The Experience of Being Alone

I call this photo “A Sunset Kiss”

I don’t quite know how to express this, so please feel beyond the words into the heart of the message.

It is perfectly okay to be alone. 

If you are alone, it is not as a punishment from Source, nor as a discipline for something you might have done in your past, nor is it a permanent state of being.

Yes, we are energetically supported, but I fully understand that one’s reality might be that one does not feel or see that energetic support in physical form.  And, that is okay.

You are safe and loved and appreciated and when it resonates for you, alone will naturally evolve into “not alone”. Until that resonates for you, it is perfectly okay for you to experience the state of being alone.

It is perfectly okay to cry tears of whatever emotion wishes to be released. It is perfectly okay to savor the refreshment and freedom of this state of being.  It is perfectly okay to vascillate between tears and celebration.

If you, with awareness and intent, choose to be alone, may World honor your decision and allow you the experience that you wish for.

May you honor the experience of being alone, by allowing it to unfold with grace and ease. 

And, if you wish to keep it light and joy-filled, you may stop reading here…and leave your response in the comments.

If you wish to explore a bit more with me, you may keep reading:

In general, World fears “alone” because we think it hurts, so we layer and compromise and avoid and bury.  And, if someone is “alone” we sometimes judge and react and lecture, because fear does that.

In general, we hadn’t learned to love being alone, we don’t understand those who choose to be alone, and we certainly can’t fathom celebrating being alone.

In general, we believe alone is not a choice we make, but a state of being that happens to us…kind of like divorce or cancer.

Alone is a perception that carries different emotions and it all seems to be dependent upon external circumstances. One might be surrounded by people and energy and life, yet feel very alone; one might be physically not surrounded by anyone, living in solitude, yet very connected, feeling the current of energy and life pulsating through their being.

I will share this from my personal experience.

You know me now, as a person who practices presence and positive affirmations and love and gratitude.  I do the inner work and I feel the abundance in the moment as it is; the fruits of Spirit nourish my being and enliven my heart.

I thrive in the midst of energy from others.  I am often surrounded by people, and praise, and I feel overflowing gratitude for the joy and peace that I experience as I continue to connect transparently and create a life based upon flow and trust and heart whispers manifesting to reality.

Yet, in my past, I felt very alone; from childhood on.  This led to reactions, instead of creations (which I know now in retrospect, but then I just kept choosing as I did). The catalytic event was that I found myself in an abusive relationship. And, I couldn’t feel Spirit in that, so I would go to the same beach as in my photo above and I would lay on the rocks on the jetty and hope a huge wave would carry me away.  When the waves only gently sprayed refreshment and rejuvenation upon me (and didn’t carry me away), I would make the choice to return. I knew what it was like to be beaten in all ways, but I couldn’t fathom being “alone”.

And, when the person I loved and trusted most in the world told me “I cannot watch you wither, so I am withdrawing my support in all ways until you have left this and been alone for one year”, and then he did… I felt the emptiness of being alone.  It was myself and the sunset and the ocean, and a lot of being beaten down.

Yet, it was there…with myself and the sunset and the ocean…that I chose to step out of chaos and abuse into the state of being alone, that I found this person of *Joy* that you know and connect with now.   

I used to re-arrange my entire life to not be alone…and I don’t mean romantically, I mean in general, in life…alone. Now I re-arrange my entire life so I can be alone.  I prefer to be alone than with filler and busyness and compromise (all of which I allowed in abundance in my life previously).  

I choose to be surrounded by all that is enriching and enlivening and nourishing, so I wait patiently, sometimes in the state of “alone”, vesting presence to building the sacred container in which all of that may fit.

Alone has evolved into a conscious choice I have become comfortable with.  This choice allows me to gently stretch into unfamiliar areas as I explore connectedness to a depth I hadn’t previously known or experienced.  

I choose to share this with you, in this space, because we are heading into a season of togetherness–regardless of where in World you live, there are celebrations involving the invitation to engage with others and community…and sometimes one might feel “alone” in all of that.  I wish for you to understand and perhaps even appreciate…sometimes “alone” in all of that is a gift, even if it doesn’t feel like a gift when you are experiencing it. And to encourage you to honor this stage of “alone”, and see where that newness might lead you….

I thank you for your presence to this piece, to receiving my heart whispers, and to sharing your own reflections with me either in the comments or by email…each reflection means so much to me; it is with wonder, joy, and gratitude that I connect and create in this Facets space.

