Lonely Versus Alone

The Peninsula Woman

Jul – Aug 2005

Language has created

the word loneliness

to express the pain

of being alone,

and the word solitude 

to express the glory

of being alone. 

~ Paul Tillich

 Life holds many obstacles. The two largest obstacles that seem to develop as a woman becomes older is the fear of losing her beauty and the fear of being alone. Lately, I have experienced these issues with many of my older female clients.

Quite frankly, it is disheartening for me to hear that a woman is afraid of losing her beauty.  But it is really hard to hear that she cannot be alone.  But the hardest thing to hear from her is that because of her possible loss of beauty, and her fear of being alone she stays in a relationship that no longer serves her solely because of the fear of being alone. She reiterates that it is because she is losing her beauty and “what man would really want to be with her now?”  Truly, I want to scream.

Honestly, I hear her plea. But actually what I know to be true is that deep down inside of her, what is really important to address and what is really her greatest and deepest fear is being alone.

Lets face it, women love to be in relationship and being alone for some women is a tremendous fear.  It is such a great fear that many women will stay in dysfunctional relationships just so they don’t have to be “alone.”  The reality is that many of these women feel “more” alone in the relationship than if they were actually alone.  The result is they get the despair of loneliness and miss the joy of solitude.

Alone vs. Lonely

So what is the difference between being “alone” and being “lonely?”  The difference is found in exploring the balance between your Inner and your Outer life. If you are taught that the outer world is important then you will look to your outer success to find meaning in your life.  If you have a life that includes solitude, quiet time and an inner sense of yourself then you can develop an inner life.

Someone who experiences loneliness does not have a strong inner world.  It is that simple.  If you begin to build an inner world you will not experience loneliness but will in fact understand the joy and delight in being alone.

A person that experiences joy and delight in being alone has found the thread to their inner world and can spend many hours with themselves and enjoy their time alone.

Why is it so hard?

Our society promotes external fulfillment.  We are shown through the media that it is important to be beautiful, have a career and to strive for outer fulfillment and success.  The exterior life becomes all-too-important and the result can be a deep feeling of loneliness.  It is very rare that you will hear the media expand on the gifts of obtaining an inner life, the need to rest, the joy spent in reflection and time spent alone.  This would actually encourage and result in understanding how important solitude is and how nurturing the feeling of aloneness is.

What can I do?

If you are afraid of being alone, it is probably because you are experiencing loneliness.  Jean Rostand says: “To be an adult is to be alone” and Voltaire says: “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.”  Rest, meditation and things done in solitude help you to understand the one real truth.  You are alone.  Practicing these things will help you to re-connect with yourself.  I recommend that you move inward and experience the joys of an inner life.  Too much time spent with others can create a false sense of who you are.  Time spent alone builds a strong connection to that part of you that knows the truth.  You are alone. And it can be glorious.

The Astrological chart of some individuals suggests a tension in finding a balance between solitude and relationship.  If this is an area you struggle with in your own life and you have email abilities please email me at: amber@amberflynn.com and I will email your chart FREE OF CHARGE.