Loneliness and aloneness can be both positive and negative.
Loneliness is unhealthy when “involves a yearning to be with, yet a frustrated movement toward others. We try to reach out to people, but our reach falls short… Lonely people feel the presence of other people more in their absence than in their presence” (Kraft, 2000, p.35). Aloneness is different. “Aloneness can be physical or psychological, or both. We can withdraw from people so that we are physically by ourselves but psychologically with people - that is, not psychologically alone (healthy version). On the other hand, while in a crowd, we can feel alone. And we can be both physically and psychological alone” teaches Kraft (2000, p.40).
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The holiday season is not easy for a lot of people. In some ways, I could assume that everyone feels a little nostalgic about the fact another 12 months have gone - at least I do. It is a glimpse of a grieving process for some, and for others can be really difficult and painful. While some are ‘enjoying this time with family and friends’, others are alone and feeling lonely thinking with themselves that nobody cares for them.
Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men facing challenges in life.
To read about Lessons from a Tree, click here.
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Short article about the main reason there is a men's crisis going on: not knowing how to be lost comfortably. To read, click here.
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Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men facing loneliness issues. Click here to know more about his work. Or, please, continue reading this short article about loneliness, aloneness and the gift of solitude.
Blog for Men
In another article, I described what existential loneliness and anxiety loneliness are. While the former leads us to the Authentic Self, the later drag us down leaving us terrorised of being abandoned. What I am noticing is that both, aloneness and loneliness, have the power to invite one to stand firm on his skin and become stronger. While loneliness deals with the fear of being without anyone else, and aloneness challenges us to be with ourselves comfortably (not necessarily needing to be with people), both guide us to the gift of Solitude - which could be the prime point of the holiday season.
Kraft, W.F., 2000. Ways of the Desert: Becoming holy through difficult times. New York: Haworth.