I have been in the midst of great changes. Ironic, right? The reinvention coach and mentor for empowered change is living another great transformation. Well, that's me at the moment. The inevitable changes of life are happening and I am choosing some more. Fears are being faced. Vulnerabilities are being exposed. Beliefs are cropping up to be digested, reframed, thrown out and turned into fuel for forward movement. With these changes and transitions, more time on my own has led to a sense of loneliness. Or so I thought...
I am on my own in a new place, another stage of life, in unfamiliars on many levels. The thought "I'm lonely" has been making surprise appearances consistently, and I'll admit not to my liking. Initially, I took this thought as fact and started the dip into momentary depression or sadness. Lonely! Oh no. The idea of loneliness set me into fear mode, like loneliness was some goblin guaranteed to turn me into stone, a scarlet letter on my chest, code for "you're unlovable." Left unchecked, the thought "I'm lonely" would quickly become a belief with a disempowering association. Through the practice I've cultivated, I didn't plunge into a dark hole when I definitely could have, believing loneliness meant something was wrong with me or where I was going. Instead, I asked a few of the right questions and turned the looming thought into a great insight.
So, I feel lonely. Okay.
Is that really true?
Are you really lonely?
What does lonely even mean?
If I am, is that such a bad thing?
What else is true?
What's the gift of going solo?
These queries got me to pause rather than run with the initial thinking, thoughts that would undoubtedly lead me to mean self talk and defeatist mentality. Ah, that precious pause. It does wonders for anything. Stopping to breathe gave me a moment to see where I was, actually looking at where my feet were and assessing the facts of my present situation. Reality check! Asking my inner wisdom a few questions and sitting with the answers that came, I became delightfully surprised to find that I was not lonely after all. Yes, I was alone. That was true. Yes, I had thoughts of missing someone and experiences of another time. That, too, was true. What else was true? I was tapping into independence on new levels. I was healthy and whole on my own. I know how to be with myself and live a meaningful life, one morning or afternoon at a time. I actually love being able to choose on a whim where I'll go and what I'll do, a benefit of being independent and in my own company. So, I'm alone, what will I do now? Dancing in the kitchen, yoga moves in the living room, clips of The Office while making a smoothie, changing my mind mid move, silence while meditating, the world is mine to choose as an independent woman on a mission to live fully and love myself completely. The options are endless, what fun!
Looking at my concept of lonely, I transformed the definition into something neutral and eventually elating. Left unchecked, it would hold power over me, and who likes to be controlled by a thought or feeling? With a willingness to explore what frightened me, it became just another word I could use or not. Talk about freedom! When the thought "I'm lonely" came, it means I'm not tuned into my relationship with a higher power or myself. Feeling alone is an invitation to befriend myself in simple ways, to turn up the music and dance, to do something that nurtures my spirit. Being alone does not equal loneliness. Neglecting the amazing relationship I get to have with myself is what feeds loneliness. Talk about a reframe. Challenging previously unquestioned beliefs is where the gold lies. This question and answer session shook me up in the best kind of way. The downer became an upper. Loneliness turned to luscious aliveness as I chose to delve deep and shift my thinking.
Loneliness is just a convenient label, for spaciousness, sacred self time, independence. The negative connotation placed on being alone is silly when I really look at it. As a few of my clients with children would remind me, having a minute alone to go to the bathroom is precious let alone an entire afternoon! Don't get me wrong. Being alone all the time isn't healthy, nor is it why we are here in human bodies. Connecting with community is life affirming, validating, pleasurable. No doubt.
"My people" near and far remind me to stay the course when fears crop up or I feel wobbly. I cherish them more than words, those close to me and part of my previous chapters. This being said, an inability to be alone and content in the solo moments is such a shame. Some of the most meaningful, spiritual, fun, endearing, heart opening moments I have experienced have been when I am in my own presence. Turning inward then reaching out to others is the foundation for the strongest friendships and bonds. Love mastered inside makes it possible to share with others and stay centered in yourself at the same time. Know yourself and you'll attract the tribe you've been waiting for.
The next time a sense of loneliness moves through your mind, take it as an invitation to a party of one with you, turn that music up and start dancing, curl up and read a book, light the candle, draw a bath, do what soothes your spirit and lights your soul on fire. In other words, do something just for you & be kind because you are amazing. Being alone is something so often taken for granted & is really worth celebrating. The longest relationship we get is the one with ourselves, might as well make it an incredible one. What is one thing you'll choose today to cherish your self?
To Enthusiastically Alone Living & The Tribes that Inspire Independence,
Do you want to feel more comfortable & content in your solo time? Message me to find out how.
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas