As an extrovert I feel safest surrounded by other people. Socializing is an escape from my never ending thoughts. A distraction from myself. I’ve never been a home body or one to cancel plans just to be alone. But recently I did some self reflection and ask myself “Why do I need to be distracted from myself or my own thoughts?” “Do I dislike myself, are my thoughts of myself unpleasant and something I need to be rescued from?”
Those are some tough self reflection questions huh? Well, my conclusion was that, in all honesty, I’m not where I’d like to be within life. What I mean by that is I realized my thoughts mostly consist of, “I’ll feel better about myslef once I lose this excess weight. I’ll be satisfied once I get that degree etc.” As if I cannot love myself where I am right now today. As if I have to avoid myself until I obtain everything that will give me satisfaction.
Once this epifany was transparent to me it revealed even more unhealthy mental vices I’d always been guilty of. For one, people who find their safety and happiness in others, usually find their worth in others as well. We begin to care more of what others think of us versus what we think of ourselves. Our satisfaction within ourselves is contingent upon others acceptance VS our own. That is why many of us stay in relationships that are toxic, keep friends around that are toxic, and lose ourselves in the thick of it all. Once all of those things are removed we realize just how numb we were not only to the toxicity around us but the lack of solitude within us.
Solitude- the state or situation of being alone
Lonely- sad because one has no friends or company
Just take a moment to let these definitions sink in. I know once I did my chest tightened and my eyes finally felt OPEN to the true meaning of solitude. Both definitions are defined with the state of being alone. Only one definition expresses the emotion of sadness. Our emotions are a choice, we can choose to marinate ourselves in our feelings and situation or we can change our perspective and change our actions.
Realize that time alone is an opportunity for self reflection, self acceptance, self care and self L.O.V.E. When we drop the toxic baggage or unplug ourselves from the hustle and bustle of life and even our relationships, it is a time for recharge and rejuvenation of SELF.
This realization has changed my life, and how I manage my relationships. I used to not want to go to the gym alone, to dinner alone, to the mall alone etc. Literally EVERYTHING had to be done with a companion. And most of the time since my motivation was contingent upon their presence if they canceled I’d stay in and not go alone anyways. That habit can be toxic to ones self cause you’ll miss out on amazing experiences also you may keep people around who showed themselves to not be true to you because you rely on them and their company.
As a military spouse, moving often and being soo far away from my close friends and family, I need acceptance and companionship where ever my husband’s job takes us. But that need for companionship can’t be the cost to losing myself or my inner solitude and motivaton. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve met some AMAZING souls, friends I’ll cherish for life. But usually those spirits are rare, like 1 in every 20 people I encounter.
Recently, my reliance on others has changed so much. I workout alone, shop alone, found ways to socialize my baby alone etc. What I do for me is not contingent upon others presence. And let me just say the solitude is liberating. I am no longer sad nor lonely. I no longer look to others for motivation, it comes from within.
We just recently moved to Mississippi for my husbands training, we’ll only be here for a few months then we will be packing up and moving again. This time around I realize having free-time to myself is a blessing. I am ahead in my classes, and using my free time to love and care for myself mentally and physically. The more free time I have to more time I have to LOVE me. When I’m not caring for my home, my husband and my son I’m caring for me.
Some ideas of things you can do in solitude:
1.) ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! This one is my favorite, I pour a glass of wine and binge on my favorite shows. Or light some candles, put on soothing music and just sip.
2.) Selfcare- paint your nails, watch make up or hair tutorials and try them on yourself.
3.) Read- I recently started back reading and LOVE it. My goal is to read 10 books in 2k18.
4.) Meditate- I for one suffer from anxiety, mediation and yoga are a great help. I knew I should make it a part of my everyday life but never made the time for it but now it’s on the top priority.
5.) Exercise- I actually now love to workout alone, it’s something I like to do for myself by myself. When you workout alone you can go at your own pace, don’t have to to worry about conflicting schedules, being late, or anyone canceling at the last minute.
I hope this was a good read for someone and you can try to embrace solitude and yourself. If you are one of self avoidance I promise you once you face yourself and your thoughts of yourself they can and will change, cause your actions will change. You will feel more confident in yourself by yourself and know the true meaning of intrinsic motivation. Learning to embrace solidarity is liberating and full of lessons and growth.
Zen vibes to you all ✌🏽