Lonely? Have you ever felt lonely? It’s defined as “sad because one has no friends or company”! It’s a strange feeling, one that doesn’t always seem to fit circumstances!You can be alone and not feel lonely! Yet you can feel lonely in the midst of a crowd of people. We can crave solitude and yet find that enforced solitude leaves us feeling broken and afraid! So, can loneliness ever be a positive experience and can we embrace moments of solitude and turn them into something useful?!
Richard Rohr offers a thought about solitude, or what he describes as “alert aloneness”…
Although true solitude—alert aloneness without diversions—can be challenging, it is often the necessary gateway to our deepest passions…
There is a thought, a suggestion that those moments of loneliness, despite the sadness it can invoke, are in-fact opportunities to discover who we really are.
So often we fill our lives with noise and activity, any moments we do get to be still, silent or alone we find ourselves checking Facebook or flicking through Twitter…we send a message or read an email; we fill our time doing anything to avoid the realisation that we feel lonely and in doing so we don’t allow the stillness in.
It’s not that the busyness and commotion are bad, they aren’t, so much of the ‘busyness’ is just life!The thing is, it’s often lived out of our ego or false self, the self we’ve created to function in the world! This “self” is also not bad or wrong, it’s necessary! It’s who we project into our relationships and interactions. The thing is that it’s not complete, it’s not true, it’s not who we really are, there’s more…so much more! We only discover this “true self” when we take time out; when we stop to think, to meditate, to be alone…it’s in this place of loneliness, or solitude or sometimes even lostness, that we find our way to our “deepest passions” and discover there’s so much more to who we are…and find that who we are is OK!
We need this time out to discover what we really think, to weigh up and evaluate all the “inputs” that we have coming into our lives. To ensure our thoughts are indeed our thoughts and not just the mimicking of someone else’s! This stillness is the place within ourselves where our false self meets our true self and the conversation begins! It’s where questions are raised, where discussions are held, where opinions are evaluated and honed, and within this internal dialogue we find that we’re not actually alone!
Maybe as we journey deeper into who we are we find there’s a whole new mystery waiting to be discovered; a truer you to give to the world and maybe that’s what we mean by soul and spirit and story!