Being alone can be painful. It can also be blissful. It all depends on your level of personal development in this area. A joyful state when you’re alone is attainable. And it is a very worthwhile pursuit.
Once you learn how to be alone you will no longer be chained to the desperate need to keep a person in your life even though the relationship is bad for you. Whether the person is a lover, a marriage partner, a friend, or even a family member what good is it if the relationship brings you pain and lower self-esteem? If you can’t handle the thought of being alone you will always be in a position of weakness in your relationships. However, once you learn how to be alone and truly enjoy it you’ll be able to negotiate your relationships from a position of strength knowing that you can end it and be okay.
We all experience moments of intense loneliness. We initially experience this when we are left alone for the first time as children. As we develop and grow we learn not to fear being alone. Nevertheless, there are times when we face feelings of loneliness. These times can be extremely difficult at first.
Transitions in adulthood can bring on powerful feelings of loneliness. When we break up, get a divorce, or a partner dies we are suddenly alone. Before this event, we grew to rely on their companionship. We knew that during almost every evening, weekend, and holiday we would have someone to share it with. The sad feelings that you experience can be the same when a close friendship ends.
If your break up or divorce was preceded by months of tension, the separation might come as a relief initially. After a few nights and weekends alone, however, the relief can turn into desperation about being alone. It is at this point that profound growth is possible. You can use the pain of the breakup and the loneliness to move past the sometimes terrifying feelings of facing the future alone! Once you break through and find your strength, which is present in you right now, you’ll experience a whole new world of personal power and freedom.
To learn more about breaking up successfully, read the article on this site entitled, ”Breaking Up! How to Ride the Pain to Gain.”
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”
“I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”
– Albert Einstein
In his classic, insightful book “Intimate Connections – The Clinically Proven Method for Making Close Friends and Finding a Loving Partner,” Dr. David Burns talks about the importance of learning how to enjoy being alone. He says that a person’s ability to have a healthy relationship is in direct proportion to their ability to be alone.
If a person is comfortable being alone, they are in a position of power and not neediness in a relationship. People who do not have the ability to be alone will be imprisoned if they find themselves in a toxic relationship. You can break free by learning how to be alone and truly enjoy it.
To learn more about toxic relationships, read the article on this site entitled, ”Toxic Love Relationships – How to Recognize & Escape Them.”
Surrender to Your Loneliness
There is something indescribably sweet about surrendering to your loneliness. On that darkest of nights, when you come face to face with yourself, true self-discovery can occur. The quietness and the realization that you are completely alone in a world full of billions of people can be chilling. But once you embrace it and surrender to your aloneness you will begin to grow right there and then. And your growth can be rapid and profound. With each new experience of being alone, you will grow stronger. Eventually, you will begin to enjoy your own company without a nagging need to be with another person. Once you reach this point, you’ll have the power to choose whether you want to spend a Saturday night alone, with a friend, or with a love interest. Your ability to choose any of these options without any worries empowers you. Then if you do choose to enter into a relationship, you’ll be able to do it from a position of strength, independence, and confidence.
How Do You Learn How to Be Alone?
Don’t fight being alone by trying to distract yourself. Don’t distract yourself by scheduling all your free time with friends. Don’t distract yourself with overindulgence in food, alcohol, drugs, television, the Internet, or video games. Just be with your loneliness until you come to terms with it. Face it head-on! Deal with the feelings that come up. Stay with the discomfort until you find your way to contentment. If you are frightened, move toward your fears until they dissipate. As it is with most fears, you’ll most likely find that what you feared was only an illusion or a misunderstanding.
Embrace Being Alone
Embrace being alone by using these periods to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Perhaps on a deeper level than you have in your entire life. You can’t do this by spending a few hours alone. You need much more time. Several weekends or even an entire week’s vacation would provide a great start toward mastery of being alone.
Once you can spend a Saturday night, a weekend, or an entire vacation alone and truly enjoy it you’ve mastered yourself. You teach yourself how to enjoy your own company by treating yourself like you would a close friend or lover. You look for ways to enjoy, entertain, and please yourself. And yes, I mean the big “M.” There are benefits to learning this art as well, especially for women. Men don’t need any coaxing in this area.
Whenever I refer to the benefits of learning to be alone, I am not only talking about you but also the benefits that your lovers and friends will enjoy. These relationships will benefit you because you will be able to participate in them from a position of strength and giving rather than weakness and neediness. If you can’t handle even the thought of being alone you’ll put unhealthy demands on these relationships. You will also sell yourself short because of your inability to enter and maintain these relationships from a position of strength and confidence.
Use periods of being alone to get to know yourself. What do YOU like to do on a Saturday night? Take yourself out to a fancy dinner. Make yourself a gourmet dinner at home. Have fun! Enjoy your own company. Enjoy your own humor. Laugh at yourself. Do you get the picture?
If you don’t know what you find humorous when no one else is present, find out! If you don’t know what you enjoy doing alone, discover it! Make it an adventure! Make it an adventure of self-discovery!
Your goal is to find peace, contentment, and confidence when you are alone whether you are at home, in a crowded public space, or at a table in a fine restaurant filled with couples on a Saturday night! Once you are comfortable, content, and happy in each of these situations you have mastered the art of being alone. Once this is achieved and you are able to “choose” whether you want to be in a relationship or with other people, your ability to truly love and give without fear or measure will be greatly enhanced.