The Art of Being Alone

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Remember those days where you feel so disconnected to the rest of the world that it makes you feel so lonely and frustrated? Let me tell you something: It is completely normal to feel that way. You’re not different; you’re not lacking; you’re just human.

Most people will get through a period where everything they do feels so ordinary, and mundane, and meaningless. Everybody else seems to know what they’re doing and where they’re going, and somehow you feel like you’re missing something, like you’re not doing enough, like you’re left out and lost. Again, it is normal.

That feeling might strike you in the middle of the day and you will naturally force yourself to get over it. You try harder to connect, to find company, to be more outgoing, to fix things that do not need fixing. You go out of your way to make things right so that you can feel better about yourself. You may think, “Maybe if I meet more people, I will feel less lonely and defeated. Maybe if I keep myself busy, I will feel better and more useful.”

But, no. You don’t feel any better. You actually feel more worn out and tired and stuck.

Do you know why? Because the feeling of loneliness and inadequacy is something from within. You cannot overcome it by fixing external things. You have to mend it from within. Or rather, you have to not mend it, because there is nothing wrong about it.

The only way to overcome that feeling is to befriend it. Befriend yourself. Befriend your loneliness. Enjoy being alone with just yourself.

It might sound like a crazy thing to do – like what if I feel even lonelier alone and just decide that I don’t want to live anymore?

Well, believe me. Learning to befriend yourself is the best thing you could’ve done for yourself. Teach yourself that it is alright to sit alone in a coffeeshop or on a balcony or anywhere for that matter, and just enjoy your own company. Befriend your thoughts, your feelings, your novel, your music, your time spent just to be with yourself. Think of it this way, if you cannot enjoy your own company, can anybody else?

Take a long walk alone. Have coffee alone. Eat in a restaurant alone. Watch movies alone. Jog alone. Read or write alone if you wish. Learn the dynamic of being alone.

It might feel weird and awkward at first, but over time you will realize that it is completely okay to be alone. That it is not lonely to be alone. That it is actually fun and enjoyable to be somewhere without always having to talk or listen or accomodate other people. That it is relaxing and energizing at the same time. Like recharging yourself.

And soon enough you will realize that your exhaustion and loneliness is just the manifestation of your not spending enough time with yourself. And everytime the feeling comes back, you already know that you can always find time for yourself and fit right into yourself. Retreat and regroup.

Why? Because we are our own best friend. Because we are most honest when we are alone. Because the secret to happiness is being able to love ourselves without caring too much about what the rest of the world thinks and does. Without judgment or over-expectation.

Mastering the art of being alone is essentially discovering that we are never lonely even when it is just us; that we are enough.

17 JUNE 2016, 12:20 pm

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