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S2 EP157 – The Vast Difference Between Aloneness and Loneliness

Episode Summary

Aloneness and loneliness are actually very different, yet people often confuse them. Have you ever been around people, yet felt both alone and lonely? Have you ever been alone, yet didn’t feel lonely? Do you often crave solitude, or is being alone too lonely for you? There is an inherent reason for these differences. Discover the information loneliness might be giving you, and whether or not you need more time alone. 


Aloneness, then, is a feeling YOU cause by rejecting and abandoning yourself, and the more you turn to various ways of avoiding your feelings, the more alone and empty you feel. 

Loneliness, on the other hand, is not an empty feeling. We can feel lonely in many different situations, such as when you are open and connected with yourself, and you want to connect with your partner or friend or family member, but that person is closed. Loneliness is what you feel when you are taking loving care of yourself and bringing love to yourself, and there is no one around with whom to share your love.

Loneliness is what you feel when you are open hearted and the person you are with is being unloving to you. This lonely feeling is informing you that the other person is closed to you.

We can feel a moment of loneliness in many everyday situations, such as if you are open and friendly with a checker in the market, but the checker is closed and grumpy. For me, loneliness is an important feeling, giving me information about whether another person is open or closed, loving or unloving. I bring compassion to the feeling, which then allows it to release. I’ve received the information, I’ve acknowledged it with love and compassion, and then it moves through me, and I continue to feel full inside.

When you are taking loving care of yourself, loneliness is not a feeling that you cause. It is a painful existential feeling of life that we all need to learn to compassionately manage.

However, when you abandon yourself because you are avoiding the feeling of loneliness or avoiding other painful feelings such as helplessness over another person not connecting with you, you will then likely feel both alone and lonely, which is often called despair.

When you are abandoning yourself, you may feel both alone and lonely because you cannot connect with another person when you are disconnected from yourself. So you do cause your own loneliness when you are closed to loving yourself. This state of feeling alone and lonely will not go away until you shift your intent to loving yourself rather than abandoning yourself.

If, when you are around others, such as with a partner or at a social event, you have disconnected from yourself with your various forms of self-abandonment, you will likely feel both alone and lonely. There is no way to connect with others when you are disconnected from yourself. When you emotionally abandon yourself, your inner emptiness is like a vacuum on others’ energy, pulling on them for the love and approval that you are not giving to yourself.

This is why you can feel both alone and lonely even when you are around others and not actually alone.

When you learn how to take emotional responsibility for your own feelings – when you learn how to fill yourself with love to share with others, you will never feel alone and empty inside. You will be able to connect with others who are available for connection, and you will no longer feel rejected by others when they are not available for connection, because you are not rejecting yourself with your various forms of self-abandonment. Your feeling of loneliness when with others who are closed and unloving will be short-lived, and you will find loving ways to not feel lonely when you are alone.

Life becomes filled up with love and peace within, even when life is very challenging, when you know how to take emotional responsibility.

My clients often tell me they feel lonely, but when I do an Inner Bonding process with them, it becomes apparent that what they are feeling is alone and empty, due to their own self-abandonment.

When you connect with yourself and the love and comfort of your guidance, you do not feel alone or empty. And connecting with your guidance is what enables you to lovingly manage the everyday feelings of loneliness that are an inevitable part of life.

Recent research on loneliness indicates that almost half of Americans experience themselves as lonely, and surprising, more young people are lonely than the elderly. They report that they often feel alone or left out.

In Inner Bonding terms, how much of this is due to self-abandonment? How much are these people leaving themselves alone inside and leaving themselves out in terms of caring about and taking responsibility for their own feelings? How many young people are abandoning themselves with screen time and social media, and then suffering as a result? In fact, the research indicates that this may be what is occurring. Screen time and social media may have caused a rise in depression and suicide among American adolescents.

When people haven’t learned how to love themselves by taking compassionate responsibility for their feelings, and instead turn to video games and social media, they often feel alone and left out inside.

Practicing Inner Bonding and learning to love yourself is what heals aloneness and is what enables you to learn to lovingly manage loneliness.

I have seen over and over with the countless people I’ve worked with and heard from over email, how they no longer feel alone and lonely as they learn to love themselves rather than continue to reject and abandon themselves. It’s my experience that within every person who says they are constantly lonely is a self-abandoning person who is confusing aloneness with loneliness.

