Alone - July 15, 2011

"Being alone, to me, is a good thing."

How do you feel about being alone? Does it scare you, or are you comfortable with it? Many people avoid being alone for a variety of reasons. Others are what we might consider “lone wolves.” As always, balance is the key.

I spend a fair amount of time alone and lately have been spending quite a bit of time by myself. I am totally OK with this. I like being alone. I also like being around other people. One thing I’m not wild about is large crowds. I guess I place too much value on the individual. Also, it’s just a big hassle for me to deal with crushes of people.

I make a clear distinction between being lonely and being alone. Being lonely is generally considered to be a negative state of affairs. I know this first hand. There once was a time in my life when I was very lonely. I could be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. I certainly felt lonely when I was by myself. That has changed through all the work I’ve done on self-improvement. I can still feel lonely, but it’s rare and usually I would say it’s a natural feeling, given whatever situation is causing it. For example, I felt a bit lonely for a day or two after my son left to go back to college after his recent visit. I consider this to be perfectly normal. It passed, and now life is just plugging along beautifully.

Being alone, to me, is a good thing. The feeling of being OK when I am by myself is important to my overall well-being. I like myself and am quite content to be in my own company. How about you? This is an important thing for us to examine. If you’re not comfortable being alone, it might be a good idea to see if there’s something you don’t like about yourself. This could require some brutal honesty, but it would be totally worth it.

What’s the longest time you’ve ever spent alone? Many people in this world have never gone even 24 hours without some form of contact with another human being. I’ve done a number of solo trips into the mountains, and it’s an amazing experience. It can be a bit scary, but again, totally worth it. To go for days without any contact with other people is a great exercise in self-discovery. If you ever have the chance, I’d highly recommend it. Anyway, it’s just a really good thing to be alone and feel good about it. Do you feel good when you’re alone? I hope so.

Today I am grateful for the ability to be alone without feeling lonely.