Being Alone Vs. Being Lonely.
“And in the end all I learned was how to be strong… Alone.” -Unknown
Being alone vs. being lonely. This is something I innately struggled with for so long, as to me, the two elicited more or less the same empty and vacant feeling, that was I constantly piercing to fill.
But I guess what I've come to realize is that one comes from a place of lack, while the other comes from a place of abundance. One comes from craving and needing connection to feel whole, where as the other, comes from strengthening and nourishing the relationship with yourself.
Being content when you are alone, is a sign that you have a created a healthy relationship with yourself, which is perhaps the most important and profound relationship you can truly have.
For so much of my life, I would need to be around others to be happy. Perhaps because I was distracting myself from what I truly needed to face -my own inner demons. Because the demons are so daunting and so dark, I turned a blind eye to what was repressed and subdued deep within me for so long.
And it began to unfold in my life in so many ways.
The problem is, these demons will manifest themselves into your world one way or another. They will linger and hover over you until you finally decide to face them head on and let them go.
Whether it's your past pain from a broken relationship, your past failures dictating your current reality, or your lack of confidence to go after what you truly want to in life, we all have demons. But it's only the ones that will acknowledge, accept and face them, that will ever be able to truly get past them.
I lacked inner confidence growing up because I needed the validation from others to decide for me whether I felt whole, complete and full. Eventually, that became a part of me and I didn't know life differently than from craving connection from others.
This manifested for me into an eating disorder, where the root of the problem was my obsessive need to look and feel a certain way based upon how others saw me.
That's how truly dangerous feeling lonely can be.
It wasn't until I finally sat with this feeling of bitter loneliness and isolation, that I was able to understand it better. All, in order to understand myself better.
You see, you can have hundreds of friends, yet, still feel alone. But on the other hand, you could have just one quality connection -one amazing relationship with someone- that can mean the whole world to you and more than anything else.
Thus, the difference hides in exactly how you feel about yourself.
If you can't find that inner happiness from within, then no connection or relationship that you have will ever be enough. No relationship will ever be enough to fill you up and you will constantly rely on others for a feeling that you can only inherently give yourself.
But to you, the reader... I hope you find something more for yourself.
I hope you cultivate the most incredible relationship with yourself, because the world is nothing but a mirror. Always showing you exactly who we are being and not necessarily who we want to be. So when you are kind, compassionate and loving towards yourself you will always see that back to you.
I hope you give yourself the time to journal and work through your repressed pain, so you can finally let it go and create the most loving, the most tender, and the most caring, relationship with yourself. One in which you will always have your own back no matter what.
I hope you create amazing, fulfilling relationships with others, not focusing on the quantity of the people in your life, but instead, devoting your time and energy to the quality of the few individuals in your life, that add so much value, so much power, and so much meaning to your world.
And finally, don't be afraid to be with yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever may come up. In a world that constantly seeks to distract you from what truly matters, it's so important to put down your phone, spend time with loved ones, and most of all, spending time with yourself.
If you can be just as content spending time alone as you are when you are with others, then I promise you, your life will feel so sound, loving and compassionate, that you will feel as though you are living a new life.
But you have to put in the work. And that starts today.