On Being Alone

“La Dame del Lago,” Antonio Mora

“If there’s empty spaces in your heart,

They’ll make you think it’s wrong,

Like having empty spaces,

Means you never can be strong,

But I’ve learnt that all these spaces,

Means there’s room enough to grow,

And the people that once filled them,

Were always meant to be let go,

And all these empty spaces,

Create a strange sort of pull,

That attract so many people,

You wouldn’t meet if they were full,

So if you’re made of empty spaces,

Don’t ever think it’s wrong,

Because maybe they’re just empty,Until the right person comes along.”

-e.h.

Being along can be incredibly uncomfortable. You are in the company of no one but your mind, a mind unbound by the constraints that immediately wrap around your truth whenever you enter the presence of another being. For when you are alone, your thoughts are free to wander, free to tiptoe closer to the edge, to push boundaries, to go somewhere uncharted. Sometimes they get tangled but it is in this mess that art emerges—a compilation of lines and squiggles and uncalculated turns that is completely unique and more part of your identity than any inked thumbprint. When you are alone you can give in to the unpredictability of the wandering mind, you can give up control and see where your authentic self takes you. This is where some people start to squirm—their mind takes them somewhere that they don’t think they want to go, somewhere that is scary in its raw honesty, in its caustic truth. Some people prefer to live on the surface of their mind, surrounding themselves with other breaths exhaling out congruencies and ideas with straight lines and common shapes that are easier to fit into their empty spaces.

But it is only the ones who accept the gift of solitude that are permitted into a space where the scariness of the world, with all its zigzags and one-of-a-kind puzzle pieces that aren’t easily connected, can be interpreted and turned inside out and made into something beautifully sincere. When you allow yourself to stop the ever-present ticking of the other, to quiet the stream of outside opinion that usually guides you through life like a fallen leaf reliant on the current to move it from one place to another, you are free to dive past the line of acceptance and outside the strangling arms of comfort. Your solitary thoughts, in all their unpredictability, are the most veracious instruments that you will ever be given to aid you in your life journey. But it is up to you to move past the insecurities and the fears that come with the lack of outside assurance and give in to the pulsing of the truth that is hidden deep down inside yourself.

When you have allowed yourself to be alone, to be truly removed from anything that is not of your unique essence, then you can truly gain all of the wisdom and happiness and perspective that is found in time spent with others. When you know yourself, you are standing on solid ground that cannot be shaken by all the risks and unknowns that come from engaging with the world. You are a firm foundation, assured by the fact that you are the only one who you know will always welcome you with open arms after a lost battle. Your gravity is centered, so you can feel free to be swept away by the rollercoaster that is external relationships. You can participate without inhibition, and your outward actions will be an honest reflection of your inward convictions.

So today, I ask my unaccompanied self to engage me in what it only knows makes my eyes smile, what rocks my soul. The wisdom that comes from being alone has taught me that I am actually more connected with the universe than I will ever realize when I learn to relish the time spent with my rare, incomparable self.

xx mm

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