"You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” ~Paulo Coelho
Aloneness can look like many different things for one’s path. I am going to offer that being alone is often one of the hardest things to do for some people. To sit with oneself incites the forced action of looking at our lives in the most true and honest of ways. That can be difficult to receive.
The common take on aloneness is often negative, depressing and brings on feelings of a lack of worth in one’s life. In our culture we see being alone almost as a failure or negative attribute.
What if we were to see aloneness as a gift?
People are often surprised to hear that I lean more towards being an introvert. While my work can be out in front of people, I savor those moments when I get to curl up with a hot cup of tea on the couch and just sit in the silence. Those moments are needed in the same ways that I need food for energy.
When I look back on my life, some of my most precious moments were when I was alone. I travelled so often around the world alone and by doing so was intentionally pushed into the uncomfortable. I had to reach out and ask for help, conversation and simply presence of a stranger time after time.
In those moments I was able to create memories and savor others stories in this world that I would not have otherwise experienced if I were travelling with someone. I had to be thrown outside of my comfort zone, to become fully present to another human being.
Let’s consider a simpler form of aloneness that is reachable to anyone. Have you ever gone to a café alone? This is one of my favorite activities. In my younger years I spent hours upon hours in the cafes of a big city. I grew up by way of people watching and journaling. Sometimes it seemed as if someone’s story was obvious, to learn it was completely different than what I perceived in appearance. I would watch how some folks were living their lives fearlessly and wished in my younger inhibitions that I could be the same in that experience. I took notes for what I wanted to challenge myself on, but mostly I learned the art of being alone as a positive.
While the world is anxious to tell you that being in a relationship is the only way to live; or the need to live with others rather than attempt to embrace an experience of living alone, I challenge you to walk away from that idea.
Have you ever considered dating yourself?
Think about it. What would that look like? Have you ever experienced taking yourself out on a date? I believe that we need to constantly be reintroduced to ourselves. The directives are endless in how we will live our ever-changing lives from that point forward.
As I healed my journey with food, the hardest piece for me was eating alone. For years in my healing, I needed to eat with people. It took the pressure, the focus and the anxiety off the meal and the act of eating. When I found myself in solid recovery, I was surprised to see how I began to fall in love with food. I love food; it was never about food. I love to cook. I love to create savor and experience.
When I began to walk the journey of eating alone, my world and love of food opened up more than I was expecting. I savored and experienced with an entirely new sense of wonderment. I was reintroduced to my palate with flavor coming to life in my senses. I don’t believe that I could have had this experience if I were with others. By savoring the aloneness, I found the gift in food. A surprise indeed.
When we are alone, we allow ourselves to truly learn the depth of who we are. When we can embrace that knowledge, we are able to live life more fully than we ever thought possible. Personal growth blooms from these moments, stunning clarity invokes you and you will meet the person you are meant to be in this moment you find yourself.
How will you sit in the gift of your aloneness today?
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.