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Saturday, August 11, 2012



   I have introduced to you Wisdom, Love, Forgiveness and even True Knowledge  with capitals, as if they are persons. And I told you they are good friends. As are Trust and Honesty.
In False Friends I introduced some of their antagonists: Fear, Greed and Obedience.
But what about Loneliness? Where does she belong? She feels awful, but that doesn't mean she's bad. Obedience sounds good to a lot of people, yet I believe that that is a bad trait. 
Loneliness...  I remember a friend of my mother, a refugee who wrote poems. He wrote "Loneliness, don't be afraid. For I am always with you."    It sent shivers down my spine. 


   In English the stem of the word seems to be lone. While in dutch alone  = alleen, in-zijn-eentje  and lonely  = eenzaam.  The dutch stem must be een (one), a lost L appearing in alleen. [the 2nd L is there for grammatical reasons]
In dutch we play with the word alleen: saying it is al-een, all-one. All is present in One: you are complete. Not accompanied by others, yet not lacking.
'Een-zaam' (~zaam  equals ~some) lacks the 'all'-part. Incomplete.
So being alone is not as bad as being lonely.  I guess you already felt the difference between the two.

Let's ask  Collins...  I gave a special color to the descriptions that are given to one word only.
1    abandoned, destitute, estranged, forlorn, forsaken, friendless, lonesome, outcast  
2    alone, apart, by oneself, companionless, isolated, lone, single, solitary, withdrawn  
3    deserted, desolate, godforsaken, isolated, off the beaten track     (informal)   out-of-the-way, remote, secluded, sequestered, solitary, unfrequented, uninhabited
1    abandoned, apart, by itself, by oneself, deserted, desolate, detached, forlorn, forsaken, isolated, lonely, lonesome, only, on one's tod     (slang)   out on a limb, separate, single, single-handed, sole, solitary, unaccompanied, unaided, unassisted, unattended, uncombined, unconnected, under one's own steam, unescorted  
2    incomparable, matchless, peerless, singular, unequalled, unique, unparalleled, unsurpassed 

The pink words, used for alone only, are positive. All about being capable of doing things by yourself, even being better than others.  The pun ''all-one" is quite accurate.
The red words, reserved to describe lonely, are negative, speaking of being without friends, being a stranger, being destitute.. which means you are far from complete.
The third row of definitions for lonely are mostly about [geographical] isolation: unreachable. Not unsurpassable as in alone, but simply not easy to reach, not easy to touch.... 

Hmmm... touch... isn't that what we miss when we are lonely?  Someone touching you, your soul? Be it physically , or at least spiritually if there is no other way, And likewise you not being able to touch someone.  
Loneliness is the state of not being touched by  -and not touching-  those who treasure you; that's it for me!

False friend or True friend?

False friends like Fear, Greed and Obedience make you do bad things. Does Loneliness make you act rotten? Not necessarily, it all depends on how you deal with her.
Fear, Greed and such-like may cause you to run into Loneliness, because people will give up on you if you drive it too far. 

Loneliness is really weird to be with... how can you be lonely when you have her as company? How can she claim she is lonely when she's with you? Is she a liar? Far from it. Loneliness is full of truth... maybe too full for you?
Miss Loneliness  photo by JALF

Loneliness  is painful to be with... HER touch is cold. If you do not have the right stamina, a strong attitude or belief in better times,  then Loneliness can drive you crazy, make you go from bad to worse. But is  that her fault? Or your own response, your own responsibility?

Loneliness undresses you, makes all your frills and glitter and jewelry turn to ashes. There you are... facing the bare facts of your life.
Loneliness gives you the chance to move from hobbling through life with your eyes closed to living with your eyes open. She has removed all distractions and camouflage nets. Giving you the chance to see your goals, if you have the heart to look over the smouldering cinders. Once you've seen them, you can work your way towards them with the strongest sense of direction!

Loneliness is not an easy lady to be with. And you don't want to visit her for a long time. But when you meet her and have the courage to look her in the eye, she is a True Friend



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