“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

white sheep on farm
Photo by kailash kumar on Pexels.com

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.



29 comments on “The Lost Sheep and the Shepherd

  1. We have been forced for too long to be the lone sheep. It is good to be alone and have ME time yet this forced isolation is a huge detriment to mental health. Huge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Humans by nature like to interact, it is a part of who we are. But I most certainly have taken note of what I was years ago to what I am now. This isolation hasn’t really bothered me because the ‘need’ is no longer there, I’ve accepted myself in who I now am.
    Mind you, when I encountered Erick (a post), I did enjoy the encounter very much and I missed him when he left on a new adventure.
    Your well written post though Val does ask the question…where are we at? 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mark for sharing. I always enjoy your perspective. 💕 Where are we at is a good question to ask. I am enjoying this cocoon time and using it for deeper reflection. There seems to be so much more space now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s an interesting concept. It is the grief. I’ve been surprised that I miss human interaction but I’m not lonely. I am not near as affected as others who seem to be going crazy. I’ve always assumed it was because I’m more of an introvert but I’m also comfortable with my own company. My brothers were much older than me so growing up. I learned how to entertain myself. It was a great lesson as in those days there were no play dates with moms carting kids around so they had something to do. I never depended on anyone to supply activity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this! Most of us are so used to being validated by others so much that we even tend to loose ourselves within others…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have always been comfortable being by myself, but I’m still trying to discover my purpose in life…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very wise words, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. great words to take to heart

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post, Val. Although I miss seeing my parents, friends and coworkers, I have been quite content the past couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful words Val. And questions. Love the query. It makes the journey rich and fulfilling.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent post and the quote is just…..perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think I’m beginning to have the opposite problem– preferring my own company and getting out of practice of socializing with others!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Blessings,
    Paul Kruse

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I like to hang out by myself.
    And if I start getting on my nerves, I watch TV or read a book. 😛

    As I read your spot on post, this quote popped to mind:

    Blaise Pascal — ‘All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.’


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