Don’t be scared to walk alone, and don’t be scared to like it.
“Last night I was all dressed up and waiting on my blind date to arrive. He never showed up. It made me feel ugly and unworthy and abandoned. I thought he may have seen me from a distance and bailed. All sorts of negative thoughts were running through my mind. Then, as I left the restaurant alone, I heard a little girl ask her mom if I was a princess. It made me smile and changed my mindset. I decided to walk the long way home, and I truly took it in – the fresh air, the peaceful solitude, the moonlight glistening off the sidewalk. And I realized being alone right now was exactly what I needed.”
Those are lines right out of an email I received this morning from Diane, a new course student of ours (I’m sharing this with permission). Her feelings of loneliness, and then her willingness to embrace being alone, is both inspiring and a wonderful reminder for all of us. Because sometimes being alone is exactly what we need, whether we realize it or not.
The truth, however, is that an astounding number of people in this world hate being alone. Perhaps all of us do at some point or another.
We fear being without friends, family, or a partner. We get anxious about traveling alone to strange places, and being lost without anyone to hold our hand. We fear taking on life without a shoulder to lean on, for fear that we’re not strong enough or good enough to stand on our own two feet.
This is natural – this resistance to being alone. We’ve all felt it deep down in our own way, though we often try desperately to ignore and deny it. And this is one of the greatest causes of our stress…
To avoid being alone we’ll socialize endlessly, online and offline. We’ll date, and even marry, someone who isn’t right for us, just to have someone to cling to – someone to fill up the empty space in our lives. We’ll watch hours of TV, or stuff our faces with junk food, or buy toys we don’t need, because these things are replacements for love… especially self-love.
The secret to turning things around? Awareness and acceptance.
We have to open our minds to the empowering nature of being alone.
We tend to see solitude as grim and imprisoning. But in fact the exact opposite can be true. Solitude can be seen as freeing, as an opportunity for exploration and growth – an opportunity to get to know and love yourself, deeply.
Like most of us, though, this is something I’ve learned the hard way. For many years I feared being alone, but I gradually strengthened my emotional self-sufficiency, and now I love it. The more I’ve experienced and explored my own feelings of loneliness and uncertainty, the more I’ve realized how necessary these feelings are. It’s good for us to spend time exploring unknowns by ourselves. It gives us an opportunity to discover who we really are and what life is all about.
Being alone is nothing to fear. Solitude is beautiful.
Here are some things that happen when you embrace it:
1. You develop strengths you need, and didn’t know you had inside you.
Whenever I tell a coaching/course student that they need to embrace being alone, they usually say something like:
“But don’t you think the thought of being alone is scary… to go through life by yourself when you feel uncertain about things?”
Yes, it can be very scary. And that’s precisely the reason to learn to do it. Sometimes the scary things are the right things. Sometimes the situations we don’t want are the ones we need to grow. Embracing this may be painful at first, but nothing in life is as painful as staying endlessly stuck in situation you don’t belong simply because you are too scared to walk alone for awhile.
Likewise, it’s always better to learn to stand on your own two legs, rather than have someone carry you around your whole life. And once you are self-sufficient, then relying on someone else from time to time is an act of strength, not weakness.
Don’t know how to manage your finances and your life? – Start by educating yourself. Read one book on personal finance, one chapter at a time. Teach yourself life management skills, one at a time. Become self-sufficient, gradually.
Don’t know how to defend and protect yourself? – Learn to avoid dangerous situations. Learn to be aware of your surroundings. Learn the basics of self-defense. You’ll feel more and more confident walking alone with each passing day.
Regardless of what skill set you’re trying to strengthen in yourself, the key is to take small, consistent steps in the right direction, day in and day out.
Journeying through life alone is a learning process – you become stronger as you go. It’s like a kid who can’t find her way home when she’s alone – doing it the first few times is daunting and scary, but in the long run she’s safer and better off having learned the way. (Read Daring Greatly.)
2. Your relationships grow stronger, with less codependency and entitlement.
Does learning to be comfortable with being alone mean you can’t be in a relationship?
Not at all. But if you aren’t comfortable with being alone – if you absolutely need another person to align with your every need – then you aren’t going to be comfortable in your relationship either.
Because you will become codependent and entitled. When your actions and thoughts revolve around another person to the complete disregard of your own individuality, that’s codependency. When you believe another person inherently owes you something, that’s entitlement. Both of these relationship traits are viciously harmful.
