“I’m alone but I’m not lonely. Comfortably indulging, and trying to get to know me.” -Sabrina Claudio
This is how I’ve been feeling these past few weeks. Solitude is becoming addicting. I’ve been enjoying being alone more than I ever imagined I would. Every morning when I rise, I make coffee and I sit in meditation. The length of time I spend in meditation ranges from 10-30 minutes. I don’t have to worry about anything or anyone disturbing me. Every evening when I return home from work, the quietness upon entering my apartment is strangely comforting.
Lately, I’ve been getting to know myself. I’m learning what brings me joy. I’m learning my triggers and what pisses me off. I’m learning more about my pain and trauma in an effort to heal myself. In my recent therapy session, I talked to my therapist about how I’ve been loving my alone time. This is a massive step of progression for me because I haven’t always been comfortable being alone… and if I’m being honest I’m still not entirely there yet. After my breakup earlier this year and months of rebounding, I said to myself, “Enough is enough!” I grew sick of repeating the same cycle. I grew tired of constantly leaning on others to fill a void and to keep me from feeling lonely. I realized if I didn’t get serious about my healing, I’d keep going in circles. I realized if I don’t learn how to be happy alone, I’ll never truly be happy with anyone else. If I don’t have a healthy relationship with myself, how can I have a healthy relationship with someone else?
So here I am, alone… but not lonely. That’s not to say I don’t socialize with others or that I don’t invite people over. I do. Just not as often as I used to. I even went on a date a few months ago, which was horrible by the way. I’ve reached a point where my priority is me. Where I’m putting myself first. I’m open to dating but I make my intentions clear: I’m not ready for anything serious. Also, I’m still going strong with my celibacy so that takes care of me using sex as a way of coping.
So how do you learn to embrace solitude? How do you get to a place where you realize you are truly all you need? When will you realize that no amount of external factors will make you happy if you’re not first happy with yourself?
I think the first step is getting to know yourself. What are your interests? What are you passionate about and what brings you joy? Write out a list of these things and then start implementing them into your daily activities.
For me, this looked like sitting and having a conversation with myself. I realized I wasn’t engaging in activities that bring me joy. I’ve been reading and writing more. I’ve been moving my body more through yoga and dancing. I also want to tap into my creative energy so I’m considering taking up painting again. It’s something I did a few years ago but I wasn’t the best at it so I gave it up. There was a time in my life where I created short stories and I want to get back to writing them. The weather has been a little cooler so I haven’t been able to go sit under the tree at the park like I want to. I’ve always been a girl who loves the little things… like buying myself a bouquet or roses. Or eating ice-cream while binge watching Criminal Minds. Those simple moments are what make me smile. Start by doing what you love, alone. It may feel strange at first, especially if you’re used to having someone with you. I promise you that once you start embracing solitude, your life will transform. You’ll realize that you are whole, with or without anyone else.
My fear of being alone came from not loving myself. I was terrified of being by myself because it meant I had to look at every part of who I am. I had to sit with the emptiness that consumed me instead of using someone else to fill the void. For me, it’s deeper than just not wanting to be alone and it goes back to my childhood. Some people truly are fearful of being by themselves, I being one of them. It’s not as easy as it seems. Loneliness can be crippling. That’s why it’s important to take it one step at a time.
Remember: You are whole.
“I’m not lonely, I’m alone. And I’m holy, by my own.” – Jamila Woods