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Friday, January 22, 2010

More on the Art of Being Alone

I wanted to follow up on a great article written my Ms. Lisa M (her article can be found here Art of Being Alone   on her blog.)

We are immersed in socialization from the beginning of our lives. Day cares, play groups, Sunday school, family gatherings, primary school, etc. As we get older some of us go right into the work force, some off to college, where we have roommates, date, and some of us marry. However few of us really truly learn to enjoy our own company and feel empowered in our own presence.

All too often we are over immersed in others needs and feelings we take very little time for our own. Even if we are by nature very self focused beings we do not learn to put the proper focus in the proper areas of our lives for health individualism!

I recall the first time I was ever truly alone. I was twenty-four years of age with two toddlers. My now, ex-husband had yet again run off and it was for me the last time.
I decided that I needed to reinvent my life and focus. Of course my children were a huge reason to get my life in order but I knew I would be of little support and guidance for them in their lives if I did not live a strong empowered life for myself. I was their only real role model and I was determined not let them follow my former path of poor choices!

While I do recall the fear of going it alone, I also recall the joy and in retrospect the joy far outweighs the fears! I remember my studio apartment, basically one large room with the kitchen a separate but open room, hen a tiny bathroom. It was not large but it was MINE! It was a three-floor walk up and had no air-conditioning and became very hot in the summer. I remember that buying a fan to help blow the hot stagnant air around was a luxury. I remember I had very few belongings but the things I had were very precious to me and it was such a joy to make my own choices on where to put my things. No one else to tell me where I should hang a picture or how it should be hung. No one else to confer with regarding which bills to pay first and which to let slide until I had more money coming in. Yes they were scary times but the lessons I learned were far greater than what I have already mentioned.

What I truly learned was how to keep myself busy, to find myself, to listen to my own voice and to find my true path. What I discovered was that I really did like myself. All too often we go through our lives making choices because we do not feel we deserve better, or that perhaps there will be a better option if we put off making choices now. We fail to see that forward movement is so much better than stagnation and that we will not mess up our destiny or be punished by karma or destiny for making mistakes. Life is about choices, making mistakes and learning from them but when we stand still or allow for fear to block our path we get nothing back because nothing is what we put out.

I learned that I could indeed be happy on my own because I began to do things! I began to write, I read more, I studied even though I could not afford to go back to college or do online courses, I still studied! I played more with my toddlers and enjoyed my time with them more I found my playful nature again because I did not have the drama of my pervious life blocking that side of me.

Indeed there were times that sadness set in, I felt alone in the world, and I longed for someone to be with or talk to, but the desire to be with a person who did not appreciate me or treat me with respect was long gone. I had taken the time to reflect on my past and become determined for a better future and I was in no rush to find someone to take the place of the one I had let go.

I was happy to have all the time in the world I needed to take stock of who I was. To define who I was and to determine who I wanted to be. I realized some of my own personal faults and could more clearly see how others perceived me. I realized my own imperfections but not from the point of view of someone who only wished to tear me down in order to keep me with them, but from my own perspective and I was able to be fair with myself not making light of things I needed to work on but yet not bashing myself for being imperfect as all humans are!

I recalled something someone once told me when I got bored or felt too alone.
”There are no boring places, just boring people, and if you are too bored to be with yourself then why would others want to be with you?”
That always had stuck with me. I had to realize that what I bring to the table in any relationship be it romantic or just with a friend, I had to get that from within myself.
I had to know how to communicate, and how to converse, and how to listen, yet so little time in my life had been focused on these things. I had always been so overwhelmed with activity and others filling the voids in my life that I never really got to know ME!

Now people may say that if you talk to yourself you are crazy, but have you ever had a conversation with yourself? Did you find yourself interesting? Did you have anything to say that sounded intelligent? Did you find yourself stuck for words? Did you have anything meaningful to say? Positive? Reflective? Anything that would make the other person in a conversation have anything to say in response other than a simple smile and nod because they had no clue WHAT to say in retort?

I found that I had a lot of skills to develop and instead of being bored or lonely or on the pity pot I made a plan of action to become the best me possible!
I joined a book club, a writers group, a parenting group, I volunteered, and I made a lot of new friends! I found my life opening up in a way I never imagined and before I knew it I had no feelings of being lonely or alone or bored again!

I found I was attracting a much better kind of people into my life, those more suited to what I needed and had to offer back. I found I was learning from these people, I was respected by them and I had respect for them in return.

My greatest lesson in all of this was I realized that this person that I had become had always been there! She was someone I had lost several years back! She was the me I had been and forgot about as I was so busy allowing myself to become diminished by another person who I thought I loved!

We are never really beyond reach, our true selves are always inside of us and usually they are scraping and crawling to get out and BE the us we represent to the world!

Things change us, people changes us, relationships change us, and we have a responsibility to ourselves to do a self check now and then and ask ourselves “Is this the person you really are? Is this who you want to be?” If the answer is NO then get back on track! Don’t allow for other people or situations to drag you down and even though it can and does happen if you are doing a self-check regularly you will find it much easier to stay on track and not lose the you that you desire to be!

The main question I ask myself when doing my self-check is “would anyone really want to be around me? If I do not like who I am right now who else will?” The fact of the matter is the responsibility NOT to feel alone lies upon not feeling lonely for the person you should be! When you are feeling down and alone it may be more often than not it is your self you are missing!

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5 comments:

  1. Another very wise post! To thine own self be true... but you've got to know who that is!

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  2. Haha INDEED one of my personal Favorites to boot! Girl are you psychic? :)

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  3. Awesome and inspirational !! am left speechless..

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  4. Awwee thanks Honoratum! Glad to be of inspiration!

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Azzrian

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