If you would like to share: have you ever felt alone in life…and how did the experience unfold?

Much peace and abundant love,

Joy

Reminder: Experiment. Explore. Experience.

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Comments on: "The Experience of Being Alone" (16)

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Joy, and thank-you for a wonderful article. The beach has been/is a refuge for this one as well. The Atlantic Ocean is 6 miles from the dwelling as the crow flies, and a favorite beach 15 miles by car. Countless times have ‘I’ sought the refuge, the shelter, of being alone strolling the beach, or just sitting, or immersing into the amniotic fluid of creation. In this information-inebriating “age” in which we currently reside, it IS asylum. Be it local wood, a park, or up on a mountain – SOMEWHERE – to unplug: leave the cellphone and any other electronics at home; leave your shoes, socks, belt and car keys home or in the car too. To be alone. To be. Be.

    • Happy Thanksgiving, Ricky…I am extremely grateful for your presence in my life and within this community..you teach me so much!

      I love the feel of this: “amniotic fluid of creation”…for when I am fully present to being alone, I find my creativity effortlessly surges..overflows with ease from the feel of abundance emanating through my being as I tap into the feel of spaciousness and refreshment. Yet you reflected it so succinctly and powerfully, thank you!

      Yes: to be. Be.

  2. Happy *Thanksgiving* morning to you Joy!

    Such a wonderful sunny Southern Cal day!

    The doves are lined up on the roof to share time at the feeder…Thanksgiving for them too.

    I am going to start preparing the dinner for the day.

    Will have a person over that has been home-less for the past 20 years.

    I will bring a platter of the Thanksgiving meal over to my 90 year old neighbor who lives ‘alone’, has no family except for a friend that comes by to see him occasionally.

    The gift you have presented to *all* this wonderful day is pure beauty.

    What you gift throughout the year is just love…love…love

    If during a moment when I find my self alone and for some reason just feeling a bit sad ;( all I need to do is to remind self that I have met *You*… the most beautiful person in the world…which leaves all the rest of my life *Gravy*!

    All my love…

    .

    • Happy Thanksgiving, Rand :) Thank you for your presence within this community and this wonderful reflection of thoughtfulness and generosity as you explain how you will share nourishment in myriad ways so graciously with those around you. A beautiful example of how sharing from abundance is with ease and joy. And, how that nourishment might take different forms (for example, you are providing connection today through food and shelter while I am providing space for people to connect through conscious conversation). May we all remember, as we give to others, may we as generously and graciously give to self as well, a vital part of choosing to honor the space of being alone :)

  3. Sometimes I feel alone. It’s inevitable because of my lifestyle choice. I’m house sitting in New Zealand. Right now I lay in bed overlooking a beautiful bay with tumbling gray and rising sun-lit clouds. There is a cat in my room. Last night I heard him going after a mouse. That is my only interaction with other beings at the moment. Oh, there is a couple of birds that come to steal the cat food as well.

    How did I wind up here?

    I ask myself a lot of questions. It’s incredibly easy to feel alone and I wonder why. I wonder where those emotions come from. It’s especially boggling to me because I don’t always feel them. One moment I could be entrenched in a good book or exercising in the living room and the next I could be yearning for human contact.

    I’ve read that humans are naturally drawn to other humans. We thrive on contact and the presence of others, but even then I’ve felt alone. Sometimes I’ve felt alone in a crowded room. The quality of the people you are around matters, but then I ask myself if that is in my head.

    Do I heighten the quality of my peers with my perception of them?

    I think that I do. I also think that my ego will always want. A couple of days ago I felt alone. Had a friend come by would I have been satisfied? How long would it have taken for me to want something else?

    There is an ongoing struggle to find peace, contentment, appreciation for the moment. Right now is as good as any to not want anything.

    On the flip side, I have a lot. That’s what I do to challenge myself. I think of what I have. That helps negate the wants and feelings like loneliness. I have a cat, a mouse, and a bird. I also have uplifting people to read about on blogs like this one.

    I’m thankful for that. I like the clouds over the bay too. I’m thankful for them to look at.

    – Todd

    • Thank you, Todd, for your presence to this message, and for sharing insights within your reflection that resonate with many.

      Part of why I wrote this piece is that “alone” has become something people rarely talk about…yet is something people practice as a conscious choice, or feel at different stages. People look into my life and have this perception so I like to share “facets” that others are hesitant to talk about…I love transparency, I learn.