What you need to remember is that a healthy relationship never limits you… it doesn’t restrict you… it doesn’t try to change you… it doesn’t entitle you, or anyone, to anything.
People are sometimes led to have a sense of entitlement because they mistakenly believe they are owed something based solely on the social role they have chosen. For example, if someone has accepted the role of being a person’s friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, or husband, they feel entitled to get certain ‘favors’ from this person. If someone has accepted the role of being a parent, they feel entitled to being respected by their children. If someone has accepted the role of being a customer, they feel entitled to be served to their unique needs.
But, as it turns out, there are no hard-wired entitlements in life. And this is especially true of the love present in a healthy relationship.
Too often we associate love with limitations…
- “If he loves me, he will change.”
- “If she loves me, she will do what I say.”
But that’s not real, healthy love. Not even close.
That’s the breeding ground for codependency and entitlement.
What we need instead is a healthy dose of self-sufficiency.
As Jim Rohn once said, “The greatest gift you can give somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.’ Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.’”
3. You learn that aloneness does not mean loneliness.
That’s right, being alone does not mean you are lonely, and being lonely does not mean you are alone.
One can be truly lonely in the midst of a crowded room. Wouldn’t you agree?
Thus, the trouble is not always in being alone – it’s being lonely in the presence of others.
So keep this in mind and choose your relationships wisely. It’s always better to be alone than to be in bad company. And when you do decide to come back for someone, do so because you’re truly better off with this person. Don’t do it just for the sake not being alone. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
4. You find the intellectual space to support your own decisions.
Everyone you care about does NOT need to support every decision you make. When you are surrounded by others 24/7, this truth can be hard to embrace.
Friends and family won’t always support your goals, but you must pursue them anyway. Follow your intuition. Following your intuition means doing what feels right, even if it doesn’t look or sound right to others. Only time will tell, but our human instincts are rarely wrong. Even if things don’t turn out as you anticipated, at least you will learn what you needed to learn, and you won’t have to spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been.
Ultimately, you know you’re on the right track in life when you become uninterested in looking back, and eager to take the next step, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
5. You get to mindfully experience more of YOUR life.
One of the hardest challenges we face is to simply live in our own skin – to just be right here, right now, regardless of where we are. Too often we needlessly distract ourselves with anything and everything: food, booze, shopping, television, tabloid news, online social networks, video games, iPhones, iPads, etc. – basically anything to keep us from being fully present in the current moment.
We use compulsive work, compulsive exercise, compulsive love affairs, and the like, to escape from ourselves and the realities of living. In fact, many of us will go to great lengths to avoid the feeling of being alone in an undistracted environment. So we succumb to hanging-out with just about anybody to avoid the feeling of solitude. For being alone means dealing with our true feelings: fear, anxiety, excitement, uncertainty, anger, joy, resentment, disappointment, anticipation, sadness, and so on and so forth.
And it doesn’t really matter if our feelings are positive or negative – they are overwhelming and exhausting, and so we prefer to numb ourselves to them.
The bottom line is that every one of us is an addict, and what we are addicted to is avoiding ourselves. Acknowledging this addiction is the first step to healing it. So begin again right now by just breathing, alone, and noticing with curiosity, and without judgment, all of the little ways you can simply BE in your own skin, right here, right now, in this present moment we call life. (Read The Power of Now.)
Solitude can be a scary thing, but it can also be a joyful thing.
You CAN learn to enjoy (and grow from) the times when you’re alone…
You can get to know yourself. You can do things that rely on very little external influence – reading, writing, walking in the woods, playing guitar, singing in the shower, dancing in your bedroom, learning something new, etc. You can discover hidden parts of yourself and the world around you without needing to instantly share it or get someone else’s approval to enjoy it.
Be alone and be at peace.
You deserve it.
The floor is yours…
What do you like about being alone? What concerns you? What’s something encouraging you try to keep in mind when you’re alone and up against uncertainty? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and insights.
Photo by: Jamie Frith
Beautiful thoughts, Marc. Overcoming social anxiety and generally improving my self-esteem following the recent break-up of a 10 year relationship is what turned me on to your work. Your book and emails have been instrumental in my healing/recovery process.
