Alone vs. Lonely

Within the span of just a few months, I experienced a divorce and an empty nest. The pain was great. One minute I am living with my spouse and daughter; the next minute I was living on my own and my daughter had moved out.

The hardest part was having so much time alone . . . to think . . . to feel . . . to experience. I felt so lonely inside that I could actually feel physical pain as well as emotional pain. I looked up books and articles to read in order to learn how to overcome this feeling of loneliness. What I discovered has completely transformed the way I view being alone versus feeling lonely.

Being alone . . . this IS a condition or a state of being. It is a fact. You are either alone or you are with people, hence not alone. Stating your condition simply just identifies that fact.

Feeling lonely . . . this IS a feeling or an emotional state. It can also be a fact. You are either feeling lonely or you are not. Stating how you feel helps to recognize how you are emotionally.

I realized that just because I am alone, doesn’t mean I have to feel lonely. I thought the two went hand-in-hand, but they don’t.

A person can be in a crowd and feel lonely or a person can be alone and not feel lonely. Loneliness is just a feeling like happiness, or sadness, or anger, or excitement.

Feelings change and pass over us. We can change how we feel just by changing our thinking. It is impossible to think happy thoughts and feel sad inside.

Being alone, on the other hand, just states a fact. If we don’t want to be alone, we can start dating, attend social events, and invite friends or family over.

I took all this new way of thinking and decided to reframe how I feel about being alone. I decided that I was going to be happy as a single person and make my life everything I want it to be. I fill my days doing things I love doing and I have fun all on my own.

Now, I actually enjoy my time alone.

Featured photo by Fabrice Villard on Unsplash.