This poster seems to make sense of the idea of choice as I see it, choosing to be alone might be positive but being lonely through a lack of choice is more a negative feeling.
"I like to be alone" infers a positive idea to being alone, one that's made consciously when there are times when modern daily life can overload ourselves and our senses. We withdraw within ourselves to think and reflect about what's happened to us or we might choose to be alone to pursue our interests which maybe solitary ones such as reading, writing, running, going to the gym or walking the dog. We can even be with another person but work in silent companionship, doing what we each do by ourselves.
"But I Hate Being Lonely" reminds me of the old saying "You can feel alone even in a crowded room". So even being with others when we are lonely is a very powerful feeling. Solitude without the need for others is a very different concept. We can choose to be alone for short periods of time to recharge our batteries and recreate, rest and recuperate. There is intention in this choice.
Feeling lonely and alone, for a significant period of time, is often a feature of mental illness, social isolation or ostracism from ones friendship or working group. People who are bullied, subjected to physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse feel lonely and isolated. There is little or no choice and often fear accompanies being lonely, feeling different from other people and frightened of what others may think of them.
From the moment we are born it may be argued that we are all alone and we can make peace with or come to terms with this existential reality we all share as humans. For some this reality is hard to process and they may fill their loneliness with sex, drugs, alcohol, food or gambling to anaesthetise the feelings. For some, mental illness, causes intense feelings of loneliness as well as loneliness causing mental ill health.
So....I hear you say what can we do to avoid being lonely?
I would suggest you consider these questions: When do you feel lonely, what's just happened? When do you choose to be alone? How do you know the difference between them?
If you feel lonely what is it you do to try and fill that gaping hole of loneliness? Once you have thought about these questions you may be a little clearer about your next step to change something in your life causing you pain.
I would really like to hear about your thoughts and ideas on loneliness, please comment