Loneliness Mustn’t Mean Being Alone

Sometimes, I can sympathize with TJ here. Now, especially. While most of my friends have gone back to school, I’m still hanging out at home waiting to leave for my semester in Austria. I know: ultimately, it will be worth; I’m going to have the semester of my life. But right now, it can be rather easy to feel lonely. While I may be introverted, it is still possible to become lonely. One can look around and see that there is no one to be there. When I go off on my own, I don’t dislike being alone because I recognize that I can go spend time with other people if I wanted to do so. When there’s no one there, I have to be on my own, whether I want to or not.

Loneliness scares usBeing Alone. It’s a simple fact of life. Most people will admit to that fear: being alone. We don’t want to by ourselves. We fear the possibility of being ‘forever alone.’ We want to have someone with whom to spend time, in whom to confide. We want to have someone to love. We as humans have a natural desire to be with others. We are social creatures. It is inhuman to be completely alone. People have that naturally tendency to want other people with whom to share in this thing called life. We look for friends, for companions. We are born into families. We have that innate desire to be with people, while still being able to enjoy some solitude.

The truth is that no one is ever truly alone. In our loneliest of times, we are still not alone. We can always count on being with God. When we sulk in our loneliness, all we’re doing is ignoring the other in our presence: God. Loneliness does not mean we have to be alone. When we think we’re alone, practically speaking, we will be. However, we have the power to acknowledge a presence beyond ourselves. God is truly with us. Loneliness finds pain in being by one’s self. Solitude finds the glory of being by one’s self, acknowledging God’s presence. There can be true merit in being alone. However, if we encourage self-deprecating thoughts, if we only see ourselves as being lonely, we rid ourselves of the joy and grace that can come from true solitude. ‘Loneliness’ doesn’t mean being alone; it just further confirms our fear of solitude.

“Language…has created the word ‘loneliness’
to express the pain of being alone.
And it has created the word ‘solitude’
to express the glory of being alone.”

-Paul Tillich

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Duc In Altum

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