Alone & relational time
Most everyone likes a little alone time. Time to reset, time to reflect, and time to just be. We all seem to welcome a little bit of alone time. What happens though when that alone time is longer than we want it to be? We switch from welcoming aloneness into feeling lonely. We begin to mark our worth, value and significance based on who wants to spend time with us and aloneness becomes our worst enemy. We feel frustrated, resentful and jealous of others that seem to not be alone and wonder why we are. If we aren’t desiring aloneness and we are alone, it can really activate our insecurities about who we are as a person in relation to others, and beyond that our purpose in this world.
Alone time, and spending time with others, are both important. The balance of that is different for each person. Sometimes though it seems like we don’t really get to choose. That’s where we go off keel. We want alone time but feel like we can’t get it. Or the flip of that, we want social-relational connection and it’s not available. Our lack of feeling of choice in the matter leaves us feeling all sorts of unpleasant things. There is so much tied up into aloneness. Most people have strategies to somehow avoid feeling it. They do this by planning many, many activities and keeping their lives as busy as possible with stuff, much of which they don’t even enjoy or like, so that they never have a chance to feel lonely. Other people have strategies that keep other people at bay, which can be beneficial when we do indeed want alone time, however when we don’t want to be by ourselves this strategy reinforces our sense or story of aloneness.
Regardless of the strategy used to navigate aloneness, at the core it boils down to our feeling of choice in the matter, and in desiring what’s present rather than focusing on what’s not. Our mind’s obsession of focusing on lack doesn’t help us. We have a fixation on noticing what isn’t present, rather than what is. This focus keeps us feeling disempowered when really we have all the power. If we shifted our focus onto what is, rather than what we think isn’t, we’d realize the power we have. Whether we are with other people or not, our state of is-ness never changes. Being with people can’t add or subtract to our beingness. We can’t be more or less based on if another person is present with us, notices us or cares about us. We can only think or feel that we can be. Even our thought or feeling that our worth or significance can be impacted by another person’s presence or absence, doesn’t affect our state of beingness. We still are the same being regardless of how or what we think of our self, or how other’s think or view us. Nothing can affect our being and therefore nothing can affect our worth, value or significance, including another person’s presence or absence.
ARE THERE EVEN OTHER PEOPLE?
It seems very convincing that there are other people. After all you see, feel and think inside of your body and then it seems like other people are doing that inside of their bodies. But what exactly are other people and at what level of consciousness does the consciousness of other people, and that of yours, merge into one? Maybe that sounds a little sci-fi for you, or perhaps a little to woo. Yet I believe that is where we are headed. Isn’t that what all of this oneness stuff eludes too? How can there many if there is just one? Is many the illusion or is one the illusion? All good questions for your contemplations.
What I can tell you from my direct experience is that as I become less different, distinct or distinguished in my sense of self the more telepathic I’ve become, meaning the less separate my thoughts are from other’s thoughts. The more I make what seems to be other, the same as me, the more interconnected, or dare I even say, one we become. We move and act in response to the same stimulus, that stimulus being love. Essentially what this means is that the more we move into love and include everything in/as that love, the less distinctions exist. The more you realize that you couldn’t be alone even if you tried because everything that exists, exists in/as one. One may seem lonely, because after all it’s just one, yet it’s one that includes all.
That may all be a bit to nondual for you and perhaps a bit conceptual, so I will bring it back to the relational level. Coming into alignment with life, or said another way, choosing what is, shifts you from feeling powerless into feeling powerful. When we feel powerful, and decide to choose aloneness when it presents itself inside of our experience rather than wanting it to be different, we embrace aloneness. It ends the stories we have about aloneness and transforms the experience that we have of it. The charge we had about being alone dissolves. We see the opportunity and gift inside of both alone time and relational time. Yes this can really be your experience of aloneness.
When we embrace aloneness and transform our experience to it we get to find the stillness and silence of our own mind. That silence is a great teacher. Through it we discover what we be. There is nothing more fundamental for the human being to discover than this. Our being often gets lost or covered up in all of the engaging and interacting that we do. Finding that which just is, that be’s, is the root or ground for all interacting and relating to occur in the first place. Getting to know this being that we are, that never changes, never goes anywhere, that is the most stable, unwavering presence that is, brings a richness, aliveness and fullness to our experience of ourselves. In the fullness of being, loneliness isn’t even a thought. You realize that being is all there is whether you are by yourself or with others. You cannot escape this beingness. You can’t not be. You can only come to know the being that you are, and through that knowing discover the fullness of yourself that always was, is and will ever be.
Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado