It baffles how many people are afraid of their own company. How some of us so afraid to be alone. Not lonely, but alone. As in actively taking time to do things alone as opposed to not having anyone to share that time with. How else can we ever fully understand ourselves if we never take the time to sit alone with our thoughts? If you never spend quality time with yourself, doing the thing you love, getting to know yourself better how can you expect to grow or even just form your own opinion on anything? How do you trust yourself or even begin to learn to accept and love yourself for the unique being that you are? What’s even more worrying are the compromises we are willing to make because of that fear of being alone. People end up spending time with people who bring them down, people they despise, and who steal their happy, all because they are afraid of being alone. Where is the self love? And if you are so incapable of loving yourself how qualified are you to love another person. What can you bring to any of your relationships?
I will admit I am somewhat introverted and this might be why I find this fear of being alone so hard to understand. I am comfortable in my own solitude. I love spending time with me. The older I have gotten the more I valued that time I have spent getting to know myself even better. In those moments I allow myself to marinate and play with my ideas in my head. I try to distil truth from delusion. I make a decision and then do the necessary work. Maybe I am being unfair because this comes naturally to me. But I can’t for the life of me imagine allowing anyone to go through that process on my behalf. To think and make decisions for me. I regularly do things alone. And it’s not because I lack company or options. I simply understand the need to cultivate and maintain a healthy relationship with myself. I can go to the cinemas without any company. In fact I prefer it. Especially if it’s a film that I really want to see. Same goes for travelling and my living situation. I have never be one to not do anything because I didn’t want to do it alone.
It’s easy to assume that this desire to be alone stems from underlying social awkwardness. Quite the contrary. I am as sociable as the next person. I am very opinionated, intellectually curious and when I am in my element I am usually the loudest person in the room. Although this might just be that I have a naturally loud voice. Whispering or speaking softly are not exactly my strong points especially when I am excited. Think Kanye when he is trying to make a point he is deeply passionate about.
It is my experience that not everyone we engage with and even the ones that claim to love us always have our best interests at heart. But because we are so afraid of being alone we allow these people into our personal space and we allow them to infect us with their negativity. It’s ridiculous, but we let it happen over and over again. They stunt our personal growth and steal our happy. The main reason for this is that at times because of our insecurities we seek validation and in the process compromise ourselves and end up in toxic and demeaning relationships. And it’s not like we don’t know it or recognise it at the time. We do. But hey, it’s better than being alone … but is it?
I am not against spending time with people. I have actually met people who have been mirrors. They have brought me to my own attention as well as inspired me to change my life for the better. These are some of the most important people I have met. They have succeeded in tearing down my walls and even revealed layers of myself to me. They made me aware of the ugliness that can be my ego. These have been the exceptions. The great loves of my life. But even when our seasons together ended and they served their purpose they left and I moved on, but as a better person for the experience. What I am against is spending time with people who bring nothing but negative. Dream slayers. People who don’t bring any value to your life. Faced with such a proposition, it’s a no brainer. I’d rather just do me.
The best gift you can ever give yourself or your loved ones is spending time getting to know yourself better. Only then will you be able to spend time with and love them in the best possible way you can. I know that I am passionate about a lot of things and this keeps me busy. Maybe it’s these passions and my unfulfilled dreams that even though I spend a lot of time alone I never really feel lonely. And if I ever do I just have to remind myself that I will always have the company of the blank page or a good book. It’s ok to be alone. In fact it’s the only way you will ever be fully able to be with anyone in the future.
Be your own best friend. Look out for yourself. Treat yourself with compassion and kindness. Your future self will thank you.