We are immersed in socialization from the beginning of our lives. Daycare, play groups, Sunday school, family gatherings, primary school, etc. As we get older some of us go right into the workforce. Some go to college, where we have roommates, date. Some of us eventually marry. Very few of us really truly learn to enjoy our own company and feel empowered in our own presence.
All too often we are over immersed in others needs and feelings. We take very little time for our own. By nature very self-focused beings. Yet we must learn to put the proper focus in the proper areas of our lives for healthy individualism.
I recall the first time I was ever truly alone. I was twenty-four years of age with two toddlers. My husband (at that time) had yet again run off and for me, it was the last straw. Granted I was not physically alone as I had my two children. Emotionally, however, I was very alone.
I decided that I needed to reinvent my life and focus. Of course, my children were a huge reason to get my life in order. I knew I would be of little support and guidance for them in their lives if I did not live a strong empowered life for myself. I was their only real role model. I was determined not let them follow my former path of poor choices.
While I do recall the fear of going it alone, I also recall the joy, and in retrospect, the joy far outweighed the fears. I remember my studio apartment, basically one large room with a kitchen and a tiny bathroom. It was not large but it was mine. The apartment was a three-floor walk-up and had no air-conditioning so it became very hot in the summer.
I remember that buying a fan to help blow the hot stagnant air around was a luxury. I had very few belongings but the things I had were very precious to me. It was such a joy to make my own choices on where to put my things. No one else to tell me where I should hang a picture or how it should be hung. No one else to confer with regarding which bills to pay first and which to let slide until I had more money coming in. Yes, they were scary times but the lessons I learned were worth it.
What I truly learned was how to keep myself busy, to find myself, to listen to my own voice and to find my true path. What I discovered was that I really did like myself.
All too often we go through our lives making choices because we do not feel we deserve better. Or we think that there will be a better option if we put off making choices now. We fail to see that forward movement is so much better than stagnation. We will not mess up our destiny or be punished by karma for making mistakes. Life is about choices, making mistakes and learning from them. When we stand still allowing fear to block our path we get nothing back because nothing is what we put out.
I learned that I could indeed be happy on my own because I began to do things. I wrote, I read more, I studied. Even though I could not afford to go back to college, I still studied. I played with my toddlers and enjoyed my time with them more. I found my playful nature again. I no longer had the drama of my previous life blocking that side of me.
Indeed there were times that sadness set in. Sometimes I still felt alone in the world. I still longed for someone to be with or talk to. Yet the desire to be with a person who did not appreciate me or treat me with respect was long gone. I had taken the time to reflect on my past. I was determined for a better future. I was in no rush to find someone to take the place of the one I had let go.
I was happy to have all the time in the world I needed to take stock of who I was. To define who I was and to determine who I wanted to be. By realizing some of my own personal faults I could more clearly see how others perceived me. Discovering my own imperfections. Not from the point of view of someone who only wished to tear me down in order to keep me with them, but from my own perspective. I was able to be fair with myself. I did not make light of things I needed to work. I also did not bash myself for being imperfect, as all humans are.
I recalled something someone once told me when I got bored or felt too alone.
”There are no boring places, just boring people. If you are too bored to be with yourself then why would others want to be with you?”
That always had stuck with me. What I bring to the table in any relationship I have to get it from within myself.
I had always been so overwhelmed with activity. Others filling the voids in my life. I never really got to know myself. Realizing there were a lot of skills that I needed to develop instead of being bored, or lonely, I made a plan of action to become the best me possible.
I joined a book club, a writers group, and a parenting group. Then I started to volunteer. Through these actions, I made a lot of new friends! I found my life opening up in a way I never imagined. Before I knew it I had no feelings of being lonely, alone, or bored again.
Soon I was attracting a much better kind of people into my life. People more suited to what I needed and had to offer. I found I was learning from these people. I was respected by them. I had respect for them in return.
My greatest lesson was I realizing that the person that I had become had always been there. She was someone I had lost several years back. She was the person I had been and forgot about. I was so busy allowing myself to become diminished by another person who I thought I loved. A person who I thought loved me.
Our true selves are always inside of us and usually, they are scraping and crawling to get out.
Things change us, people change us, relationships change us. We have a responsibility to ourselves to do a self-check and ask ourselves “Is this the person I really am? Is this who I want to be?” If the answer is no, then start getting back on track. Don’t allow for other people or situations to drag you down. Even though it can and does happen. Through self-checks you will find it much easier not lose the you that you desire to be!
The main question I ask myself when doing my self-check is “would anyone really want to be around me? If I do not like who I am right now who else will?” The responsibility not to feel alone lies upon not feeling lonely for the person you should be. When you are feeling down and alone it may be yourself that you are missing.
I hope that you enjoyed this article. Perhaps you recognized yourself in it somehow. Please feel free to open up and share your own feelings, thoughts, and impressions about this article. We all have value, we can all learn from each other’s experiences.
I look forward to hearing from you in the comments.