Have you ever felt alone and empty inside? I'm not referring to the kind of alone we feel when we are actually alone or when we are with someone who is withdrawn from us. I call this kind of alone "lonely." We are lonely when we have love to share but either there is no one with whom to share it, or the person or people around us are closed off to connection and the sharing of love. We can feel lonely even when with a group of people.
The kind of alone I'm referring to has nothing to do with others. The kind of alone I'm talking about is a hollow, lost feeling inside, like floating in space with no tether to a mothership.
Loneliness has to do with not being connected with others. This alone, lost, hollow, empty feeling has to do with not being connected with ourselves and with a higher source of love. This alone feeling is the result of self-abandonment.
Imagine a tiny infant being left alone to fend for itself. The infant cries and no one comes. Within a short time, the infant becomes frantic, and then eventually shuts down from the terror of dying if no one comes.
This happens on the inner level when we don't attend to our own feelings. When we feel anxious, depressed, angry, guilty, shamed, lonely, heartbroken, grieved, or helpless over others, and we ignore these feelings, we end up feeling numb and alone. Our anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, and shame are letting us know that we are abandoning ourselves in some way, and our loneliness, heartbreak, grief, and helplessness over others and events let us know that we need to be very compassionate toward ourselves and perhaps reach out for support. When we don't attend to these feelings, we then feel numb, empty, and alone.
When you avoid attending to these feelings by staying in your head rather than focusing on your body, or by judging yourself, or by turning to various addictions to numb your feelings, or by trying to get someone else to take responsibility for your feelings, you are abandoning yourself. This is what leads to feeling alone and empty inside.