Regarding this post, at times I think everyone one of us feels like the girl in the intro story – a little rejected, lost and alone. Because life is full of surprises (changes). And sooner or later it’s bound to shake us up and knock us off our feet for awhile.
It’s important to remember that we’re not alone when this happens. Like you’ve said so many times before, we’re all in this together, and all feel like this sometimes. Maybe not at the same exact time, but we’re all still going through it together.
Marc Chernoff says
Susan, I’m so glad we’ve been able to assist you. And I love your sentiment regarding “going through it together.”
Brogan James says
As a 22-year-old graduate student just starting to put together a solid plan for myself, I feel extremely fortunate to have come across your work at such a young age. Your life-changing advice and inspirational stories have caused a transformation in my overall way of thinking, and have been accounted for when making important decisions about what I want for myself, personally and professionally.
I often fear being alone too, and I’ve been working on conquering this fear with your help over the past year. This post was perfect for me!
Thank you very much and keep up the excellent work!
For the past several months I’ve been feeling like I’m not worthy of love (there are many reasons why). Your words really move me and help me realize that there is far more to life than rotting away in self-pity.
I am enough, even if someone close to me didn’t realize it! And I’m actually starting to like being alone more too.
For me, it really all about positive reminders, which is why I have read and re-read your parts of book and many of your articles several times. Doing so has helped me get through this period of my life, day by day.
Being alone allows me to think of things I have done and need to do, clearly. Solitude keeps my thoughts organized. It also gives me time to reflect on mistakes with a level head and without judgement. What concerns me… being alone is also when I waste my time watching too much television.
When I am faced with uncertainty or even problems, and I am alone, I make sure that I pray and read the Bible to have positive thoughts.
I was really fortunate to have found this website sometime ago. Your stories and inspiration have really gotten me through some trying times. This article today really hit close to home. It took me a long while to understand that being alone was OK. I was in a horrible relationship for 15 years and when I finally got out being alone and attempting to do things by myself was overwhelming. It wasn’t until this last year that I really understood what being reliant on yourself meant. Being free from others meant giving myself the opportunity to focus on your my own personal growth, to actually become what I was truly capable of being… I have to say while at first I was scared, who wouldn’t be, it’s absolutely nothing compared to how I feel now…Free, happy, resilient, excited, fortunate….Being alone isn’t a burden it’s just the opposite… It’s a blessing in disguise!!
Marc Chernoff says
April, congrats on all your personal growth over this past year. Truly remarkable!
Ken Martin says
I am a long tine batchelor aged 74. I have lived alone for 20 years. Retired recently. I enjoy being fit, writing letters to my local paper and politicians. I avidly follow local and foreign current affairs. I am computer-literate, enjoying my Mac. Especially its access to YouTube music videos and iTunes. Each day I try and walk for about 1-2 hours before resting prior to going to the gym. Afterwards I engage with people. I find one keeps one’s perspective this way. If you live alone, eat well, keep warm in winter, keep fit if you can, do plenty of walking, keep your brain active, retain if you can some of the wonder and curiosity children have. Talk briefly to all you meet. Have a pet.
Ken, I love your post. Your advises are to the point. And to my surprise totally reflected my view. I am 62 years widow, lost my husband 5 years ago after good, solid 30 years of marriage. And this is exactly how I Build my life after involuntary became single. I learn to listen to my needs, not to be pity for myself but grateful for all good what I have in life. Learn to do a lot of things alone, and walking in the park- is my salvation. I do it every day at any weather( and we have a very cold winter here in North West.) . Eating well, exercising, engaging with other people – are the very things which make me feel good within and truly happy.
I also learn to go to classical music concerts by myself- was a huge step for me. So I agree to live alone doesn’t mean to be lonely. I have an interesting person to hang around with – myself:)
Marc Chernoff says
Ken and Irena, your collective sentiment speaks volumes of wisdom. Thank you both for sharing a small slice of your stories with us. And cheers to positive solitude.
Linda Coussement says
A beautiful post Marc!
There’s a freedom to being able to stand on your own to feet, no matter the situation, that is priceless. And being able to do so will not only bring you the strength to take on whatever the world throws at you, it will inspire other around you to do exactly the same! And stronger, less dependent, more self-confident people make for happier people and that’s what we need more of in this world!
I like the peace I “create” when I’m all by myself. It may sometimes lead to ego-tripping, but self-reflection continues. Better knowing and acknowledging myself than becoming compulsive after all.
