Perhaps we are wrong about aloneness. We are taught that it is not so good to be alone. But what if we are and always will be alone? Our very human craving is to connect with others. We would like to share our experience, our moments, our successes and failures. We see a beautiful sunset and we want someone to see it with us, to understand the subtle ways it makes us feel, the way our heart sighs at its magic. When we are sad, we want our grief to be shared. We want to be held there, understood.
I can never quite transmit what it’s like to be me.
Subtly though, we never truly understand another person’s experience. We can never know precisely how another person perceives the rain. I can never quite transmit what it’s like to be me. We try in many ways to find ways to totally share so many things, but the reality is that we cannot. We are born alone. We will die alone. We can connect with others along the way. It is possible to meet others in mutual understanding, mutual delight, or mutual sadness, but there is something to the totality of that connection that still leaves us alone at the end of the day.
Who understands our emotions, our needs, our desires the most? It’s us of course.
It’s not so bad to be alone. After all, who knows us better than ourselves? Who can appreciate all we’ve been through? Who can rejoice in the nuances of our daily experience? Who understands our emotions, our needs, our desires the most? It’s us of course. Can you stand alone? Can you fall in love with your own being? Can you see your own strength, kindness, and sense of being okay as you are?
It’s only from this ground that we can connect with others in nourishing ways. If we are looking to others to fill a gap in us, to assume a connection, to provide a sense of relief, then we will most likely be disappointed. Whether or not we are dating, or have romantic partners, we can cultivate relaxation in being alone.
Here are five ways to learn how to be alone:
Sit quietly with yourself for a few minutes every day. Just appreciate being you.
Take yourself out on a date, alone. Go to dinner, on a walk, to your favorite bookstore. Dress up. The whole nine yards.
Spend time outside. Connect with your senses. Notice all the ways you are naturally connecting with the world around you.
Write down your resources. What do you possess inherently already? Strength, kindness, intelligence, cooking skills, dance moves, an ability to apologize, dog whispering?
Write vows to yourself. Pretend like you are getting married. To yourself. What do you want to commit to? Hint: don’t use this as a way to practice self aggression, as in new year’s resolutions. For instance, committing to working out every day is a setup for self-hatred. Rather commit to doing things that nourish you, trying to be honest, practicing kindness, taking care of yourself, etc.
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