BEING ALONE AND LONELINESS…..NOT ALWAYS THE SAME THING.

Sometimes we just need to be alone. I needed that, so badly, this last weekend…..and life kindly arranged it for me. I didn’t even know I needed to be alone, until it came about. But once I recognised the opportunity life was offering me, I embraced it whole heartedly.

The tourists were getting me down. I know they have a right to visit and enjoy the area, but all of my quiet, beautiful places were teeming with people and hustle and bustle and noise. A few didn’t even appear to be recognising or appreciating the beauty, and reminded me of hungry bugs, relentlessly and unseeingly munching their way through a pretty, green thicket…..”Let’s get in, take our fill, and get out.” I have a busy life, as do most people, with many demands upon my time and energy. There have been extra things to do, more duties than usual to see to, and less time in which to do them. And a living to earn, still. It can all become too much, leading to exhaustion, and mental and emotional over – load. I temporarily ‘broke’, and life gave me a short get – out clause. I am incredibly grateful, because I know that some people would not be able to make use of a get – out clause, even if it was offered on a plate, due to circumstance.

And you know, so many people tell me that one of their greatest fears is of being alone. I think they mean permanently, rather than just for a couple of days. And of course, there are those who are alone way more often than they want to be. And those who feel alone, even when part of a family unit, or in a relationship….because being alone and being lonely are not necessarily the same thing. I suppose those who say they fear being alone mean they fear being lonely. But having been really alone for extended periods of time, I can tell you that it was actually a productive and strengthening experience.

lonely-png_o_596397Overall, the loneliest I have ever been is when I feel I have lost touch with my personal version of God. I read a book recently in which the author described it as “the dark night of the soul”, when he experienced the same sense of disconnection. The link is always renewed, whether it is within days or weeks, thankfully, but something just struck me…….maybe God has the capacity for loneliness too, and when we pull ourselves away, painfully caught up in our worldly problems, he is as bereft as we are.

 

 

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