Monday, April 17, 2006

Aloneness and Loneliness

Easter weekend made me think about the difference between being alone and being lonely.

There's an old saw that you can be alone without being lonely. True. Also, someone who's always lonely when alone has a problem. True.

What some folks derive from these sayings is that anyone who's ever lonely has a problem. FALSE!

I realized this weekend that sometimes circumstances beyond one's control make one alone when one doesn't want to be alone and loneliness is the inevitable result. One is not always in control of any part of life including whether one is sailing through that life solo or not.

The loneliness passes; the aloneness doesn't. In the end we learn to deal with the latter and to endure the former as long as it happens infrequently and briefly. What in unendurable is the foolish suggestions from those who are not lonely that something is wrong with those who are.

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