So many people are afraid of being alone. Over and over I hear in my office from clients – I can’t leave; I would be alone, or I can’t leave him or her, they would be alone – as though being alone is the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being, as though being alone is a penance, a punishment, a horror.
I know that aloneness is used as punishment. Maximum security, solitary for years on end, drives humans crazy, literally. Some cultures use shunning to punish, and people actually die from it. And yet I have always wondered about that experience – a belief leading to that ending.
Being alone is one of the joys of my life. Perhaps because I choose it, decide it when I want to do so – perhaps because I spend the majority of my days in deep places with others. Being alone with no other human energy pulling on me is like a drink of clear, pure water, a resting place, a respite. I return to relationship refreshed.
And yet, when I am alone, am I alone? I am with me, and I am in relationship with all that is, and in those moments of “alone” I am yet more aware and connected to all – to the singing teakettle, the doors that call and close, the aliveness of memory, the presence of loved ones called to mind and into communion.
Perhaps “alone” is nothing more than a belief. I am alone means I am here, in this amazing and infinite world of all possibilities. I am always home.
What is your experience of being alone? Do you dread it, seek it out, run from it? How is alone different from lonely? I invite you to spend a little time with experiencing your own relationship to the idea of being alone – you might find there is more to it than you have given yourself time to know.
About Susan Hammonds-White, EdD, LPC/MHSP:
Susan is a communications and relationship specialist, counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, businesswoman, mother, and proud native Nashvillian. She has been in private practice for over 30 years. As she says, “I have the privilege of helping to mend broken hearts.” Contact Susan at http://www.susanhammondswhite.com
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One response to “The Other Side of the Couch –Alone?”
I have always enjoyed my alone time. I learned years ago that I don’t function well unless I have plenty of time alone to mentally regroup.