Imagine that you have won a prize at – oh I don’t know – the local fair? A game show…whatever tickles your fancy.
You are given the opportunity to take a completely paid-for vacation to exotic lands, with everything included (yup, even your spending money). Even better it’s just so happens that this is your dream vacation. The only glitch is you have to go alone. You will spend a week or two enjoying your own company or perhaps those of people you meet. Your family will be presented with prizes that makes them only too happy to see you get your dream vacation so no guilt there!
Or you can take prize number two. A vacation one town over, nice hotel I suppose but not exactly a dream vacation; however, you do get to take someone with you!
What do you do?
Now please take out of the equation the guilt over leaving your family or spouse. They are perfectly happy in this scenario. The point I am hoping you notice is many people could never imagine taking a trip on their own no matter if they had a significant other or not.
How about the idea of sending your spouse on a trip, or the kids to camp. A month by yourself! How does that make you feel?
Many people have mixed emotions about it I think. They would love some peace and quiet on one hand but many people are truly uncomfortable being on their own. When I have coached women who are working out who they are after (and during) a divorce that is one thing that keeps coming back over and over. They are afraid they will end up being all alone.
Why is that a problem?
I have to tell you first of all, that I have been on my own quite a lot and sometimes it feels a bit lonely when you want to share things. Then again, I have been in a long-term relationship where I felt lonely every single day. The latter was much, much harder to take.
I enjoy spending time alone with my thoughts. In fact I often seek it out. For me, I like to be in nature, hiking with my dog. I often find a place to sit and breathe in all that surrounds me and find that inner peace.
Can you be lonely when you like who you are? I think so, but it’s not the desperate lonely of a broken heart that is afraid to shine.
When you no longer need to be validated by others externally (not that you don’t like to hear how wonderful you are…you just don’t need it to be happy) you are less likely to despair about being alone.
It can be rejuvenating, refreshing and give you a fresh perspective and appreciation for those who are in your life. Or the strength of conviction that clarity of thought brings to change and let go.
It can be hard to be comfortable in your own skin and when you are alone, you hear your thoughts, feel you pain and face your ‘stuff’ much more clearly. Avoidance via being socially busy is a great tool if you want to ignore your higher self.
When we are with others we can’t hear ourselves as clearly. Sometimes we even believe we shouldn’t think/feel/desire certain things because of the company we keep. When we are teens we call it peer pressure right? When we spend time alone we question and know ourselves.
Scary stuff at times. Painful stuff at times. Still, it is here, in our alone-ness that we find true and honest selves.
The thing is if you are not fully you, you cannot fully bring all of you to the table to be with others anyway. Changing who you are and how your thinking is denying your core values and you cannot be content with your life if you do this. There is conflict within and it presents itself in many ways including physical, mental and emotional.
Spending some time alone, exploring who you are and becoming comfortable with your higher and best self is a gift that you give not only to yourself but to everyone in your life. I know I have said many times that we were not meant to travel this life time alone; but I also believe that spending time with just our self is important in order to know who we are traveling with when we are not defining ourselves by what other people think. Do you agree?