September 16, 2014

When You’re Afraid of Being Alone, Remember This.



“Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness.”

~ Janet Fitch

But, also: you are never truly alone.

You’re there with you, right?

You can feel you, sense you, hear you, right?

That’s what makes it so hard and so scary. It’s that awfully intimate perspective. We see ourselves as we would another person. It’s glaringly invasive, but oh-so-informative.

We get to see everything that’s automatically pushed out of our awareness when we’re distracted in interactions with others.

Is being alone in itself a negative feeling?

Or, have we just attached all of these nasty labels to it because we’re scared of what it could uncover?

Warning: being alone could reveal (brace yourself)….the stone-cold, hard-fast, unvarnished truth. The truth about who we are, about how we are.

When we’re by ourselves, it allows us to shine a bright light on how we’re really feeling, deep, deep inside. It illuminates and brings awareness to our flaws, our weaknesses, the things we’re struggling with.

Being alone does itself not make us anxious, sad, depressed, angry, forsaken, fearful, or panicked.

We are already feeling these things, but we just haven’t noticed it yet.

These yucky feelings are just much easier to see when we’re by ourselves.

Being alone is, in part, being free from worldly distractions. We can’t easily hide.

It doesn’t have to be sad, it doesn’t have to be scary, it’s actually an opportunity. A scary opportunity. But, if you take it, you could actually get to know yourself for real.

We like to play dress up with personalities and wear layers of masks when we’re with others. It can feel fun and feel sexy and weirdly empowering.

But, when we’re alone, we’re stripped down, naked—how freeing!

And, holy shit—how f*cking scary!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes the last thing I want to feel or know is myself. That’s why it’s so appealing to be busy. To be out. To be with others. To always be working.

It’s much harder to be alone.

But, as annoying as it may be, attempting difficult things is the way to find gold within us. And, I’d rather find gold than cower in the corner of my life, filling it up interactions that are really just masquerading as sad distractions.

We might as well embrace the loneliness because there is a part in all of us that cannot be filled by any amount of love or affection from others. A part that remains empty.

A part that is just for us.

And, this is the part we can begin to fill up and explore when we’re alone.

How f*cking beautiful is that?

It takes a courageous warrior of truth to embrace being alone.

Let’s spend one entire day in our own company and see what happens. Let’s see what we see. What we feel.

For once, let’s make a true effort to get to know ourselves in a very real, very intimate way.

Are we up to the task?

I am, if you are.


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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Mitya Ku at Flickr

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