July 8, 2015 | life

Being Alone Not Lonely

Blue Jays

I love being alone. That is not to say I don’t love people, my friends, my family and having a great time being around them, but I also love my own company. Part of it is to do with my introvert tendencies that being alone is actually pretty vital for my soul, but I’d argue it’s something everyone needs to be comfortable with. I’m always a little wary of those who feel the need to constantly be surrounded by people. To me it seems, on some level, you can’t be all the way good with who you are as a person if you’re not willing to spend one-on-one time with yourself on a regular basis. Scared to do it? That’s even more reason why you should.

Now granted, I have designed my life so it’s very easy for me to be by myself; I live alone, I don’t have kids and really, if I don’t want to see people, I don’t have to. But even for people with families, roommates or generally hectic lives, it’s more than doable to carve out some time on your lonesome.

What you do with that time is completely up to you; go to the gym, meditate, watch a movie, go for a walk, read – all of those things let you just be quiet and focus on you.

Our current culture of social media has amplified our need for attention and approval. We’re documenting every part of our lives, constantly checking our phones to see how many likes and comments we’ve got. And sure, that’s a human need, to want acceptance and to feel part of a group, but if you aren’t happy and comfortable with the elements of your life that you’re sharing in the first place, all the likes in the world won’t see an internal shift in you that suddenly makes that so.

Yup, that’s all on you, homie. You’ve gotta make it happen for yourself. The only way you can do that is carving out time to just be with you. There are times when I’m driving myself nuts but I still know that I’ve gotta process whatever it is I’m going through by myself before I can bring my best energy to other people.

I’m not saying isolate yourself and become a hermit (and I say that as someone who has done both of those things). Human interaction is both awesome and essential, but if you’re constantly absorbing the energy of others without allowing yourself any time to recharge your batteries, check in with yourself, figure out who you are, what you want, why things affect you in certain ways (and the list goes on…), can you ever really be fulfilled?

Blocking out the world for a bit while you deal with your personal bullshit can be scary and overwhelming, but ultimately, it leads to a happier, more confident you, which in turn, leads to your interactions with others having more value.

So, you know, turn your phone off and go off the radar a lil bit today. Realign those chakras, then go back into the world and kick some ass.

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4 Comments

Clare O

I absolutely love this post and completely relate to it. Even with a little one, a family, friends, job and the rest, that glorious time alone is always on my list of weekly needs, and without it Id definitely be a different person.

Thanks for sharing such a good spotlight on this, I’ll definitely be retweeting!

Clare

Joy @Paws and Prada

I hear ya. I love being alone! I think it’s so important to get a good balance in your life of being happy in your own company, and relishing other people’s company too. Of course, I’m never really alone because I have Bruce the dog with me nearly all the time, does that still count as alone time or am I cheating?

Electra S.

I’m currently struggling with loneliness, and even at this stage – also being an introvert – I have recently chosen to isolate myself a tad. After having moved countries a few times in the last years, I’m back in the UK and don’t have many friends. I also live in a tiny village and work from home, so even though my introvert nature loves this, I do find myself feeling pretty much alone. Then, a couple of months ago, my mother got diagnosed with cancer, and, because of the “special” nature of my relationship with her, I’ve had to withdrawn from my tiny social life. I felt like I needed it, to cope with my feeling, to deal with my anxiety, the nightmares. So even in loneliness, taking time alone to protect yourself is important. I don’t think it’s healthy to constantly throw yourself at life seeking interaction because you need them to breathe. I meditate more, go running, and enjoy my dogs in my calm sanctuary, my home.
As soon as my feelings of loneliness increased I also quit Facebook, because social media just didnt help. And to be honest, I don’t feel more lonely, I feel more connected with myself.
Yes I wish I had friends I could meet up with, I’m in my thirties and sometimes I feel like a right bore, and extremely sad not to be able to have a friendly chat. However, I’m getting to know myself much better now, I’ve become more reflective and calm, and I prefer that version of myself.
Thanks for writing this, it helps look at my situation differently x

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