Have you ever just been with yourself? No, I mean it… like really sat down and been with yourself — away from people, music, TV, books, and the rest of life’s distractions.
If you have, awesome. You’ll understand when I say it’s pretty freakin’ hard! If not… well, let me paint a picture for you. You’re alone, in silence, with nothing else to dictate where your mind is going. Your mind — which is routinely trapped in a tangled web of stress, thoughts, to-do lists, conversations, expectations, relationships, etc. — has free will to go wherever it wants…. woah, wait. Hold up. WHEREVER?
When the rest of the world shuts off, suddenly the “escape route” disappears, and gets replaced by an infinite space — population: you.
For a lot of people, just the thought of being alone has the power to make skin crawl. Understandably so, an anxious mind forced to rest is incredibly uncomfortable. Fears of loneliness and boredom trigger the urge to do anything to avoid feeling that way. The reality is, many of us live in a state of chronic distraction from our experience. We forget what our intuition sounds like and when we get our calling, we are quick to send that same call to voicemail. In this age of ceaseless stimulation we need to get in the practice of quieting the noise, instead of drowning out the voices and the messages that we need to hear.
It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.
One of the hardest parts about learning how to be alone is embracing the fact that you will develop a greater tolerance for, and intimacy with, your experience. All aspects of your reality — the emotional, cognitive, deep-rooted, imaginative, and sensory experiences that make up who you are. That means facing our inner-most demons and unpacking the baggage we have shoved away over and over again.
Getting good at being alone with yourself is an open-door invitation to your own experience. It means showing up for yourself fully and completely. It’s about being present. The real truth behind the fear of being alone is that you’ll be stuck with someone you don’t like, in a place far less exciting than the rest of the world around us… but it’s hard to be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.
Someone once told me that you have two choices in life; let life happen to you or show up and make life happen for you. 10% of life is circumstance, the other 90% is how you react to it. There is a brief moment in-between those two things where taking the time to reflect inward and understand ourselves can really impact the course of the rest of our journey.
It’s time we invite ourselves in. Put out the welcome mat and dust off the place at the table we’ve been saving. It’s time we show up and ask the tough questions we resist, and embrace what’s in our heart.
What are you afraid of?
How are you responding to that fear?
Who are you saying you are?
Are you committing to being that person?
What’s your “North Star”?
Are you navigating your path using that guiding force?
Before you answer these questions, I want you to know that it is in your distress and unease with your own truth, that others have the ability to find comfort. When we understand who we are, where we want to go, and have the courage to share those vulnerabilities, others find the endurance to embrace their truth as well. But maybe you don’t have the answers just yet. That’s okay too. It takes a long time to build a relationship with ourselves and we are all on our own journey.
There is power in naming our battles, stressors, victories, and strengths. I think it’s important on this earth that we address ourselves and learn how to find peace in the silence, but if we keep those things locked away, we are doing the rest of the world a genuine disservice. We were put here to serve a purpose and you never know how impactful your story can be to someone else. Regardless of where you think you are or how well you know yourself, own who you are. Love that person. Learn everything you can about that person. Embrace yourself, every bit of it.
2 Corinthians 1:4-5