In our culture to be alone is akin to being a leper. Social judgements can be harsh. Social invitations dry up. What is wrong with you? Why has no-one chosen you? As well your own self-judgements can be fierce and destructive. We have been so brainwashed to believe that we should be in relationship and really are only fully acceptable to ourselves and others when we are.
How sad. Actually, how stupid.
A big part of this is that being alone is equated to being lonely, and being lonely is one of those no-no feelings in our society. Being lonely is soon equated to being depressed, or a misfit, or somehow emotionally handicapped, at best. Plus it hurts, it is painful, and our whole consumer culture is oriented to removing all pain. So being lonely must be “treated” with anti-depressants, at least, to make us “happy” again, i.e. normal.
What a crock. what an insane equation of A+B= fish. That might be fun for a surrealist mathematician but for everyday life conclusions it is mad, mad, mad.
First, we need to define that being alone and being lonely are two very different things that often come together, holding hands. But they are NOT joined at the hip. We can be alone and not feel at all lonely. We can also feel totally lonely in the middle of a group of people we know. They are very different feelings with different sources and messages for us about our needs.
I would suggest that it is a deep human need to be alone at times, and that those times might vary from a few hours to months or even years. In aloneness we have the opportunity to open to and deepen our connection with ourselves, to nurture and grow our self-relationship.
To be alone, to just be by ourselves, is an ancient practice of the sages and wisdom seekers as it sets the foundation for inner quietness. Outer quiet helps quieten our inner life of the mind and emotions. It allows the storms and waves to settle into calm where we can hear those small, soft and quiet ineffable voices of our Higher Self, of Spirit, of the Universe, of Wisdom and Knowledge we all carry but never access in noise.
To be lonely is a message to ourselves that we have lost connection with ourselves, and more importantly, with our Self.
Again, our consumer culture is totally oriented to convincing us that our answers lay outside us, that our happiness is in the next thing we buy, and that what is inside us is somehow scary if not dangerous. So avoid it, and if it begins to surface and impinge on us, then visit Big Daddy Pharma who will have a cure for that problem in the form of a pill. Or go shopping! Happy again, not lonely. Sure.
Again, what a crock we are sold. Feeling lonely (and it is a feeling, not a state of existence) is a call to pay attention to ourselves… and to spend some time alone! With our Self. To grow our inner connection, to learn more about who we are so we have an ever-deepening, ongoing enriching and rewarding relationship with ourselves. So we learn to know and like and gosh, enjoy being Who we are!
What a concept. – Gregory Charles
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Australian Gregory Charles is an astrologer, a personal growth and spiritual leader and alternative healer who has appeared in the national media in many countries (MTV, Good Morning America, BBC). His astrology clients have included Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Carmen Electra. He has delivered sex and relationship seminars to tens of thousands of people around the world and lectured at UCLA and the LSE.