When I’m alone, I simply think that actually, I’m not. That’s why we have a community. I know someone out there is also “alone” and it inspires me simply by knowing that. Practically though, solitude reminds of my strengths and weaknesses. I use solitude to recharge myself, so that later when I’m out there in the world again, I know I’m doing fine.
Great post, Marc, as always.
Emmanuel Worthwhile says
Nice one! Great perspective about the benefits of being alone, and thriving from it.
I think this issue is even more profound than stated. Much as the author of Quiet indicates, our stories are largely told by one set of people from one point of view (“soc” / extrovert). Some of us do better alone, but just as being extroverted is told as the “normal” story and introversion is pathologized, I believe family and friend relations are oversimplified and overvalorized … because of who is telling the story.
Being alone… nothing wrong with it. Literally.
Marc Chernoff says
I couldn’t agree more. 🙂
Abiodun Adetona says
Excellent points, I have found that being alone is the best way to find fuel my body and mind for the tasks ahead. Your mind relaxes to the extent that you start generating smart ideas that will make you a more effective person person. Constant busyness and socializing does the opposite.
Ted Cucuro says
It’s very true, you must maintain your internal peace to be of full service to others. Having left my childhood home at age 12 and stayed single until age 26; then enjoyed 18 years of marriage; having lived the remaining years alone; now approaching 65; LIFE IS GOOD BOTH ALONE AND WITH A GOOD COMPANION! But you must maintain your self-esteem and joy within. There is more happiness in giving than receiving ; but remember there is happiness in receiving too! Be an influence for good by caring for the human needs of the person who is going to give to others, you.
Yatin Khulbe says
There is a big difference between alone and loneliness. When we are alone, we understand our real depth. In this stage, we come to know about our plain reality. Instead of cursing this phase, we must embrace our true self to enjoy the “ME” time.
I completely agree with your relationship point. Until and unless, we are not able to develop a lovely bond with our self, how can we expect to develop a sweet bond with others.
Whenever I am alone, I concentrate on my strong points. I don’t take this word in a negative fashion. Thanks for coming with this beautiful post, Marc. I always feel relaxed after reading your posts. Lots of love.
My problem is that I think I like being alone TOO much! After two failed marriages and a few disastrous relationships, I have come to the conclusion that I have a bad “picker” and that it’ s better to be alone than to keep picking horrible people. I like my own company, I like doing things my way. I have lots of friends, and I am not lonely. I have great hobbies and I am engaged in a lot of activities that are mostly solitary.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s someone out there for me, but I’m not brave enough to try to find out. I’ve had my fill of being dragged through broken glass and lemon juice. I say if the universe has someone for me, it will bring him to me, and until then (if that ever happens, which I doubt it will), I am happy to be alone.
Love the analogy of broken glass and lemon juice Nancy
Marc Chernoff says
Excellent thoughts, Nancy. Thank you.
Constance Driver says
Thanks for that!! I feel the same way fairly often…That here must be something wrong with me because I like being alone TOO MUCH!! (I actually had 2 failed marriages too…where I did MY VERY BEST and gave EVERYBODY MY ALL!!! So…I think I enjoy being alone because I don’t have to give to or worry about ANYONE ELSE….at least for a while!! Anyway….thank you for your perspective….at least I don’t feel like the ‘oddball’ now!!! lol!!
Thank you for this post, and for everything you write.
suzanne Kidd says
I am 53 married for 24 years and have finally ( yes I am a late bloomer) figured out that I am an introvert. I like people but I prefer to be alone or at a small gathering. I used to get bummed if I wasn’t invited to parties, but when I was invited I really didn’t want to go. Now I understand why and I feel so much better knowing that I am not anti-social . I just prefer to be alone.
This is just what I needed. I’ve been in this very “alone” place the past month or so and just yesterday I realized how much I’ve been avoiding myself because as you said the emotions are so exhausting. It has been a long time since I have looked in the mirror and have only seen myself instead of the sea of faces I’ve surrounded myself with. I dont know how to take it at times. Its scary. So I’ll do anything even if its not beneficial to me to feed the addicition of self avoidance. This piece pretty much called me out. I know I’m in the right place at the right time and until I embrace it and learn what I need to while I’m here it will not organically change. It’s a plateau. Not the end. I have to tell myself my aloneness is a gift. I probably should be racing toward it each day,ripping it open to learn more of what is inside. This was right on time. And the best part I dont have to run and share it on social media looking for someone else’s approval to enjoy it, as you perfectly stated. Thank you.
