Lonely or Alone?
Alone versus lonely, a difference that many people never understand as they are so busy crowding and keeping in their lives people who can never give them what they truly seek – themselves.
It is a long weekend here in Canada – Labour Day Weekend – and since 5:00 a.m., I have basked in my alone-ness. Although my quietude has been unceremoniously disrupted, as been happening more frequently recently despite my expressed dissatisfaction with the noise level, my heart still sings with joy being alone.
There was a time when my life was filled with people, stuff and busy-ness, all in hopes of finding happiness. Until the day came when all the people and stuff that I had gathered were stripped from me – again unceremoniously. My walk from lonely to alone began and I have not looked back – not for too long – ever since.
One Day You Will Get It
You too will come upon this road at some point – or maybe you already have. You will grow to appreciate the difference between feeling lonely and being alone. If you are already like me and are savouring the journey, here are some pictures and words that will remind you why choosing this path might be the best thing you could do for yourself.
“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” ― Hunter S. Thompson,
“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” ― Norton Juster,
Some fight and struggle so hard against being alone. A few months ago, I overheard a coworker saying that she hates being alone, not even for a couple of hours. Although she is in a live-in relationship, arriving home before her mate and entering the empty house frightens her not because a burglar might be inside but no one else but her is home. It was a challenge for me to understand that, craving solitude as much as I do.
Need To Be Alone
“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.” (Audrey Hepburn: Many-Sided Charmer, LIFE Magazine, December 7, 1953)
Days can go by and except for my morning telephone conversations or video chats with my daughter and granddaughter, I would be so content not speaking with another living being. This comes only after a long journey through noise, drama and a sense of not belonging.
The trouble is not really in being alone, it’s being lonely. One can be lonely in the midst of a crowd, don’t you think? ― Christine Feehan,
Many young women today, and I know at least two personally, who would rather be in dead-end situations, abusive relationships and/or jobs. They are hanging on to people who rob them of their spirits leaving them among the walking underemployed and friendships that are devoid of substance than let go and live. Observing from the sidelines, never offering my opinion unless asked, my heart bleeds. Tempted at times to just hold them and give them a good shake, I do not because I was once there – in a relationship long dead but I was doing mouth-to-mouth, breathing every bit of air from my soul, desperately trying to resuscitate what had made its transition.
“If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is…an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but YOU for your happiness…you will realize that a little loneliness goes a LONG way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU.” ― Mandy Hale,
That is what I learned from my trip to the seeming end of the abyss. Just before I turned around, something said:
“Leap, leap and I will be there to dive with you. You may feel lonely but you are not alone. I AM always with you – always was and forever will be.” – Claudette P. Esterine
Seasons Change, So Too Your Life
Four years and counting later, I take that leap every day. Not one of faith but of KNOWING that whatever the circumstances, however things might seem or whether anxiety lurks – I am never alone. And so I bask every day in that knowledge and confidence that “All is well.”
What about you? Are you lonely or alone? Share your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to Subscribe and receive a daily email updating you of our posts. As well, if you are under 35 years old or know a young woman of that age, do join me for a one-hour chat next Monday. Register for my FREE Webinar on “A Practical Spirituality for Young Women,” and let us together redefine some of the issues and concerns that might be troubling you (or your friend).
Have a great rest of the day and catch you tomorrow.