As they learn to see, value, and love themselves, they feel more confident in reaching out to others, and since we all attract at our common level of self-abandonment or self-love, they attract open and caring people into their lives and no longer feel constantly lonely.

If you think about it, it makes sense that the more a person stops leaving themselves alone and leaving themselves out regarding compassionately attending to their feelings and taking loving action for themselves, the more attractive they are to others.

Because self-abandonment leads to both aloneness and loneliness, self-abandonment is a major cause of health issues. A recent study by Cigna Corporation states that loneliness can cause illness. They discovered that “there’s a blurred line between mental and physical health. Oftentimes, medical symptoms present themselves and they’re correlated with mental, lifestyle, behavioral issues like loneliness.”

Another study goes on to say, “Several studies in recent years…have documented the public health effect of loneliness. It has been linked with a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. It has been shown to influence our genes and our immune systems, and even recovery from breast cancer.

“And there is growing evidence that loneliness can kill…Studies have found that it is a predictor of premature death, not just for the elderly, but even more so for younger people.”

Obviously, it doesn’t have to be this way. Everyone CAN learn to manage their loneliness in ways that bring about healing rather than the pain of isolation and illness. In the past, when people lived in communities without TV, fractured families, and social media, loneliness was rarely an issue. Today, we each need to make sure that we are taking loving care of ourselves through our Inner Bonding practice and heal our aloneness, so that we can connect with others and not ‘die of loneliness.’

I hope you can see that, by diligently practicing Inner Bonding, you don’t have to end up feeling alone, sick, and lonely.

It’s also important to understand that there is a big difference between feeling alone inside, feeling lonely, and solitude.

As an introvert, I’ve always regenerated while I am alone, while extroverts regenerate around people. I love my solitude, which is why I love the early morning hours before others are up, and before phones are ringing, and I also love the dark quiet time of night.

I never get lonely when I have my time alone. Quite the contrary, I feel so filled up with the love and creativity from spirit that comes in during my quiet times that I feel anything but alone or lonely.

I also love the connection of being with others who are also feeling filled up by spirit. I find that I need a balance between being alone and being with connected others.

Research indicates that introversion and extroversion are inborn qualities that stay with us our whole lives. About 20 percent of the population in the U.S. are introverts, which means their nervous system is very different than that of extroverts. The nervous system of introverts is much more sensitive to stimulation and gets overloaded much more easily than that of extroverts.

Introverts rarely say they feel lonely when alone, because being alone calms their nervous system and allows them to regenerate. However, it is likely that many extroverts can’t understand wanting to be alone. They often hate being alone and may feel very lonely when they are alone. This is because extroverts regenerate around other people. Research indicates that about 40 percent of people in the U.S. are extroverts, and the other 40 percent fall on a continuum between introversion and extroversion.

Understanding this has been very helpful to me. As I said, I have rarely felt lonely when being alone. My system is so sensitive that if I’m in a big box store like Target, I feel exhausted and agitated within five minutes. Same with being in an indoor crowded mall. Before understanding my introversion, I wondered why so many people love going to a mall and even seem to regenerate in malls, while I get wiped out.

Understanding this inherent difference is very important to relationships. Introverts and extroverts are often attracted to each other, as each offers the other something that each of them lacks. Extroverts often like the quietness and depth of introverts, while introverts often like the aliveness and social ease of extroverts. When they each understand and accept these inherent differences, they can each benefit from the other’s way of being.

However, these differences can also cause major conflicts. For example, Shelley is an introvert and would like nothing better on a weekend than to sit with her husband, James, with her head on his lap reading her book. James is more of an extrovert and loves to socialize. He loves to have big parties at his house or get together with a group of couples and go out to dinner. He gets upset that Shelley doesn’t do much to make these things happen, as he believes it is the woman’s job to make social arrangements. Shelley does it on occasion because it is important to James, but she resents it. She is willing to go along when James arranges it, but often comes home from dinner exhausted, and often needs to retreat to her room for 15 minutes during one of their parties.

Both Shelley and James need to understand and accept the big inherent differences between them. James needs to take on more of the responsibility for social arrangements, not expecting Shelley to do something that she doesn’t care about. James also needs to find friends he can spend time with without Shelley. Shelley loves it when James goes out with his male friends and gives her time alone. With three young children, she doesn’t get much solitude and deeply craves it.

