Table For One
In spite of our best efforts, and sometimes because of them, everyone at some point finds themselves alone. It is important that we become comfortable with the idea and practice of aloneness. Our moments of solitude are opportunities for reflection, introspection, observation, and profound clarity devoid of distraction.
First, let’s get one thing clear: aloneness is not necessarily loneliness. For example, the majority of people I know shower alone, and they are perfectly okay with that. Being comfortable with being alone can help you with how you perceive loneliness, but the two ideas are quite separate. Embracing aloneness is the acceptance of a fundamental truth: the longest relationship that you will have is the one you have with yourself. If you’re incapable of enjoying your own company or pursuing your interests independently, you might find yourself living a life that is only a reflection of what’s around you, rather than an expression of what’s inside you. When we feel the need to be in constant contact with others, we accept the cost of maintaining that contact. We may soften ourselves or curb our enthusiasm. We may even hide our best qualities to avoid the possibility of being alone. When we avoid aloneness, we give into fear, and make decisions that go against our best interests (#FOMO). Although ultimately, aloneness isn’t something to avoid (or pursue), we should simply accept it as a side-effect of life, and appreciate it for what it is: an opportunity for growth.