Solace in Solitude


For many people, being alone carries negative connotations.  We fear silence with no one sitting next to us as a depressing thing.  Conversations with our closest friends and confidants are amazing and much needed, and tonight I spent over an hour on the phone with my best friend talking about everything under the sun.  I enjoyed every moment of it.  Yet I was just as happy to end the conversation and spend time with myself.  I did not fear the moment when we hung up the phone and I was left with my own head to keep me company, for I have also become my best friend.

My childrens’ father and I share time with them on a week on/week off basis.  There are definitely moments during my *off* week where I miss the sound of them running through the house, their voices shouting “mommy” when they need something or wish to show me their latest creation, or even just to say “I love you mommy”.  I do miss it, immensely.  There is a transition period after I drop them off with their father where I come back to my empty house and sit down in the silence and think “what the hell do I do now?”, feeling like a piece of me has been left with them.  But those moments of silence give way to the days that follow where I am reminded that I am an individual person, separate from my children, and separate from everything around me.

I am an extrovert in many ways.  I thrive on the connections I make with those who I hold dear to me and even those who I may not know so deeply and just connect with in passing.  I enjoy talking with people and conversing and finding things in common and especially those moments that make you say “oh my! You too?” that make you realize you’re not alone in your seemingly crazy ways.  But at the same time, I thrive just as much on the time that I spend by myself.  I have also become my own best friend and have learned that spending time in company with my own self is just as good for my soul as spending time with the people I love the most.

Right now I’m sitting on my porch.  The sun is beginning to set behind my moms house at the back of the property, behind the trees that we planted when I was just a child, behind the field that used to flourish with corn each year for as long as I can remember.   I’m enjoying a refreshing, cold beer as my ipod plays on shuffle in the background.  And no neighbors complain about the noise, no one to tell me to turn it down.  I could go out in my yard and dance in whatever manner I feel.  These are the times where I truly connect with myself and discover all the things that continue to mold and shape me into the person I am.

When you are alone there is no one there to judge you, no one there to tell you that your ideas are wrong, no one to tell you that your singing is awful, that your dance moves leave much to be desired.  No one there to judge you except for yourself.  And it is in these times that judgment ceases to exist because I have learned in these moments of solitude that judgment is what keeps us from connecting.  So in essence, spending time with myself provides me with exactly what I need to be the friend and companion to those around me.  For when I spend time with myself, without judgment of who *I* am, I learn to be more accepting of others. In those times of solitude I learn to connect more with  myself.

I have heard it said that giving oneself time to be “single” is one of the wisest choices that one can make.  With no romantic partnerships, and having time to be with the self gives you the opportunity to really know yourself in a deep way that can not be had when you are connected to antoher person.  Sometimes it takes time to actually be in that “self” before you realize how true those words are,but I understand it more than I ever could have had I read she same words before the time was right for me to see them.   But truth be told, in my humble opinion, I have come to see what many people never have the opportunity to learn.  Being with yourself is not a bad thing.

When a relationship ends, no matter whether it is a deeply intimate relationship, a casual acquaintance, or a friend with benefits (which is a term that I have come to abhor because it never exists in the way that it labels itself as), each person takes away from the situation a plethora of wisdom.  At the time of ending, each participant has their own views of how it was, how it should have been, what went wrong, what should have been said, done, etc.. The list goes on and on.  And in those moments after it ends each person has the choice in how they will proceed.  Emotions run rampant and we search for answers as to why things have ended up as they have.  We grasp to hold on to what held meaning in that connection.  We look for guidance in how we should proceed.  And it is in those moments where we reach and grasp and search that are the most profound. 

I am guilty of it myself.  I have walked through the end of such deep connection with fear, anger, resentment and disappointment for what never came to fruition.  But I have also come out of the other side of it with a knowledge and grace that could never have come to me if it weren’t for those moments of searching.

And this is where the self comes in.  YOU have everything you need inside of you.  Whether your loss be in the form of a friend, an acquaintance, a home, a job, it doesn’t matter.  Loss is loss and it is always an opportunity to dig down deep within yourself and learn from.  But the important piece is that you spend that time with yourself and learn what YOU need to take from it.  The operative word being “YOU”.  Because in the end it is always “YOU”. You are who and what you need.  Everything that nourishes your soul lies in YOU.

The way you see things, the way you perceive every situation, it is all inside of you and the only way you can really get to know all the wisdom that will guide you to your true path lies inside of YOU.



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