Too often, couples with these differences judge each other: “You’re too shy. You need to learn to socialize better,” says the extrovert. “You’re too needy – you always need to be around people to feel okay. You need to learn to be with yourself,” says the introvert.

Understanding and accepting their inherent differences makes it far easier for couples to support each other in what they each need.

It’s also important to understand that loneliness around others may be a message from your inner child that the person or people you are with are disconnected. As I previously said, you will always feel lonely when you are disconnected from yourself, but if you are connected with your inner child and your higher guidance, and you feel lonely around others, it’s likely because they are disconnected.

I feel lonely when I’m around disconnected people. My loneliness is my inner child letting me know that the other person is disconnected from themselves and their guidance. They are empty inside and their emptiness is an automatic pull on my energy. Instead of sharing their love with me, they are trying to get love from me.

Some years ago, I was at a course where the leader in charge of the course had a talking addiction. Once he started, he couldn’t seem to stop. I’ve never been around someone who could talk so much! While professing to not need attention and to have healed his issues, energetically he was sucking the life out of everyone in the audience. As I looked around, I saw that most people were fidgeting in various ways. Some were looking at their phones or pads, or their legs or hands were moving a mile a minute. Some got up to go to the restroom, while others stared into space, numbing out. I had brought my computer and my hotspot JetPack with me so I could get online, and I spent the time doing my email and answering questions on the Inner Bonding site. Not once did he seem to notice that he had lost his audience!

I chose not to spend any time with him because my little girl let me know unequivocally that she didn’t want to be around him – that she didn’t want to be that lonely.

Fortunately, he was not teaching the course. There were many wonderful faculty teaching, but he would introduce each one and go on and on so much that he kept cutting into their time, making everyone late. Again, amazingly, he didn’t seem to notice this!

Loneliness is a very important feeling to attend to because it has vital information for us.

Here are some of the things that my loneliness tells me:

  • On the rare times that I’m lonely when I’m alone, it is telling me it is time to seek connection with others – that I need to balance my alone time with connection time with another or others.
  • When I’m lonely with another or others, it is telling me one of three things:
    • I’m disconnected.
    • The other person is disconnected and pulling on my energy.
    • We are both disconnected.

The first thing I do when I’m lonely around another is to check in to see if I’m disconnected from myself and my guidance. If I’m feeling full inside, then I know the other person is disconnected. This important information gives me the opportunity to validate my feelings and ask my guidance about what would be loving to myself in the situation. I always have a number of options:

  • I can address the person directly with an intent to learn, saying something like, “It feels like you are needing something from me. Can you tell me what it is?”
  • I can give the person the attention or approval I know they are seeking.
  • I can change the subject to see if that helps the interaction.
  • I can lovingly disengage.
  • In a group situation, such as I was in at the course, I can do something else that I want to do.

I’m okay with doing any of these as long as it feels loving to me, so I rely on my guidance to let me know what would be best for me.

It’s so important to attend to our loneliness and to give ourselves the time alone, as well as the time with others, that we need.

And it’s important to know whether you are an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between. And it’s important to remember that if you feel alone, it means that you are abandoning yourself, and if you feel alone and lonely, it also means you are abandoning yourself.

I also encourage you to remember that when you are connected with yourself and you don’t feel alone inside but you feel lonely with a person or people, they are disconnected from themselves and their guidance and therefore can’t connect with you, and to learn how to take loving care of yourself when in those situations.

And it’s vitally important to lovingly attend to your loneliness when you are loving yourself and you want to share your love with a partner or a friend or a family member and their heart is closed, or they are not available to spend time with you. I hope you remember to put your hands on your heart and let your inner child know that he or she is not alone in your loneliness – that you are here as a loving adult, and spirit is here pouring love into you. If you can remember to tune into your loneliness in these situations, name the loneliness, stay lovingly connected with your feelings and your guidance, the loneliness will move through you and then you can do something that fills you and brings you joy.

All this is vitally important for your health and wellbeing.

I invite you to join me for my 30-Day at-home Course to learn or deepen your Inner Bonding practice: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”

You can learn so much about loving yourself and creating loving relationships from my recent books:

And we have much to offer you at our website at

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.

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