I can remember all too well when being alone used to freak me out.
I was the youngest of three. I rarely had the opportunity to be alone with my own thoughts, so when the rare occasion would turn up, I’d panic and turn into a desperate person in need of immediate love, following my sisters around incessantly. But this only lasted so long. Eventually I’m sure this contributed to my early introduction to the dating world, leading me to find solace in a relationship. With a boyfriend, I always had someone to talk to. I never had to face being alone – problem solved.
But as it turned out, being in a constant state of distracting myself was really just avoiding and prolonging the truth: I was building my inner loneliness.
Inner loneliness is the greatest of all forms. It doesn’t have to do with your social life at all. It has to do with your relationship with yourself. And when you’re never alone – like never alone – you simply have no time to work on your relationship with you. You don’t talk to yourself, or laugh with yourself, or get to know yourself. You simply ignore yourself, giving all of your energy to your outer, exterior life, and building relationships with others.
The startling reality is that, without a grounded and loving relationship with yourself, you simply cannot have a successful relationship with anyone else. And I am not speaking out of theory – this stuff is tried and true, my friends.
It’s amazing what can happen when you turn your focus inward, though. Writing in my diary was a practice I took up at the age of 14 to help curb my panic and pain in moments where I had no choice but to be alone. I found peace within the blank pages of my diary. I let it all go in those pages, and as they became fuller, more tear stained, and much more incriminating, I felt lighter. My diary literally relieved me of my pain, my heartbreak, my sorrow, my anger. It took everything negative from me, leaving me only with a sense of contentment, so I could lay in bed – pondering in the silence at what my future might hold – and just be alone. Little by little, I learned to manage being alone.
Today, my life couldn’t be more different, and it’s all because of one fact: I absolutely adore being alone. My life today revolves around my solace, my alone time, in which I spend completing my work, doing my writing I so love, planning for my future, exploring new areas of the world, and simply focusing on myself. I’ve established such a strong relationship with myself, that from it, entire worlds have opened for me that I never new existed before.
I have things like happiness, excitement, faith, belief, and enthusiasm in my life everyday. I wake in the morning with one thought – I’m so lucky! – and I go to bed at night recounting all that I’m grateful for, both what I’ve experienced and what has yet to occur. My life is now full of lightness, and I truly believe it’s all because of the simple practice of being alone. It’s all because, at some point, I chose me.
Or perhaps, in all actuality, I should really be thanking my diary. My diary cured me, taking off of my shoulders a universe of pain and leaving me with a world of happiness.
And as life would have it, I just so happen to be discovering a world of happiness within myself as I venture my way around the physical globe, discovering the physical earth we live on.
And what a beautiful world it is – both inside and out.