Shelly Whitehead says
Absolutely wonderful and so needed in a world clamoring to be part of the social butterfly-party animal mentality that ends up stealing your soul. As Albert Einstein put it “Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living.”
Thank you both. This blog has just brought me out of the box. Every time I feel ,I am entering that box i quickly read a article of yours and get my strength back to face life reality. Thanks again for all the help that you both have done for me unknowingly.
I have always enjoyed my time alone. I am usually doing something that interests me, and before I know it, the day is gone.
I relate most to #3. I have never felt more alone than when I am with someone and their cell phone rings or beeps. Suddenly it is as though I have disappeared, as the phone has their complete attention. I understand that sometimes there truly is an urgency to reply right away, but when I can hear or see that the conversation is trivial, it makes me feel like I am only present until something better comes along. When I’ve expressed displeasure, I’m told I shouldn’t be that way!
At times like that I’d rather be alone, than to be with a person, and yet still be alone anyway.
Holden Seguso says
From my experience, solitude is home (not any physical place). When i’m alone is when my sensitivities become as keen as they can be. I listen to the silence and it recharges me, and assigns me with the next task to further the spiritual love within me. Being alone is beautiful. The better you get at it the more you begin to understand yourself. It’s that self that only you, God, and nature can truly understand. You rest with each other. Then you wish to share that beauty with the world. Being afraid of solitude is natural in the beginning but, why is that? There are parts of you deep down that you don’t understand yet. Explore them, they are waiting for your love and comfort. Bless all of you who suffer due to loneliness. You may not know it but God, nature, as well as many other people in this world are silently and lovingly wrapping their arms around you. Be well 🙂 Much love to you.
Wonderful post! I needed to read this to confirm I am in the right place right now. I have always been very emotional and sensitive, and I have always hated being alone. But I now I have realized having time to myself is actually good for me and I am now embracing it and enjoying me so I can be a better person. I just have a question – what happens if you get to comfortable with being alone and that’s all you want to do now?
Donna Chamness says
I’m going to be 61 years old in a couple of weeks. I’m just beginning to learn how to fully embrace my own self, be comfortable in my own skin and to pursue the unknown of this beautiful gift called life.
I’m a proud Mom of one amazing son, married to my beautiful daughter-in-law and a Dad himself now, so I’m a happy grandma as well! I am divorced and that’s perfectly fine. Divorce doesn’t define who I am or what I am.
All my life, I’ve been a people-pleaser, always there for everyone and wanting everyone to be happy. In the process, now late in life, I’ve come to realize that I need and want to know myself, to be my own best friend.
61 years young on July 1st….I’m excited and ready to experience some new things! I’m a late bloomer, but at least I’m blooming! 🙂
Constance Driver says
YAYYYYYY FOR YOU for being excited about doing all the NEW THINGS for rest of your life!! ‘AGE’ is just a number….and I’d say 61 is PERFECT FOR YOU!!! (..and what does Dr. Phil always say?? ….’realizing what you know at (for instance) 61… is better than realizing what you know at 61 … AND A DAY!!) I have a feeling You are going to REALLY ENJOY every single day….of the rest of your life!!!!! GOOD LUCK TO YOU Donna!!!! <3
I just want to say “thank you” to you both. Also, I like your new look on the website, with the both of you on each side–very subtle. You kept the fundamentals, but improved the site. Usually, change merely means different. (The word “upgrade” makes me nervous.) But your change really is for the better.
Kelly Montano says
Embracing being alone was a great help to me after a very bad, scary marriage. I loved my solitude and fully accepted it. However, over time I began to realize I have embraced unhealthy levels of being alone. There are very few people in my life, limited only to people I trust implicitly. I have a wonderful fiance and my adult son, but my avoidance of the outside world makes me feel safe. I don’t feel lonely often, but sometimes (rarely) I will crave friendship, especially with other females as I lived in a house of males. I avoid the world outside my home so I don’t have to feel anxiety, the unpredictability of other people and certain rejection from anyone I try to befriend. I have learned this from experience and now I avoid. This is the main reason I started reading your blog and subscribing to your emails. I want to be happy with myself, be okay with being alone sometimes, but also courageous and confident enough to venture beyond the grocery store and the cleaners.
