November 24, 2009 at 5:00 am 4 comments

I’ve been thinking about loneliness lately, or more precisely, the word:  alone. It’s been on my mind because every day, across the world there are people sitting at their computers and typing A..L..O..N..E.. into google. I know this because it takes them here, to this blog. Sometimes the search term comes up as:






and, I follow these exotic looking words to pages that translate them for me, and they all mean the same thing: loneliness or alone.

So many of us feel so alone.

So I’ve been thinking, when do I feel alone? When have I felt alone?

I felt alone when I first moved here, to a very northern part of my country, to the very northern part of the town, in the middle of winter, and I didn’t know anybody. I spent entire days walking the streets wondering where everyone else was going, wondering what everyone else was doing. One day I ordered a latte and when the cafe worker called out my name, to announce the readiness of the beverage, I almost cried because it was the first time I had heard my name said out loud in so long.

I feel alone now when I notice that I do not feel alone. I am in the middle of my tiny and bustling kitchen with children underfoot and I feel a part of something, which immediately, and infuriatingly, makes me think of what would happen to me if these family members suddenly were not in my life and how lonely I would be then.

I feel alone in the middle of the night when I am the only adult awake and I harumph and grumble so that Nathan might be woken too and I will not feel alone anymore.

I myself have written a post here on this blog that assures you, and me, that we are not alone, that we can meet here in this cyberspot and be together. But what if the truth is, we really are alone? What if we try and try to fuse ourselves together through sex, and marriage, and cults, and book clubs, and blogs, but it doesn’t work and we still go to bed each night feeling alone, not melded?

I have read that this is what this time on earth is designed for. To be separate. To feel what that is like. To learn something from that separation, from reaching across the divide, and then fold back into the Tao, the flow, the light, the heavens with greater experience and knowledge. Perhaps we come from a place that is infinite, and light, and embracing, and somehow we know this, we miss it, and we want to get back to it.

It is a mere consolation I know, but as I look at the blog stats and see so many of us searching the term “alone”, I realize that the one thing that we do not do alone is feel alone. We share that. You are not standing apart, cold, miserable and alone, while the rest of the world is full of happy, laughing folks, toasty warm and huddled together. This scene does not exist, this is only what you tell yourself. We are each alone in a happy crowd as much as on an isolated mountaintop. Aloneness is part and parcel of being human, and no one is without it in some form or another.

If it is a naturally occurring feeling, just like any other, then perhaps we can feel it just like any other. Simply feel it. See it, notice it, honor it, and that’s it. We don’t analyze ourselves when we are feeling happy. We do not give ourselves a hard time with that emotion, so why do so with loneliness? Perhaps experiencing it completely instead, is the only way back to that light and embracing place we know we came from. Or if not that profound, perhaps experiencing loneliness will allow us, at the very least, to move on to other feelings as soon as we are ready to feel those.

And, if we all feel alone, then I guess I will restate my earlier claim that, in this way, you are not really alone. You aren’t. And if you want a place where having that feeling is okay and without shame, then you have found it.



Entry filed under: empathy, life lessons. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

life as you dream it swirls

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joanna Smetanka  |  November 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks Natalie… very thoughtful and helpful.

  • 2. Annie  |  November 24, 2009 at 11:04 pm


  • 3. heidi  |  November 25, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    thank you for blogging natalie…..i get alot from reading it :0)

  • 4. Angela Malson  |  November 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    felt a bit alone this weekend, with family so far away. so enjoyed the simplicity of just my hubby and kids around the table, but so missed the busyness of my sisters and mom and dad and all the rest. miss them so. thank you for this blog.


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