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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Joy of Alone...

“Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.”
Alice Koller
                                                                            Picture Source

I’m not big on social gatherings. In all actuality, I rarely get invited to events; either because people know that I won’t show up or just because I’m simply not thought of during the invitation making process (which by the way, I’m not really offended by, as there is no smoke without a fire).
Sometimes I envy some of my friends who have a social calendar that stays filled all year long. I see their enjoyment of mingling, their need to be surrounded by people, and their desire to venture out (or even staying in) with friends. It’s almost as if they’re on the speed dial list of everyone they know. Is it because I have the “been there, done that” syndrome from all my years of partying and being on the go? Is it because I’ve developed an anti-social personality? Or is it because what fulfils me has a direct connection to self?
Even my kids have a busier social life then me… Another reason why they’re lucky to have ‘the hubby’ as their dad; he truly brings balance and sanity to their lives J.

I belive that part of the discrepancy here, is that people often confuse being “alone” with being “lonely. It’s possible to be constantly surrounded with people, yet still feel alone. It’s also possible to be “alone” and yet feeling completely satisfied and not “lonely” at all. Maybe it’s a good thing that I can find solace within myself. There are so many people who constantly need to be around others, because if they’re by themselves too long, they begin to realize how unhappy they truly are with the person they are on the inside. Some choose to hide in the crowd; it’s much easier to please others, than to focus on what’s going on inside of you. The only person you can’t hide from is yourself, because when the end of the day draws near, you know all your secrets, all your inner-thoughts and all of your shortcomings. I encourage people to take time out to find yourself, on your own terms…..

Now, I don’t want to make it seem as though I live under a rock, on a deserted island and occasionally come out to see what life is like on Earth, because that’s not the case. When I do decide to entertain, it is always a big production, because believe it or not (especially after the introduction of this post), I do actually enjoy seeing my friends. When I’m planning a get-together for them, I want to make sure they enjoy themselves. I want them leaving knowing that I poured my heart and soul into the event, for their pleasure but more importantly I need them to know that I love, miss and enjoy them! So in all honesty (and this comes at risk of me contradicting my whole piece), I do have those moments where I need to be surrounded by loved souls; moments when I need to reconnect with my social circle and society (outside the work environment). There’s no greater cause to host an event than that of a “Thank you” to my friends for putting up with me…..

Thriving in alone versus falling in loneliness…

Since my teen years, and up through my twenties, I was the “Miss Social Butterfly.” I had a core group of friends, and we were always out and about. Now it is obvious to me that with age (and while still having the same group of friends in addition to a few new ones) I’m enjoying my own company more, thus I’m alone more and more… but not lonely. I have so many interests, and there are things I like to do (that don’t require another party), which keep me occupied. I’m comfortable being alone because I’m in tune with who I am, what I need and I love myself. This really allows me to appreciate my own company and focus on improving me. You can enjoy yourself (being alone) but to get there you have to find things that you enjoy doing alone and even when you find this great balance of self-sufficiency, you can’t ever let it turn into loneliness and find it  okay to be lonely (which leads to a depressive state of mind).

“I restore myself when I’m alone”
Marilyn Monroe

The ability to create and have a “1-on-1” with yourself is a gift; it is an equal opportunity aptitude as we all need a daily balance sheet of our actions, emotions, etc…
I found my interests, my likes and dislikes. Everyday I’m dabbing into them, reflecting on them, on what I see, on what I feel, on what I observe and on what is lacking and what needs to be improved. Between my everyday obligations and my family, this keeps me very busy as an “alone person.” Socializing might be important to one’s life, but we need to know and understand that it is not a necessity. Being able to connect and interact with self (by accepting and loving who we are) is more important. Understanding that being an individual is totally different than having personality and character; individuality will help you enjoy those times alone….

Enjoy connecting with yourself… enjoy some ‘me’ time…

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