Recently divorced after over 36 years of marriage, these are the themes of my new life alone. Lonelier during the last loveless years of having relationship of routine and convenience than I feel now, I anticipate growing stronger with each new solo experience. The freedom I am enjoying is exhilarating, yet I still find moments of uncertainty and fear. This article inspires and challenges me to embrace what the journey ahead offers!
Camilla Hallstrom says
Amazing advice! It’s crucial to remember that being alone does not mean you’re lonely – something many forget. Many probably feel lonely (though they’re just alone) due to social media, where you only see people’s happiest moments (and forget that those are just glimpses of their lives).
Ann C says
At 53 I lost my husband and for the next six years lived alone. After the deep grief I learned that I liked having alone time. My biggest fear, now that I’m in a relationship is that I’m not getting enough alone time, and am wondering if I can manage living with someone again.
Although I love the moments of being alone as I am a true introvert I also find it difficult especially when I am experiencing lonely moments and rare moments of wanting to be around others and/or have a relationship. This post helped as I was going through such an order over the weekend. Thanks.
i have been in a loveless marriage for a long time and finally moving on, i would rather face being on my own (very scary) than in a relationship of no trust or respect, i need the release and freedom to let God heal me, to bring new opportunities and challenges, i don,t live in lala land i know it will be painful and hard, but believe me i couldn,t carry on living with what i have at the moment, i am developing with God getting back my self esteem and respect and joy, we fool ourselves if we think life is easy, and fair, but sometimes we have to move on, this post has confirmed i am on the right path love Jacqueline xxxx
Marc Chernoff says
Sending prayers of strength your way, Jaqueline.
berna k says
I always get something positive from this blog. This one hit home for me. Thank you for some great insights for me to remember.
I’m a widow for 3 years… haven’t wanted to be real social, but I figure I’ve been working on me to get to know me a lot better. Now I need to work on expanding my self knowledge. Also, I do enjoy my alone time, maybe a little to much but when I’m ready it will come around, I know. Thank you both for your support.
This is a very timely article for me as I am preparing to dissolve my marriage of eleven years.
Although I’ve just turned fifty and raised three successful children, I’ve never lived by myself. I’ve been lonely for years, although not alone. My husband is extremely dependent on me for his emotional needs. He has no friends and has resented any time I’ve spent with girlfriends.
Frankly, it intimidates me to think about completing household repairs or affording car repairs AND paying the mortgage, but finding myself angry and resentful because I’ve allowed myself to become my husband’s rescuer, is not the plan for my next fifty years.
Thank you for your inspirational blog/articles. You’re giving me the courage to stick with my plan.
Marc Chernoff says
Sending prayers of strength your way.
Wilson reeves says
Nice article, truly great and inspiring.
Hmmmmm…..this one doesn’t quite fly with me. I am in solitude 90% of the time and have been for most of my life. So after a while aloneness certainly can mean loneliness. I guess it shocks me that there are people who are never alone. do I try not to be alone? Yes, I do, but my life situation (not married/no kids) keeps me on the outside with most people. People are so busy with their families they only want to associate with others of the same flock. I would like a post about connecting with people and not being alone.
Marc Chernoff says
Kay, this post may interest you: 5 Ways to Meet the Right People
Ronoh Clinton says
Very interesting post, am learning something.
clement sadjere says
Lovely article by all standards. Am presently separated from my family due to the nature of my job and most times, I do feel lonely and weak without my wife and kids. Looking deeply at it from another perspective, its been beneficial to me because those times of solitude gives me great advantage. Thanks for sharing
Another excellent post.
I’ve been alone most of my adult life. But I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing I can take care of myself. I cook. I clean. I do my own taxes. I plan my own vacations. I follow my own routine. However small it may be, accomplishment can boost confidence. If by luck someone should enter my life, I think that person would be pleasantly surprised at what I can offer.
I enjoyed reading this it’s so inspiring, motivating and uplifting!!! I realized many people do worry and fear of growing old alone and no one to share their life with. I also have remind myself how BLESSED I am and to think of other people who struggle to find peace, and aren’t happy in LIFE and find it difficult to live their LIFE and just be thankful and be HAPPY! I find time as often as I should to LIVE, fulfill myself with different aspects of LIFE by enjoying and discovering every detail of Me through Self- Growth, Self- Taught. LIFE becomes better and greater each day through prayers, faith, Hope, spirit, peace patience, energy and endless Happiness!!!
