Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Many people have times when they are alone through circumstances or choice. Being alone can be experienced as positive, pleasurable, and emotionally refreshing if it is under the individual's control. Solitude is the state of being alone and secluded from other people, and often implies having made a conscious choice to be alone. Loneliness is unwanted solitude. Loneliness does not require being alone and is experienced even in crowded places. It can be described as the absence of identification, understanding or compassion. Loneliness can be described as a feeling of isolation from other individuals, regardless of whether one is physically isolated from others or not.
I know what it feels like to feel lonely despite being with and around people. I used to respect solitude but now I experience loneliness, as a sense of emptiness prevails. To feel like you don't fit in is difficult for anyone but I have found the following quote more of a daily mantra which helps me recognize and embrace inner strength, regardless of the situation, be it related to loneliness or other negative/positive life events. I hope it can help others who experience a similar dance with loneliness:
"When you close your doors, and make darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; nay, God is within, and your genius is within. And what need have they of light to see what you are doing?"
The medication for the hurt associated with loneliness is the recognition that we have internal strengths which act as our friends and companions for life, along with the people closest and most loved by us. This is something we slowly learn to seek throughout the course of our lives.
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