In a survival situation the fear of being alone and lonely can be all consuming and if left un-checked can reduce your ability to think objectively about the situation you have found yourself in. The same could be said for the feeling of isolation in an office or as a stay at home mother.

Shree Rajneesh (Osho), a spiritual teacher and guru eloquently summarises the difference between aloneness and loneliness.

“Man ordinarily lives in loneliness. To avoid loneliness, he creates all kinds of relationships, friendships, organizations, political parties, religions and what not. But the basic thing is that he is very much afraid of being lonely. Loneliness is a black hole, a darkness, a frightening negative state almost like death … as if you are being swallowed by death itself. To avoid it, you run out and fall into anybody, just to hold somebody’s hand, to feel that you are not lonely… Nothing hurts more than loneliness.

But the trouble is, any relationship that arises out of the fear of being lonely is not going to be a blissful experience, because the other is also joining you out of fear. You both call it love. You are both deceiving yourself and the other. It is simply fear, and fear can never be the source of love. Only those who love are absolutely fearless; only those who love are able to be alone, joyously, whose need for the other has disappeared, who are sufficient unto themselves…

The day you decide that all these efforts are failures, that your loneliness has remained untouched by all your efforts, that is a great moment of understanding. Then only one thing remains: to see whether loneliness is such a thing that you should be afraid of, or if it is just your nature. Then rather than running out and away, you close your eyes and go in. Suddenly the night is over, and a new dawn … The loneliness transforms into aloneness.

Aloneness is your nature. You were born alone, you will die alone. And you are living alone without understanding it, without being fully aware of it. You misunderstand aloneness as loneliness; it is simply a misunderstanding. You are sufficient unto yourself.”

 

If you find yourself stranded, alone and fighting to survive remember the good things in your life, your loved ones or a place you hold close to your heart. Focus on the positive and through that you can be alone but not lonely, you can be content enabling you to think clearly and to triumph over whatever adverse situation you find yourself in.

 

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