Do you feel lonely or are you alone? You may not realise it, but there is actually a difference.
The desire for a life of solitude might sound pleasing, in a world filled with overpopulation and bright lights and constant noise. Where seeking a little private time is hard to come by. But for many, the idea of solitude is often confused with idea of what being alone is and is then confused with being lonely.
Loneliness and aloneness are often considered to be the same thing, but that couldn’t be furthest from the truth. In-fact, they are polar opposites when it comes to the choice of whether you are choosing to be alone, or you are in-fact lonely.
While loneliness is associated with melancholy and can be harmful to the mind, being alone is the choice you make when you want to one else’s company (well maybe just your cat) and are happy and content to sit and relax without a soul around you. Loneliness is not a choice, when being alone is.
Though if you were to sit in a crowded room of say, fifty people, and you proceeded to ask the question of whether they like to be alone or not, most would assume the question is a reflection of loneliness.
Of course, the core foundation of loneliness, as debated by some of the world’s greatest philosophers, is that we are all alone whether surrounded by people or not, as we are inside our own minds, with no company to answer questions or comfort us when needed. So whether you perceive loneliness to be associated with that of not having people around you, the fact is, we are all alone – it’s how you manage being alone that counts.
Loneliness can often be reflected as a desire to choose to be alone with no one around, but in-fact when you choose to be alone you are not opting to be lonely, but rather choosing to be content with your own company. To take a break from the world around you.
True loneliness, and not the metaphorical sense of the term, is when someone is isolated from the world, with no friends or family, no one to talk to when needed, or guide them when required. No love to be shared. This type of loneliness can often lead to mental illnesses formed from the isolation, if one is not be suffered already.
The idea that you might be alone and feel lonely, means you’re not comfortable with the idea of being myself and accepting the idea that being alone surrounded by people you love and people who care for you, means you are not accepting the peace and serenity which comes from being alone.
Because the truth is, real loneliness is suffered by those who have no one.
2020 has been a trying year for us all. From lockdown laws and border closures, to isolation policies and social distancing. The fear that has been driven worldwide by the media that having contact with anyone will put your lives and those around you at risk, has been far more damaging to the mental health of so many people around the world. A health risk I find far more threatening than that of COVID-19.
Virus or not, you are still left with a choice of whether you choose to accept being alone during this trying time and use the time to draw on the energy of the earth to bring you peace and serenity, and to guide you on a spiritual path of acceptance that this will all soon pass and life will return back to some form of normality before we know it.
Or if you let the fear drive you into a state of being lonely whilst being alone, then perhaps the choice to separate yourself from the world due to the fear mongering of what may or may not happen to you if you step outside, you will slowly be overcome by that loneliness – and that will lead you down a very dark path.
Let light guide you through your path of loneliness and allow the idea of being alone as an avenue to which can help you be at peace with being alone. This will help dispel the fear which is driven globally by the media, that it is okay to go out and it is okay to hug your friends and family.
Don’t let the fear turn into loneliness – that’s is the path to darkness. The path to light is travelled by being alone. And that path is filled with joy and happiness.