Sunday, August 8, 2010

Finding Peace in being alone

I saw this video on one of my favorite blogs; "Down Abbie's Road" and thought it perfect for a Sunday meditation. I'm not talking about a sermon-type of meditation or one where you sit for hours trying to empty your mind; which by the way I'm horrible at, since I have major ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). In other words, I have a lot of company going on in my brain all the time. But when I see something visual, like this video, I can actually pause the committee and take it all in. It's about being "alone", which has different associations for all of us. I was a lonely child but never alone if that makes sense. I didn't know what solitude was, I just knew isolation.

It wasn't until after my marriage which dissolved in my twenties that I learned how to love solitude. I struggled with loneliness and still do. It's that old existential belief, we're born alone and we'll die alone. That thought used to terrify me. I also didn't have a spiritual practice when I was first alone. For me at least, I feel closest with spirit when I'm alone. When I'm depressed, I'm forced to ask for help from a non-human source as they can only help anyone so far. I have to go inwards to find the place of peaceful solitude so I can see a glimpse of the light. I love this post about being alone from one of my favorite bloggers who struggles with the dance of loneliness and connection. It's a really authentic, soulful and poignant post which I hope you all check out.

I've blogged about my spiritual struggles and being "alone", but today, I'm actually happy in being alone. Solitude has become part of my well-being. My son is a total extrovert who can't stand being alone for a long period of time and doesn't understand his mother "the hermit" and that's fine. Extroverts are the balance for introverts. So enough with my babble about being alone and I hope you get something out of this video like I have. I'd love to know your thoughts and feelings about this video and what being alone means to you? Do you hate it? Love it? Or perhaps both?

I wish all of you a Sunday of peace and bliss whether you're alone or not.


JJ Beazley said...

This has been much on my mind lately. Mostly, I prefer being alone - but not always. Sometimes I feel the need of company. It passes. Being alone is my natural state. There's no point denying it.

Wendilea said...

As an introvert who spends much of my time alone, I applaud this lovely testament. It's only when we fight our innate nature that being alone seems lonely. Thank you Wendy for posting this remarkable video. I loved it!

JJ Beazley said...

I don't think being a loner necessarily comes from being introverted. I, for one, am naturally an extrovert and also naturally a loner. My ex partner is the opposite. She's a gregarious introvert. For me, being a loner has more to do with an inate need to stand at least slightly apart and observe, rather than fully engaging. When you engage, there's a tendency not to see the wood for the trees. I like to see both. I think it gives me a broader view.

The problem for me is that my naturally extrovert nature sometimes leads to loneliness because it wants to communicate with people, even if I don't fully engage with them. If that makes sense.

Wendy said...

Jeff, I think we need to differentiate what being an introvert means vs. an extrovert. An introvert is of course not necessarily being a loner, in fact I would consider myself a "sociable" introvert. The difference between an introvert and an extrovert is that the introvert gets "refreshed and recharged" from alone time while an extrovert gets all their energy from being around people 80% or more than not. And of course extroverts do like and need alone time in small doses. An introvert needs more obviously than an extrovert. Thank you for making me clarify what I believe and also have studied on what makes an introvert.

Wendilea, so glad you liked the post and video. You're definitely not "alone" in the best sense of the word and I agree with you we all need to embrace our essence, introversion or extroversion.

The Depressed Reader said...

Hi Wendy,
This was an interesting post, and thanks for including the link to my blog post, I'm flattered by your kind comments!

Thanks also for posting the video link. The poem and video are beautiful, and provide a fresh perspective on being alone. I think being able to appreciate and respect ourselves is something that helps with dealing with loneliness and depression.

I hope to find peace in being alone that the poem and your post talk about. I'm not there yet, but I'm still trying.


Layla Morgan Wilde said...

Wendy, I loved this and will share. As an extroverted loner I sometimes forget not everyone is comfortable being alone.I was delighted to see you post the Practical Magic blog party button as well.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

lovely... know what you mean wendy about being a lonely child yet never alone...


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