Feeling Alone vs. Lonely

The way a lot of people say a relationship is hard work is the way I feel about being not being in one. It may sound backwards or unconventional, but allow me to explain...

 

Being on my own means more time alone, in my mind. This means more time for my ego to pipe up and potentially control the show. More time for stories to fashion themselves, and for these illusions to become hardened beliefs. Stories like, "all of my relationships end because X" or "I am undesirable because Y" or "my ultimate partner must be Z." It’s constant work to be in that headspace all the time and discern what is the illusionary and what is the truth.

 

To me, anything the ego tells me is not real, and when it's stripped away, the truth remains. The ego isn't something that solely toots your horn or tells the world how great you are. Rather, the ego is anything that is constructed based on outside influence. It's not pure, it's an altered version of reality based on likes and dislikes. I've always been more interested in truth, but when the ego is all you know, it disguises itself as such. 

 

In this period of alone, there has been a familiar voice in the back of my mind that says, “I am so lost.” A story (created by the ego) about my inability to navigate the world as a single person without a partner. In my previous period of alone, about five years ago, this voice was so loud. In fact, it was the only voice I could hear. I felt I was wandering the world alone, lost, and needing to be found. And that every potential partner could potentially save me from that abyss... until I realized they couldn't, because only I could do that. It wasn't until I stopped looking that I found – and it wasn't that I was found by another, but a mutual discovery. 

 

But now that I am in the alone again, I've noticed that voice creeping back in. The ego voice of falsehood. The voice telling me I'm not enough, or complete, without someone loving me. Except this time when it speaks, another voice has begun to counter it, following up by saying, “hold out, strong woman, you’ll finally find yourself when you’re the most lost." It says to wait, be patient. It reminds me that there's no light without darkness and that this period should be tended to with care, because it affords me great self-discovery. I don't need to be found by another, but I can find myself here if I let go of expectations. 

 

That second voice, my Higher Self, was buried for a long time. My ego, built of fear, dictated my decisions. Especially with love. I’m not even sure i can call it buried because I didn’t even know this Higher voice existed up until a couple of years ago. So I guess it was more like a buried secret that i dug for without knowing what I’d find. We all want this voice to speak loudly once we find it, but when the ego is still speaking it can be hard to know which is louder, which is the real me... which to listen to.

 

Every time I feel lost in the aloneness that I currently inhabit, I do a few things. First, I tell myself that just because I am alone, it doesn't mean I have to feel lonely – something that used to be hard to separate. But there are moments where the illusion feels so real, so terrifying. Moments where I am convinced that there is "something wrong with me", or that my illness has damaged me too much to love. In those moments, I know I need to dip into Spirit somehow...

 

Whether via prayer, mantra, exercise (getting into my body and out of my mind), or reading spiritual text, I know I have to access the connection that has been momentarily tainted. The ego doesn’t want me to. It keeps me laying in bed, or scrolling through Instagram comparing myself to others. But when I can escape that spiral and rediscover the soft, reassuring voice buried beneath the screaming fear-based one I always am shocked to find her there still. She’s the purest version of me, the truest me I know, because she is a reflection of the most High.

 

Then, and only then, I can be happy in my solitude.

Martel CatalanoComment