“Loneliness is not the absence of company, it is grief over that absence. The lost sheep is lonely; the shepherd is not lonely.” ~ William Deresiewicz
When we feel lonely, we grieve the absence of company, yet overlook our own. Perhaps we haven’t learned to like or appreciate our own company…
Many of us have relied on others to meet our needs, validate and stimulate us. The desire for the external however, prevents us from seeing and learning to appreciate what is already here within us.
Being content with our own company is a lesson that many of us only learn as we get older. As we learn more about ourselves, we let go of conditioning and become more authentic and express ourselves in our own way. We like ourselves for who we are and how far we have come.
If we don’t like ourselves, or are afraid of what we might discover when we are alone with our thoughts, then we won’t want to spend time alone. When we do find ourselves alone, we create distraction with the TV or media, reach out for others or numb ourselves with substances.
Take a few moments to reflect on this and how it sits with you.
The second half of the quote shines a different light on loneliness. The lost sheep is missing others, while the shepherd is not lonely. The sheep is a follower of others and is dependent on their company. The shepherd is taking care of his sheep and this is his purpose. There is meaning in his life.
Take a few moments to reflect on what meaning and sense of purpose there is in your life.
Journalling is a great way to uncover our inner thoughts and desires. Why not make this a time for reflection and self exploration.