being alone

What You Can Learn From Being Alone

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You are not who you think you are… no one is. With no distractions, when you are truly alone with yourself, who are you?

And how can you find this out? Be alone. When I went on my big kayak trip last summer, I really started to feel like I was truly being myself on the 4th day. Something in me shifted. I became… genuine. Not in the way we usually mean genuine, more like I stopped the charade, dropped the pretenses. Why would I have pretenses with myself? I don’t know. All I know is that I felt a shift. Try spending at least 3 or 4 days completely alone, with no outside contact of any kind. You’ll get closer to meeting your true self.

But why bother? Why “meet myself?” Well, an interesting thing happens when you spend time by yourself — when you really connect with yourself and your intuition — and then reestablish contact with those closest to you (boy/girlfriend, husband/wife, etc). At the moment you see him/her, you will feel another shift. This time it is the shift that occurs when you put the persona or pretenses back on, and when you do so, if you pay attention, you can learn a great deal about yourself and your relationships.

That’s all I really want to say about that. I don’t want to give you ideas about what you might feel. You will get an insight, I promise, if you stay in the present.

Single flower

I’ve been on my own all weekend. My husband is away on a wilderness skidoo Ranger exercise, so I’ve been on my own since Friday morning. And I feel different. I can, once again, tell that a pretense has fallen away. It’s a good feeling! I wonder if I am enjoying it so much because I am an introvert and I’m not getting enough time alone? It is strange — I feel comfortable when Darren is around, yet when I am alone, I feel totally at ease. I’m getting lots of insight about why this is, but I don’t want to share it and spoil or taint whatever insight you might get into your relationships.

Let’s just say that you can’t truly be yourself with another person until you know who your true self is.

Note: I realize that many of you can’t just take 3 or 4 days off to perform this experiment. You can try a shorter period of time — 1 day might be enough. You can try imagining or meditating being alone, if there is no other way. You don’t have to go out into the wilderness as I did, but getting away from your usual scene would be helpful — going on a trip, even if it isn’t very far away — and avoiding television or other media. Then, be very alert to how you feel when you reconnect with your significant other.

If anyone else has ever experienced a similar shift, I’d love to hear about it! Leave comments!

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