This article was shared with me to read and I must say… WOW. It’s like you were reading pages from my personal journal. I have been suffering from “being alone” for a long time to the point that it made my decisions for me even when I knew it wasn’t a right choice. Thank you for your words. I have no read this article 3 times to keep me on track and to start to live again. Before this article i was already on the path to learning me. I even booked a vacation to go to alone and explore, somewhere safe of course. I went to the movies alone for the first time and it was enlightening. So this article was right on time for me to further help me heal. I will continue to use this as a map into my happiness within me and not be afraid to be alone. An im not afraid to leave the codependent ways alone as I find myself in that position in every relationship. I always put myself aside. Thank you again.
Neil Q says
Definitely agree that it’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s nothing more freeing and empowering than liking your own company.
In being alone – I can do whatever I want to. I can move to a new city, take a trip – just do anything! Im not tied to someone else’s needs. Also, being alone motivates me to do new things. I just got out of a relationship and with my new found time and energy, I am starting a business. I would have never done that in the relationship as my hobby was my ex-boyfriend. What’s scary is that I have some health issues and I wish I had someone to take care of me when I physically can’t take care of myself. But, I certainly don’t take being taken care of for granted anymore. Being alone is freeing. It gives me time to invest in new people, new ideas, and possibly new places.
Being alone causes me to examine past actions and behaviors, some of which I am ashamed of….
I have been living alone for many years and do not remember a single moment of being lonely. I greatly enjoy the liberty of making my own decisions without having to worry about anyone. I can go wherever I like with no obligations to worry about. When bored, I immerse myself in books. I find their company more relaxing than any human’s. Over the years I’ve found myself becoming stronger, more independent and more carefree. Solitude is indeed bliss. I simply love it.
Being alone is great! I learn about myself when I’m alone. This way, when I’m with someone else, I feel more grounded and certain about what I want and don’t want.
Being alone itself is great, but the fear of being alone is terrifying. There are moments that come randomly that sweep my emotions with intense fear that I am alone in this whole world. I’m healing, and getting better. Recovering from trauma, this fear is going to gradually enervate.
Kay roberts says
Thank you so much for this article. It’s just exactly what I needed to read. This has a lot of wisdom in it. You have helped me so much not to despair.
Vandana Seth says
Cherishing the time of ‘Being Alone’ is a joyful thing but it takes a lot of effort to cultivate this .The biggest enemy of staying ‘Alone ‘ is our own monkey mind, which always wants to engage in more of habitual and addictive activities outside our own self.
We can’t discover our self unless we learn to cherish ‘being alone’. I cultivated this habit through reading ,chanting and meditation and now I live happily, where I can give best of myself and is reciprocated with the best.
Camilla evans says
I’m 63 and living alone for the first time these last two years… spent the first year frightened, morning my losses, crying a lot, grasping for any contact. I’ve always lived for others defining myself by what they needed for me to be had no self identity… this last year has been spent on finding out who I am, what I need and want… its been a terrifying and exciting adventure. Now I’m content being alone allowing myself to have and do things without worrying if I’m displeasing someone… almost makes me giddy at times. Your lessons will help me cope with the hard times and the self doubt and fear. Thank you.
Wow. I wish i knew of this website earlier. Great blog. Totally agree about “I’ll take care of me if you take care of you”.
I am so happy to have stumbled upon your piece above.
I have been alone for ten years of my life and have believed that I was self sufficient, but I have recently come to the realization that I am not happy! What you wrote about us being addicts is so true for me as I have been blocking my true emotions out all this time with smoking, drinking, playing mind distracting games etc that I have been avoiding how I really feel… so when I read that bit about acknowledging the addiction as being the 1st step for healing the problem, I cried as that is the truth for me.
I have been denying myself the space to grow for too long now and I have recently hit rock bottom as I have no direction and have completely lost touch with me.. despite being alone for ten years, I am finally facing my feelings of loneliness and its cathartic as I am actually listening to me now.. and its time to find who I am from a kind, loving place and give myself a chance to do and learn all the things that interest me..
I love your closing thoughts as this really resonated with me.. I have given up smoking and drinking and I am going to sit still with myself now and no longer fill the void, but instead feed it.