According to Picasso, without great solitude, no serious work is possible.
In my last blog, I talked at length about the fear of being alone and how often I have seen people, men and women, make unwise choices out of this prevailing fear. However, the other side of the fear of loneliness is the power that comes from learning to be alone in a healthy way. I agree with Picasso that you must allow time for and become comfortable with solitude in order to do any serious work whether it is creative work as in writing or painting or as in becoming your full potential.
What do I mean by the power of Aloneness?
Growing up we’re taught dependency. We lean on our parents and friends and are on a constant search for the perfect life partner to fulfill all of our hopes and dreams. The problem with this is another person cannot teach us how to be happy, nor can another person make us happy. The only person capable of doing so is oneself.
Aloneness knocks on the door around the age of five years, when we first begin to become aware of our separateness, and stays with us the rest of our lives. At first we push it away with a blankey or cuddly, stuffed animal, or being a Mommy’s boy or Daddy’s girl. Then, as we mature, we find that “perfect” partner, and for a while, in that honeymoon phase of relationship, we forget all about aloneness. But the moment will come when relationship gets stale or when we get quiet. Aloneness waits patiently until we are ready to see and hear our deepest self. It reveals us to ourselves in brief glimpses and moments when our hearts and minds are open.
Finding a partner may bring temporary happiness and adventures that give us great pleasure, but we can never truly be happy until we learn to be alone with ourselves. We must learn to be content with aloneness. It is through these alone moments that we begin to know our self.
Take time to reflect in order to face your fear of loneliness.
Those who take time to reflect, to be alone for introspection, find meaning and intention in their lives. Studies show that taking alone time:
- Increases empathy
- Creates more accurate memories
- Helps teenagers improve both moods and grades
- Boosts creativity
- Allows for deeper, strategic thinking
- Improves your relationships
- Reveals your true self to your conscious self
- Allows you to come to love yourself
- Makes for a more effective person
How do we find the Power of our Aloneness?
Ironically, we find the Power of Aloneness by being with our fear of loneliness. Being with our fear of being alone means just that. Be with it. Turn away from all the external searching and turn within. Go deep into our hearts where this longing resides. Move past the ego attachments to fame, status, money, power, success and achievement. Move beyond the need to be right and for others to be wrong. Move past the restlessness, boredom, loneliness, impatience, and anxiousness. Move past anxiety, depression and despair. Beneath all of it is the “deep ache” or “inconsolable longing,” the vivid realization that we are alone. Sit with this fear. Sit with this awareness. Sit with the excruciating discomfort. Simply be with all this pain is, has to say, and feels like for you. Feel it. Revel in it. Bathe in it. Know it to be a deeply intimate, true and cherished part of who you are. Know that this ache is your Soul calling you home–home to yourself. It is here in the deep well of your aloneness that you will find yourself. And here, you will find your power.
How Do You Express Your Personal Power?
Contemplate this question and make your own list. If you are comfortable in sharing through the comment section at the end of this blog, please do so, and I will share the lists with others anonymously.
Personal Power is a fundamental need. Here are some ways you know you are exercising this Power of Aloneness:
- Healthy relationships – choose wisely who you involve yourself with
- Self-nurturing – take the time and energy needed to ensure you have what you need to thrive and grow on all levels
- Focus on possibilities rather than problems – positive thinking does tend to create positive results
- Manage your time wisely – know what you and those important to you need and make the time for it
- Work on Self-development – continue to grow as an individual and thus increase your personal power
- Take responsibility for what happens in your life – for both the good and bad, know that each is a growth opportunity
- Be kind – nothing goes further in life than being good to those whose lives you touch
Some closing quotes on the power of being alone:
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re with.” -Wayne Dyer
“Loneliness is the poverty of self. Solitude is the richness of self.” -May Sarton
“The longer one is alone, the easier it is to hear the song of the earth.” -Robert Anton Wilson