I waded through a two page article on the "loneliness epidemic in America." It quoted former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy saying: "During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes, it was loneliness." The article quoted other big name researchers who've said loneliness causes high blood pressure, weakens the immune system, shortens a person' s life by 15 years like obesity, like smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
In the photo below, is that you feeling lonely as you're watching the bird, the waves and the horizon? Or are you just a person who is alone?
Thomas Wolfe, one of my favorite authors said, "The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence."
Like the person just below, who is heading into the distance, the footsteps--the path you make by yourself --are just steps you make by yourself, alone.
I have a husband and son and we are deeply loving, deeply connected family, sharing thoughts about ourselves, but we are, even so, very separate human beings. Yes, even though, sometimes, the chair next to me is empty.
Philosopher Kahil Gibran said, "Love one another but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls." Also Tennessee Williams, a very inspiring playwright, said, "We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life." And according to Nietzsche, "Loneliness is one thing, solitude another." Even Marilyn Monroe said, "I restore myself when I'm alone."
More than any other person, what Orson Welles said rings in my mind. "We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we are not alone."
Hold onto that. You are alone. It's YOU. Celebrate it.