      When I read your words, I feel the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. I resisted being alone for most of my life because I didn’t wish to feel the (perceived) pain of being lonely. Now, when I choose to be alone, I revel in it; I feel full, refreshed, and alive…so to me, there is a huge difference in the feel.

      I like the visual that you provide…and that you turn your situation inward to examine and observe it.

      I, too, used to feel alone and misunderstood in a crowded room, now I only place myself in crowds that enrich/enliven. It is my experience, that, yes, the resonance of those around you matters completely. When I compromised and held space for those who didn’t agree with my practices, beliefs, and/or lifestyle I eventually became extremely ill. Living my dreams was possible, but an exhausting struggle–I didn’t feel inspired or supported. A few years ago, I promised myself I would be transparent in all of my connections and, if transparency couldn’t exist, I wouldn’t connect. Connecting is now refreshing…*and* there are many times I am alone because there are not people who wish to be transparent (depending upon where I am in world). I am inspired daily (even looking into this space, these conversations would not have been possible last year and they mirror those in my offline life).

      From what you have shared, what you have done is chosen to remove yourself from the familiar, yet perhaps stagnant/stifling environment you were in…to this land of beauty and infinite possibility. So, perhaps when alone feels weighty, what your heart is “missing” is the familiarity of knowing “where you are” (even if that was uncomfortable, it was familiar). My entire external world changed last year, so I understand about unfamiliar. I would ask, when the feeling rises, may you check in to see if it “hurts”…I bet not…I bet it’s an energetic signal that you are still getting your bearings in this “new place”. A friend would bring a sense of familiar, so would temporarily assuage that for you…and that is sometimes exactly what our hearts need…sometimes allowing self to feel alone is an invitation for expansion…

      I love the clouds…I think they connect us all :) (I love to listen to A Fine Frenzy “Come On Come Out” when I am cloud watching).

  4. This definitely resonates with me, Joy — I get the sense that, when it seems like I am “needing” someone else’s company, I’m really looking for some aspect of myself that I’m not in contact with in that moment. And when I am in contact with the “missing part,” I feel more capable of enjoying myself around people.

    • It is wonderful to “see you” here, Chris, thank you for your presence :)

      Your words respond powerfully well (and again very succinctly) to Todd’s reflection.

      You also sum up my entire life’s journey… I couldn’t fathom that I had internally the strength that I found so intriguing in others and filling the space didn’t allow me to experience it within until I “let go” and learned to be alone. I find it interesting that we now live our passions (you through your music and me through this space) that requires a pretty expansive connection to others. May I ask, do you have a practice that you might share that provides the space for you to explore “the missing part”?

  5. jean sampson said:

    Hi Joy, and happy “Gratitude Day.” I am so grateful to be connected to you! I have felt alone, but have never really been alone. I often wonder, if life calls on me to live by myself, what lessons there will be and how I will grow. They are not lessons that I am looking forward to, but I will do whatever it takes to make that time a time of growth and discovery. I expect it will mostly be a time of facing and overcoming fears. And I will be depending on all of my friends, on-line and other-wise, to help me figure it all out!

    Thank you for sharing your story so transparently. You are truly someone quite amazing! Love to you.

    • Happy Gratitude Day to you, Jean…I so love your presence here…receiving your reflections is a gift (see, how much I learn from this community!).

      I love this: “I have felt alone but have never really been alone”–poignant.

      I also feel there is a huge energetic difference between choosing to be alone, and “being left alone”.

      We cannot know how we will respond—will we create or react–until we are in the moment. In my life, when I was left alone I began to hear my heart whispers, which inspired me to then consciously cultivate being alone.

      The fears that you mention are common among many, which is why I chose to share it…together we are applying love and light and leaning into a space that many of us are unfamiliar with..pretty powerful…and that is the gift of *community*.

  6. I thought I’d be brief, but you know me, nothing for me ever is! So… I’d like to say… I’m rarely ‘alone’. With a biological family that has its issues, homeschooling my 2 biological 12 and 14 yr olds, topped with being a foster parent and often feeling we have a revolving front door that requires, at times, beds or cribs made up quickly, clothing that will get a child of any size thru days or weeks, bottles and milk, pacifiers of varying shapes and sizes,baby bath and pajamas for ill kept infants arriving in the middle of the night with (seriously) a 15 min notice, again, I’m rarely alone. Sometimes so far from alone I can’t even manifest what it feels like. While this is rewarding and wonderful and fullfilling, it raised, with reading your article the difference between ‘alone’ and ‘lonely’. Even before the life I lead now, lonely never entered my being. I’m grateful for that. I love my alone times. Crave it frequently, and revel in it when I get it. This brings me to realize there is a huge difference between alone and lonely. For those who feel lonely (often exacerbated with the upcoming/current season), my heart reaches out to you. Lonely is an empty space and is difficult for many. So, joy, I pray that your readers that feel that lonely feeling, it will be lessened, or transferred to being alone instead and finding the benefit of that. Alone is a time of rest, renewal and peace. May you all experience that.

