Alone or Lonely?

27 Nov

Thanksgiving gave me a reason to stop and take stock. I was with my best friends. We played games, we laughed, we ate, we got silly. I was fully present. I wasn’t two hours ahead or 2 years past. I was right there, in the moment. Thankful does not even touch the expanse of gratitude I felt being in the company of my “family.”

When I got home late in the evening I experienced such a profound sense of isolation. Walking into a dark, cold house, I was utterly alone. No one was there to greet me upon arrival, wrap their arms around me, ask me how my day was, and tell me they missed me. Do I long for this? Sometimes. Do I enjoy having the freedom to come and go as I please? Absolutely.
At times I sink into feeling lonely. It’s only lonely when I put a spin on being alone. Am I by myself? Yep. So what’s the difference?
Lonely permeates the air around me when I start feeling sorry for myself, when I have thoughts of being unloved, uncared for, or forgotten about. Is this true? Of course not. And this is the reason that lonely doesn’t last long in my presence. I get to choose how and what to feel. I get to choose to wallow in what I can make up in my mind under the current circumstances. I get to choose to assess the real facts of the situation.
We aren’t our feelings. We aren’t our thoughts. We HAVE them, and then we get to choose what to do with them.
I’ve decided that being alone is teaching me how to be more independent, to make decisions without having to rely on others, to appreciate my freedom, to cherish the gift of assessing for myself who I am and what I need.
Obviously I love being with others. My life would not be full without my friends and family. We all need to walk alone sometimes to prove that we can!

I'm alone, but I'm not lonely.


6 Responses to “Alone or Lonely?”

  1. Writer Jobs November 27, 2011 at 6:53 PM #

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  2. kpropst November 27, 2011 at 7:10 PM #

    I do love writing- it’s a passion of mine. In my writing my goal is to impact others positively through my words and encourage them to think about things with new perspective! Thanks for your comment and link!

  3. Osayi November 27, 2011 at 9:18 PM #

    Figuring out the difference between being alone and being lonely, is a very challenging one. Sometimes we’re lonely when we are around a lot of people, other times we’re lonely when we are by ourselves…it’s so weird…

    Thanks for sharing!

    • kpropst November 27, 2011 at 9:47 PM #

      Great point, Osayi! When we’re among a group of people who don’t feed us spiritually, this is certainly the case. I have felt alone among a sea of others! For me “lonely” happens when I perceive a disconnectedness and lack of meaning in my life. It doesn’t have anything to do with other people sometimes!

  4. Heather November 28, 2011 at 4:52 PM #

    Hi Kori! Boy oh boy, I had the same feeling the day after Thanksgiving. It was like the wind had been taken out of my sails!
    And it does boil down to being able to feel the feeling, recognize where it’s coming from, and pause. Like your prior blogs say, Stop and be quiet; don’t let the feeling take control of your reactions. Your posts always seem to have just the right message for me every time you post them; thank you for sharing.

  5. kpropst November 28, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

    Thank you for sharing, Heather! It IS like the wind has been knocked out of you- crazy isn’t it?! What’s even more amazing? How quickly our feelings can change. They are so transient! I have to share this email that I got recently that speaks right to what we are discussing!

    ” {Thanksgiving evening}…I came home to an empty house and once again he didnt think about being here for me. And for the first time, i really realized how damaging I allow my emotional eating to get. wine and a frozen pizza, REALLY??? I read your post about being alone or lonely. thank you for that. It hit home.

    I had a tough week. A family member died and I took the phone call and helped with CPR. I was told I have no business being at my place of work anymore– that I should just retire. But today in church, a lady walked up to me, hugged me and thanked me for being compassionate and caring when I was helping them with their handicapped son who died several years ago. God knew I needed that today. WOW And we had an awesome get together with some friends for lunch. ”

    Transient. We can get so wrapped up in our feelings if we don’t pause. It can feel like our hearts are being ripped from our chests. What we need to remember is that seconds later we can feel like we’re on top of the world!

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