Alone or Lonely?

For an extrovert, and someone who grew up around a lot of family members, being alone can be confused with being lonely. When the house is quiet, and the weather is cloudy it’s a paradise when you want to be alone, and an empty room when you feel lonely. All kinds of thoughts can intrude into an empty room. Like thoughts about those who are missing, or restless wanderings about what tasks are incomplete or what activities, like cooking or TV, can fill in the void. The judging mind likes to add to the party with comparisons about what kind of life would be better, or how to be a better person by doing this or that. It taunts about how the grass is greener on the other side, and longs to be with others to distract from feeling lonely.

Maybe today all of that is just a cover for grief. Grief about the loss of someone dear. Grief about the passing of an era and the passing of a life. I don’t like to admit that I am worried about the future, about my health, and about getting older. Someday I will have to say goodbye too. I’ll have to leave everyone I know and begin something new.

However, as I sit here writing and acknowledging all of this I am feeling more relaxed with the quiet house and the stillness of the night. I’ve blown my cover and I’m sitting with what is real right now in my heart. So I feel connected to me.

As I  start to feel ok with being alone, a person comes into my room and starts to chat with me. So I’m not really alone and that, I realize, is a message from my soul. That brings a smile to my heart. I am never really alone because my soul is always with me.

P.S. November is characterized by Hexagram 2, The Receptive. The hexagram has all yin lines which characterize a time that is still, quiet, dark. It’s more like being than doing. We might feel that stillness as emptiness, and be reminded of loss and our own mortality. If we are “doers” we can get busy so we can fill up the perceived space, because that makes us a little anxious. But yin is one part of a great wholeness. The classics advise us to be receptive at a time like this and embody the quality of nature to feel our oneness and connect with our soul.

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