October 19     

Today's quotation:

We need periods of being by ourselves-- alone.  Sometimes a fortnight or even a week will do wonders for one, unless he or she has drawn too heavily on the account.  The simple custom, moreover, of taking an hour, or even a half hour, alone in the quiet, in the midst of the daily routine of life, would be the source of inestimable gain for countless numbers.

Ralph Waldo Trine
"Thought I Met on the Highway"

Today's Meditation:

It used to be that I often felt lonely being alone, wishing that I could share the time with someone else, share what I was doing with someone else.  But as time has passed I've not just become very comfortable with being alone, but learned to cherish my time alone, to love it, to truly enjoy it and to use that time to focus entirely upon my surroundings without having to think about what someone else says or does-- rather, I can focus on what's around me and enjoy it to the utmost.  This is especially true of the quiet times I have alone, when I can breathe easily and relax fully.

Our alone time can be a blessing or a curse, depending upon how we perceive it.  What I know now that I didn't know earlier is just how necessary it is for me to be on my own in order to recharge, to rejuvenate.  While I truly enjoy being with and around other people, I also wear down because of the many interactions and I long for the peace of some alone time.  I truly do need time alone, and I often do my best to make sure that I can go for a short walk alone on a busy day, or spend a few minutes by myself without any interaction that pulls my thoughts and feelings away from the present moment that I'm experiencing.

I used to associate aloneness with loneliness.  It used to often be painful for me to be alone a lot, but that's not true any more.  This change in my perspective has helped me to improve many aspects of my life, including relationships because I now have more to give them when I've had time to myself, and a different perspective on them that solitude has given to me.  My work is better, also, because in my alone time I'm often able to ponder problems and issues that I simply can't run through my mind when I'm constantly distracted by the input that other people have in my life.

My time alone definitely adds to the peace in my life, and what I especially like about it is that my alone times aren't my only peaceful times-- my time by myself helps me to feel peace even when I'm not alone.  The perspective and awareness that I experience when no one else is near expands into the time I spend with others, and I treat them better as a result.  I honestly wouldn't give up my time on my own for anything any more, just as I cherish the time with others.  It's the balance that helps me to fill my time with both the black and the white, the yin and the yang, the alone time and the time with others.

Questions to consider:

How much time are you able to spend alone-- and truly value that time?

What happens when people aren't able to have any time to themselves?

Why do so many people avoid time alone and try to fill all their moments with activities and other people?

For further thought:

The awareness we experience in solitude is priceless for the peace it can give.   It is also the key to true loving in our relationships.  When we have a part of ourselves that is firm, confident, and alone, we donít need another person to fill us.  We know that we have private spaces full of goodness and self-worth, and we grant the same to those we love.  We do not try to pry into every corner of their lives or to fill the emptiness inside us with their presence.

Kent Nerburn

more thoughts and ideas on solitude



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