I love when I get asked a question that really makes me think.
You know the kind that makes you say “That’s a good question” out loud because you have no other response at the time.
Those are the kind of questions that start to shift your perspective and bring a new idea or thought to light in your mind.
I got one of those thrown at me last night.
I was asked “What does it really mean to be okay being alone?”. Great question!
Because when I thought about it, it’s a phrase that people throw around a lot but never really define. If you get out of a break up or you are bouncing from relationship to relationship, people always want to tell you “Sally, you just need to learn how to be alone”.
What kind of advice is that?
That’s like the last thing you want to do at that point, right?
Well, it’s really good advice actually. I think it just needs to be explained a little more. When I thought about it this morning, what came to mind was finding fulfillment in other things besides a partner.
For a long time, I really struggled being alone. Really, I did everything in my power to not be alone. What I began to realize was that I was really starting to lose myself. I didn’t know who I was outside of a relationship. This included whoever my “best friend” at the time was as well. I would just latch on to people and kind of enmesh myself with their lives.
I didn’t know who I was. Just as me. And, honestly I was afraid to find out.
When I put fear aside, and put the spotlight on myself it was life changing. Still scary sometimes, but life changing. It allowed me to understand why I do the things that I do. To make changes to old habits that didn’t serve me. To start on a journey toward helping others, which I knew was a passion buried deep inside.
To sum it up, “learning how to be alone” really means understanding who you are outside of anyone else. It doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself in cave for 6 months, it just means you need to take the time to learn who you are and what you feel like your purpose is beyond caring for others.