Are you Alone or Lonely?

ALONE but not lonely

It seems that the fear of being alone is something that starts at a very young and continues well into adulthood. We perceive loneliness as a punishment, so it’s used on children (in the form of time out), and it’s even used with adults (in the form of solitary confinement within the prison system).

So why are we so afraid of being alone? Where is the fear coming from?

Maybe it’s the realization that when we’re alone we are stuck with and have to actually face our own thoughts, our own fears, our own SELF.

So we’re afraid of being alone, but IMAGINE the FREEDOM that is possible if the fear could be conquered.

Well that’s the space in life where I now find myself… I can be all by myself, without feeling lonely. Alone but not lonely! And I must say, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.

The realization of being alone but not lonely hit me when I was unexpectedly granted a Saturday to do absolutely NOTHING! I was scheduled to work, but the client needed to reschedule, so that left me adrift. My 13 year old was with his dad, I had no dates on tap, and so I pondered for a bit how exactly would I spend this day.

As I contemplated a few options, I settled on changing into my favorite pair of lounging pants and curling up in my bed with a favorite book, my laptop, a writing pad, and a pen. The hours melted away as I alternated between writing, journaling, and catching up on a few favorite shows, saved on my DVR. Before I knew it, the sun was starting to set and the day was nearing a close. As I stopped to reflect on the day, that’s when it struck me that I was alone but not lonely.

So how did I stumble upon this place of peace, you wonder? It seems that the secret to feeling wonderfully happy, even when you’re alone, is to be able to feel a sense of inner fulfillment. Getting to the place of fulfillment is so important that I will discuss it in a future post. But for now, just remember that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

Theologian Paul Tillich expressed it best when he said: “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone”

My wish for you is that you find some time of aloneness, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. And may that time refuel you to accomplish all of the tasks and responsibilities that bombard you.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

P.S. reply to this post by sharing how you spend your “alone” time.


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