It wasn´t until i was in my 30s that i became really comfortable with being alone. Like properly, not just an awkward shuffling my feet somewhere, head down, trying my best to disappear in public places, or digging my phone out to call someone just to have company.
A lot of it was due to being in a “foreign” place and finding it really difficult to meet people, and not having money for a phone or friends to call (a mixed blessing!).
Once I got past that really awkward and often painful feeling (the slicing sears of rejection), i began to really (really) enjoy it! I found it to be a precious journey and gave me so many valuable insights (especially in my yoga practice). Really having time that was vacant to be anything I wanted. To play or explore or deepen or express. I made my own rules and found it a safe place to be all the facets of myself.
Often in public we tend to be subject to a lot of pigeonholes. Labels and expectations about who we are by what we “do” for a living, how we look, activities we enjoy and so on. To be alone challenges us to accept ourselves in the state we are in. Sometimes that can be a painful process. But if we can get past that negative and critical demon in our heads, the agonizing memories or the fuzz of anxiety in the chest, it can be a truly lifechanging process. That´s not to say I don´t have that little wretch lurking in my head telling me negative things now and again, but I can stand up for myself more. Which I think is something many of us lack, especially if we are used to accommodating more for others, or have not had the privilege of learning to love ourselves.
The point is, to start first with the self, is the catalyst for anything great. By making time, prioritising ourselves, listening to ourselves beyond the “noise” of everything else, it can deepen our relationship to ourselves and enables us to trust more. On every level. Beautiful huh?
It gives us a chance to reflect on how we´re doing. What´s working, or not. What we might need more or less of. A chance to create or rest, without comparison or justification. To make ourselves happy. Or at least, content!
I also found being alone is a great way to meet people (weirdly!). Those lone walks of discovery (in many ways) gave me an opportunity to be present. No telephone, smartphone accompanying me with temptations to be somewhere else.
Now i relish that sweet time and space in my day to restore. Even if it´s five minutes at the start of the day. To just show up. To know myself before outside influences start to tug me this way and that.
I´m not talking here about locking yourself away and hiding from the world – this is something different – rather, a true and honest relationship with you, you magnificent creature!
If you find it difficult to spend some time with yourself, i recommend taking yourself on a date. indoors or outdoors, as you are, whatever that might be, but be gentle and see if you enjoy it!
hope you find this article useful! 🙂 (Thanks for sharing this, Kerry! Resonating… and inspired this post!)