The Earth is a very social place. The universe is a maze of interaction, and yet in our minds, we are alone.
From the day we are born, we begin thinking. Even though these thoughts begin simple, they slowly form into complex chains of ideas, memories, conversations, and much more. It is crucial to our growth as individuals that we learn to understand these thoughts. While much of our time will be spent in the company others, too much and there becomes little room to reflect on your own personality. I believe it is important and necessary for everyone to spend at least some chunks of time alone. Even when you are married to the love of your life, it is important that each of you have your own space.
When we can analyze ourselves, we give ourselves the chance to be wrong, and we find out we aren’t so wrong after all. It is the acceptance of failure that allows us to grow more quickly. Some people are extroverts, and have a very difficult time in silence, alone. Others are introverts, and have the same troubles in large groups of people. Then there are those in the middle, ambiverts, who have characteristics of both. Although they are in the middle, it is not uncommon for them to have a tendency toward one side. Wherever you may fall, it is critical that you focus on yourself.
That sounds selfish, and if understood differently than my intentions of saying so, it very well can be.
We are told in the event of a decrease in cabin pressure in an airplane, that we should fit our own mask properly before helping someone else with theirs. I have used this as an analogy whenever I have to decide between putting others before myself or myself before others. The nature of opposites that the universe holds is very complex, and yet very simple. The meaning I take from the airplane analogy is that we must take care of ourselves before we help others. If we try to take care of others before ourselves, it almost never works out, or feebly if it does.
When you build on your well-being in all areas, (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, cultural, social, financial, and professional), they not only become much easier to manage, they become part of your daily routine and no longer take up large chunks of your time. This frees you, allowing your time to be spent helping others improve their lives. We have a negative connotation around the word selfish, making it egotistical and assholish to do. Although the definition of selfish means to lack consideration of others, we can use the word in a way that signifies pure intentions.
Being alone gives you time to be comfortable with who you are. Even if we are constantly with friends, family, coworkers, or our partners, we are still alone inside of our heads. We are alone when we go to sleep at night, even in the embrace of our significant other. It is imperative that we are completely aware of all parts of ourselves, so that we are not surprised with how we act around others. Hidden personalities and snarky remarks arise when we have not fully acknowledged the darker parts of ourselves.
When we are the same person alone as well as around others, we have harmonized our personality with our soul.
There is a very fine line in taking care of oneself before that of others, and this line shifts from moment to moment. if we are to find this line, we must constantly be aware of what is going on inside of us. Anytime we have a thought, feeling, urge, impulse, question or otherwise, we must acknowledge it, accept it, and then move on. Some we will like, some we will not. The key is to give all bubbles of inquiry a chance to surface. When we push these things down, when we run away from what is going on inside of us, they only become bigger, stronger, and harder to dispel. It is quite obvious that there will always be parts of us that we do not wish to show others, or that may be nasty. But it is important that as we grow we slowly release our inner demons through positive outlets.
Every aspect of life has a shadow, both literally and figuratively. If we are to live happy and successful lives, it is necessary that we understand one simple fact: every single one of us has the same capacity for evil as every other person. When we acknowledge our shadow and accept that evil is part of us, it remains in our control. When we stuff it under the rug to be dealt with for a “later day”, your shadow will get very angry, and lash out through your actions. While we all have the ability to be as evil as Vlad Dracula and others, it ultimately comes down to your choices.
When we are alone, (preferably in silent darkness, such as before bed) we are able to evaluate ourselves, and overcome the negative qualities we have so that they may be replaced with positive ones. Exercise, a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and a fulfilling lifestyle are all needed so that we may have positive relationships with others. Not only is spending time with yourself good for your connection with others, it is also good for your relationship with you!
Your higher self is what guides you to make the best choices for yourself, although it is absolutely possible to go against what this higher self has to say. When what the right choice is gets confusing, and you are torn between two “rights”, it is highly recommended that you spend time with yourself. Only you knows what is right for you, and only you can make those choices for you. Terence Mckenna once said, “If you do not have a plan, you will become a part of someone else’s plan.”
Time with yourself is meant to be getting to know who you are under the filters and layers.
Every encounter we have with others slightly alters our personality and life path. Over time, this adds layers to our consciousness, meaning that we act slightly different depending on who we are around. We may act differently around an authority figure such as a police officer, compared to around our parents and friends. Depending on our amount of trust we have for that person, we show more or less of our true selves. If we are not comfortable with being completely alone, it is most likely because we are have fears that we have not yet conquered. Of course this can also be true in the opposite scenario, in which case fears are still present.
The most blatant way to overcome these fears is to simply do it. Ask yourself what you are afraid of, run at it head on and take your life by the horns. Fear is a great motivator, but love is an even better one. Meditation is a great way to calmly navigate the dark places within us, and help us conquer our demons. It is important to remember that every single one of us has them, and we all are fighting different battles. Significant time alone can be very beneficial in aligning your ego with your higher self. Too much time alone, especially without human contact can be detrimental, although some people are quite comfortable with it.
When reflecting alone, patience with yourself is very necessary. If you are evaluating your decisions with a condescending and judgmental attitude, it can be very self-destructive and detrimental. Too much time alone can sometimes lead to self-defeating behaviors. Surround yourself with positive people, who appreciate you and support your decisions. Ask yourself questions, be open to what answers you find, and be honest with yourself. Forward progress happens the most efficient when you are patient and kind with yourself.
Whatever side of socializing you fall on, it is important to have time to yourself. Whether it be for reflection, a hobby, or just to enjoy the silence, alone time helps you get to know you. Use this time to find the hidden parts of yourself, align your ego with your soul, and be one person.
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to leave a comment, story, question, or idea down below. I love hearing new ideas and perspectives, and I hope you have a wonderful day!