think it will help a lot of people. The ALARM method and the eight facades are truly evolutionary teachings that can help you on the road to a better you.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite #Loneliness: The Virus of The Modern Age by Tony Jeton Selimi is an inspiration non-fiction book on loneliness, interwoven with the author’s own personal life experiences. #Loneliness starts off with Tony’s own childhood and past experiences, including bouts with illness, abuse, and homelessness. From there, the book moves onto discussing in depth the modern plague of mankind — loneliness - and how it can often derive from guilt or shame. In a world where technology and the need for independence moves people apart, the effects of feeling alone and isolated are only felt when it is sometimes too late. The book presents a comprehensive perspective of how inter-connectedness with people is vital to health and survival in humans. Without the sense of acceptance and belonging that comes with the knowledge that there are people in our world who care about us and whom we care about, the world is an empty place. The book is broken down into various chapters and delves into the areas of psychology, mentality, history, and spirituality, among others, to discuss loneliness, its causes, and its toxic effects. In the end, the book shows us that the need to belong and feel connected is a basic necessity of life. #Loneliness: The Virus of The Modern Age by Tony Jeton Selimi is a very well-presented book. Tony’s own personal life stories and experiences add an extra dimension that almost make this a part-memoir. More importantly, a book like this is necessary in today’s increasingly isolated world where, although distances are shorter, human beings are less connected to their fellow humans than ever before. The devastating effects of loneliness are well explained and this can be a good self-help book for people struggling to find meaning in their lives.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite #Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age by Tony Jeton Selimi is a powerful and timely book that addresses one of the universal problems of our age, a problem that stares most of us in the face continually. In today’s fast-paced culture and eclectic technological environment, it is easy to get absorbed in the tools of communication without actually grasping the essentials of connectivity. Loneliness becomes more and more of a grave concern for modern man and, at a time when communication tools become more and more perfect and effective, it is ironic that in a crowd of a million people someone feels terribly lonely. In this ground-breaking work, Selimi takes readers on a less-travelled path to uncover the root causes of loneliness, explaining in simple, yet powerful terms how loneliness can affect our well being and how it is a deadly cancer; and finally proposing a roadmap to living a life of profound connectivity with self, others, and the world around us. If there is a book that everyone needs to read in the area of personal development, it is #Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age by Tony Jeton Selimi, and the author’s experiences will ring powerful bells in the minds of readers. There were many instances where I had to say, “Yes, I have been there. I can relate.” The author combines years of research with personal experiences to deliver an eye-opening message the world has needed for a very long time. You’ll look at yourself differently and develop a different approach to relationships --- both personal and professional. It is interesting to see how the author leads readers to the understanding that the way we connect with ourselves can be the secret to success in life and business. One powerful take away point: It’s in moments of uncertainty and fear that we become easily manipulated.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite #Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age by Tony Jeton Selimi begins with the memoirs of its author, born in the former, pre-war Yugoslavia. He shares an upbringing that encompasses everything we fear a child might experience, but pray they will not — physical disabilities and sexual abuse. As a teenager, he is front and center during the war and subsequent dissolution of Yugoslavia, resulting in his emigration to the United Kingdom. After a rocky start inflamed by homelessness and financial difficulty, and an unfortunate marriage where an inner conflict of sexual identity rages, Selimi finds his feet and his voice, making a bold professional and personal move that alters everything. Readers are then versed in the scientific evolution of loneliness, a breakdown of how and what impacts it, and where we can make proactive, positive changes that not only help us individually, but have wide-reaching global impact. When I first picked up #Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age by Tony Jeton Selimi, I was expecting little more than a run-of-the-mill self-help tutorial. I was thoroughly rewarded by what came next. First of all, Selimi's story is heartbreaking. It is powerful and poignant enough to be a stand-alone book, but is fundamental to the theories he presents afterward. The struggles and the situations he rises from — which feel desperately hopeless — lend to his credibility far more than any educational acronym found after the names of most self-help authors. When the story is told, the subsequent theories are supported by facts and evidence, in addition to Selimi's applied knowledge. This is done with a clear desire to reach the reader on a human level, and feels more like a conversation with a friend. I recommend #Loneliness: The Virus of the Modern Age to anyone who has experienced any form of loneliness, has been sucked into "Facebook envy," or other feelings of unworthiness fueled by the artificial, manipulative world we find ourselves in today.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Gemma Benton for Readers' Favorite #Loneliness: The Virus Of The Modern Age by Tony Selimi is the warm embrace a world suffering from a devastating epidemic of self-doubt, rejection, and loneliness desperately needs. From the first pages of his book, Tony Selimi assures his readers that they are indeed in the right place at the right time and, in fact, they are the cure to this epidemic of loneliness that threatens to cripple us all. In #Loneliness: The Virus Of The Modern Age, bestselling, award-winning author and human behavior, cognition and emotional intelligence expert Tony Selimi peels back the layers of his life and reveals the shame and guilt, repressed sexuality and fear he experienced as a homeless war refugee turned family man and high level corporate IT manager. In a moment that might have been predicted to be his cataclysmic failure, author Tony Selimi tells us how he found the courage to walk away from his already successful life and turn towards his most powerful inner truth. In a way that is intended to evoke our own transformational powers, Tony Selimi shares how he began the arduous journey of reclaiming his life and stepping into his destiny as a successful entrepreneur, highly acclaimed international speaker, and respected spiritual teacher and healer. Today he shares hope and hard-earned wisdom about loneliness and power with the world through the pages of #Loneliness: The Virus Of The Modern Age, his award-winning books, training, and programs. Well written, thought provoking and deeply inspiring, #Loneliness: The Virus Of The Modern Age doesn't just tell us his phenomenal story of success and genuine happiness and leave us admiring his success and achievement, but informs us about the facts behind the epidemic of loneliness, and gently guides us with his five-step AWARE formula and power-filled “light bulb” moments to find the courage to reclaim our own health, wealth, and happiness. It’s been said that to get better answers, we've got to learn how to ask better questions. In #Loneliness, Tony Selimi offers us not one, but many great questions. Questions like, “What can you do daily to activate your light and remain switched on?" dare us to not just survive loneliness, depression and anxiety, but to find the fire that ignites and transforms us. Step by step, chapter by chapter, Tony Selimi challenges us not to just learn from and celebrate his journey from loneliness to greatness, but rather he offers a well crafted tool designed to empower and heal our lives so that we then can join efforts in creating an epidemic of hope and healing on the planet.