Monday’s Meditation: On Being Alone
I had some time to myself this weekend for what felt like the first time in a long time, and, if I’m honest, despite how much I love all my people, I sort of basked in it.
There is a certain contentment in being alone without being lonely, a fact I was reminded of as I sat around in the quiet of my house, nonchalantly enjoying the sounds coming in from the open windows and the fans whirring away while I online clothes shopped for my mom and browsed for coffee tables for myself. I did things like decide on a whim my garden was in dire need of a color injection and dashed out like it mattered how quickly the blooms were in the ground, selected some beauties, and then took to the dirt.
I have to say that among my strengths, my ability to be alone and not be lonely has got to be up there in terms of importance.
To be alone and not be lonely is everything, the more I think about it. If you can be alone and not be lonely it means you like yourself, it means you feel comfortable being in your own company. It means you are at peace with you are, and you know who that person is without the mirrors of other personalities yours might otherwise bounce up and around, informing your identity in the unconscious comparison-only mode to which we so easily default.
It’s often said that if you can’t be good on your own, you’re doomed to fail at being with another. “If you can’t enjoy your own company how will anyone else?” And such. But if you ask me, it’s sort of a chicken and the egg scenario, this whole alone-sans-loneliness deal. It seems to me that people who are truly connected to others can enjoy solitude most because they aren’t worried about the implications of it. Solitude isn’t isolation or loner-dom when you’re secure enough in your connections to others.
All in all and either way, I hold firm to the belief that a little bit of time alone does good for everyone. Why? Because it furthers our relationships with ourselves. Just as that dinner date with your girlfriend feeds your friendship, your time with you nourishes your connection to yourself. The internal (or verbalized; no judgment) dialogue, the activities you choose to perform, even how you regard time you have to yourself, all these things connect us to ourselves in different ways than when when we’re in the company of others. Most of the most important things we do in life, we do on our own, after all.
We may all need time alone to varying degrees based upon our personalities, but I have a difficult time believing that even the most extraverted person among us who can’t be alone without feeling lonely for a short amount of time is in a healthy place emotionally.
You aren’t required to have quiet time, of course. If you prefer social gatherings round the clock, that’s entirely your prerogative.
But there might come a day when no one can hang out, or everyone bails on your plans, or you have a dog to walk and a fully charged battery and no one you call answers their damn phone. It’ll just be you. (And the dog.) And when that time comes you can either feel like without other people to witness and be a part of it, your life has lesser value, or you can appreciate the change of pace, and embrace having time to do those things you only can ever do when you’re by yourself.
Be good with you. Learn not to feel as though you’re missing out on the party. You are your party, in the end.
Ready the balloons.
Other Posts You May Love
Search The Blog
Simplify Your World
Sign up for the email list to get inspiration and simplified tips sent right to your inbox.