Alone.  The word itself seems daunting.  But should it be?  The word alone directly gets associated with fear.  And I fear it gets connected to “lonely”.  These two words are very different.

[ht_blockquote type=”no_bg” author=”ZACK Hewitt”]You can be alone, without being lonely.  And you can be lonely, and not be alone.[/ht_blockquote]

Isolated, solitary, without aid… these all mean alone.  In our society today, we are usually alone with some cliche statements, such as  “It’s up to me, now” or “I got this”.

Walking up the stairs at a local shopping centre, I exhaled a big heavy sigh, as I missed my children.  “Alone again”, I muttered to myself as I went about my day, running errands.  But as I processed the sadness in my heart in that moment, I really disconnected being alone, with being lonely.  In our world today, we are often alone.  And we are often lonely.

In a marriage, we can be extremely lonely, all the while being accompanied by someone else.  At work, we can be surrounded by our co-workers and not be alone.  At the same time, this can be an extremely lonely place to attend each day.

For me, this moment allowed me an opportunity to adjust the words I choose, and helped me focus on my self-medication.  Which was, for me, planning time to see my kids when they were back in my care later that day.  You see, in the moment of despair in my heart, I was lonely for time with my children.  I think this is common with many parents, sometimes you just need to be around your kids.  Even if you’re not really “hanging out” with them.  As a single Dad, identifying this moment has truly helped me realize the difference between being alone, and lonely.

Being alone can be scary.  It’s not always good, it’s not always bad.  Sometimes we need alone time, isolated from the busy-ness that is life.  Some moments are better when we’re by ourselves.  Some of our greatest achievements come without the aid of others.  Don’t be afraid to be alone.  And be honest about being lonely.  If you can identify the difference, you will also find the “fix” you need to overcome the despair in your heart.  Even if that despair is a fleeting moment, walking up stairs in a shopping mall.


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