This was a breakthrough discovery for me. There were so many times in my younger years that I felt lonely. In my teens and twenties, it seemed as if I were surrounded by people all the time but no one understood me…at school, at home nor at work. How can one be lonely with people on every side? It made no sense to me yet, I was lonely, until I learned that loneliness is a choice. I needed to make better choices.
My biggest fault was in choosing not to see myself as a person of value. Once known, who could really value me? I chose not to share what was going on with me emotionally with people. You know, if you don’t share your thoughts, no one can reject them. I chose not to be committed to friends…I was very flaky. I chose not to call and see how people were doing or to ask them to hang out. I chose not to go to prom or really any social event during my high school years. I always thought that I didn’t go because no one asked me to go but you know what? I had choices too. I could have gone and had a great time. I knew people…I just didn’t really know them intimately and they didn’t know me. But, that was by my choice. I may have said this before but it bears repeating, life isn’t happening to you and I. We have choices so, choose wisely. Even in your not choosing, you are exercising choice. You might as well be an active voice in the matter.
There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I believe that to be lonely is an unhealthy state of mind to be in. It is in loneliness that a person makes very detrimental decisions for their life. They choose out of desperation to flee the loneliness rather than choosing what is actually good for themselves. Being alone on the other hand is the physical state of being alone. The mentality that one has when they are alone can be healthy, depending on their state of mind. Today, I like being alone. I enjoy my own company, I know what I like and what I do not like and I value myself. That is not to say I don’t like being with others, in fact I do! However, when I am with others, I know how to express my likes, wants, desires and I know how to accept theirs. Being comfortable with being alone has made me a better companion to other people when I interact with them. It’s not selfish to like what you like, especially if you are willing to work with other people when differences arise.
I know people who are terrified and embarrassed to do anything alone. That’s not healthy. Go out and enjoy the world alone…on your own. Figure out what you enjoy and what you don’t so that you can share that knowledge with the people you love and that love you. It is in that interaction that intimacy is built, if you can respect one another’s opinions and desires. It’s not a guarantee of course that a person will accept your thoughts or consider your opinions but, you will never know if you don’t try to share them. If they don’t accept you, guess what? You are still okay. You move on. You are not lonely, you are just alone at the moment until you choose to engage with another person or other people.
This blog is written for the lonely person and the one who struggles to have intimacy in different areas of their lives. I hope this article is helpful for you to determine where you are on the spectrum of lonely to alone and for you to get to a healthy place. So cheers to you! You are valuable so, enjoy getting in touch with your own thoughts, talents and desires. Please do comment or send me a message.
And… Be encouraged.