This Is The Difference Between Being Alone And Feeling Lonely

Timothy Paul Smith
Timothy Paul Smith

Being alone and feeling lonely are two separate experiences entirely.

Aloneness is where all self-discovery lies; Aloneness is truth. Aloneness is power.

Feeling lonely, on the other hand, has nothing to do with physically being alone. I’ve felt lonely out for dinner with 10 people. 

I’ve felt content and whole sitting on a park bench in the sun by myself. 

In Western society, we’re typically taught to be social: To go, meet, do, say. While yes, those things can certainly be some of the many joys of life, they are not the most important part. In fact, doing those things can actually yield a lot of harm if you’re going, meeting, doing, and speaking out of a place of loneliness and lack.

The truth of the matter is: No person(s), place, possession, amount of money, or social status will ever bring you happiness until you stand on the foundation of self-love. 
Self-love cannot be bought, seen, held, or sought out. Just as you would fall in love with a partner, you must fall in love with yourself. How do you do that, you may ask?

First, become acquainted with yourself. 
This may seem silly to some. “Obviously I know who I am, I’ve lived with myself for X amount of years!” 
Let me tell you, you would be surprised at the amount of people who genuinely have no idea who they are.

Understanding who you are is a vital step in the process of self-love. Think of a life partner. Could you really be in love with them if you didn’t know them? It would seem like a shallow and forced kind of love.

Falling in love with yourself is not a black and white process; There’s no official guidebook to self-love. If there was, it would probably be a sham and say something like: “Ah, yes, take three yoga classes a week for six months and then you will radiate love.” I wish.

There are no certain steps to be taken. 
Falling in love with yourself is such a subjective, individual process. That’s why you must carve out the path for yourself. It’s not a job where you can hire someone to fall in love with yourself for you, and then present the answers on a velvet cushion.

Just spend time with yourself. Take yourself on some dates. 
Be alone.

Self-love can only be found from embracing not only who you are, but also understanding that all that you are is already complete. That you are whole. That if all you ever have is yourself – That is enough. 
That all of the love and abundance you will ever need already exist inside of you. 

The only way to love yourself is to know yourself. That is why you must enter the Aloneness.

Don’t worry – it’s temporary. 

The Earth is patient; She’ll wait for you.

The sun and moon will continue to rise and set. The ocean waves will still ebb and flow. The leaves will still fall and the flowers will still blossom. 

Some people will not understand why you’ve temporarily stepped away from the world; They’ll judge you for what they can’t comprehend. This is the natural process of re-alignment. Thank the Universe for the clarity, and allow those people to leave your life peacefully. 
Others will understand your silence; They will be waiting with open arms for you when you re-emerge. These are the people you want to keep in your life.

And someday you will be ready to leap back into society – I promise!

When you become re-attuned to your soul while in your Aloneness, you will know when you are ready to jump back into the world.

You will begin to feel restlessness; an electric buzz in your fingertips, a few cases of restless legs, the urge to dance, sing, move, say. 

It could be weeks. It could be years. You may fall so in love with Aloneness that you never want to leave. Either way is okay – only your soul knows what you need.

Also: Remember that change is the only constant – There will be periods of solitude and adventure weaved throughout your life. Very rarely will you leave the Aloneness and never need to go back in. Just as the stars twinkle all night long and then vanish come daybreak, you will too need periods of hibernation in between the times of exhilaration.

It’s the natural process of life. 

Just know that we are abundant beings in an abundant world; You’re not “missing anything” in your solitude because there is no lack. 

If you disagree with that, try going inward into the Silence and Aloneness. Listen to what you hear. Embrace what you feel.

When you re-emerge, you will see the world differently. You will see truth, love, beauty, light, peace; 
Because all of that will live inside you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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