    • Thank you for your presence, Gina, and for sharing your reflection.

      There is a difference between alone and lonely and I thank you for sharing your heart-felt words and prayer. I also feel it has little to do with external variables and everything to do with our internal state of being.

      When I read your words, I think of how I used to fill the moment with so much busyness (“important” busyness..the work of being a mother and a wife and a board member and a volunteer) but I couldn’t hear my heart whispers until I chose to step out of all of that (except motherhood..has always been a pleasure!). I felt lonely in the midst of all of *that*. Yet, how now, a few years later, there are moments that I am fully alone–days of the sunshine, moonbeams, and I…and I feel so full and alive.

      “Alone is a time or rest, renewal, and peace”…wise and wonderful…such a beautiful feel, may *you* experience it as you so graciously invited us all to.

      A huge energetic hug to you :)

  7. What a great post and a beautiful message! These days, especially since moving to a new home across the country, in my free time I am often alone or with one other person (my bf). I have yet to make new friends, and in the past I would scramble to make new friends, pleasing people to do so, for fear of feeling “lonely”. These days I want to make sure I am in the company of people who resonate with me, and I strive to enjoy my solitude (it’s often a challenge). I have hung out with some of the other grad students just once outside of school, and it was decent. It was nice to have some human interaction outside of school/work, but even in the company of others, I often feel lonely. Others will respect the need for more socializing, and want it from me, but I take care to listen to myself. Do I really want to spend time with them? Often the answer is no, and sometimes I feel a little guilty about not feeling more resonant with them and wanting to hang out more, but it takes two to tango. I prefer getting to know people on a professional level before taking steps to become friends. That gives me the time and space to decide for myself whether this will be a rewarding connection, or a draining one. It feels a little strange to reject the offer to hang out or go shopping – will they think me weird? It is so much more “normal” to follow through with those conventions. But oh well! I’ll do what I think is best for me. Thank you for the reflection!

    • Thank you for your presence, Lynn, it is absolutely wonderful to “see” you here!

      I always love when you share your perspective! When I read your words, I see that you made this physical move, which also symbolizes your internal energetic shift. This move centered you into an empowering space; your desire to be in the “company of people who resonate” is one that serves to amplify this whole-body nourishment you are cultivating. I love that! It took me my entire life to learn the importance of resonance among the people I allowed in my personal space.

      In my experience, which is also happening again now in my life, sometimes clarity is about what we release–that which we resonates changes. When we celebrate that space, reveling in the spaciousness, we draw to us new, enriching connections that enliven, inspire, uplift. Part of the message of my article is that sometimes we rush to fill that space, yet, when we learn to be alone, we are in essence centering and blossoming, which then draws to us new and different that feels wonderful. When I didn’t honor that, I became seriously ill (twice) so it is a practice I am now very aware of. As you so wisely say “I’ll do what I think is best for me”. I am so excited to see how the next few steps unfold for you!

  8. What a deep message! I’ve always thought I was comfortable being on my own, but there have been times that reflected sheer terror at the thought. I know there is a great goodness in alone as there is in together and it makes sense to consciously choose the appropriate one at the appropriate time!

    • Thank you, Sandra, for your presence, and for sharing your voice!

      Being on our own, as a result of conscious choice, is a different feel from being alone because “external has arranged it to be so”.

      When I was 20, my grandfather died suddenly, and my grandmother found herself a widow after 40 (ish) years of marriage. She sat in one chair for 24 or 48 hours…in shock. She never recovered. I deeply felt her pain, and I vowed to never “be alone” like that. And, so I wasn’t.

      That deep-seeded fear was intervowen in many ways through my life for ten years. Only with awareness and presence did I begin to explore the joys of being alone, and only then have my connections becomes as deep as they are now.

      “Together” is an amazing gift…I thrive in connection, and I celebrate the joys within collaboration and community and relations. In my experience I can be “together” so fully because I learned how to be alone.

      This nugget of wisdom sums it all up so very well: “to consciously choose the appropriate one”…may it be so with all of our choices!

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