BY SOFO ARCHON
In our culture, most people don’t seem to spend any time alone, in silence, doing nothing but enjoying their own presence. They are continuously doing something or being with someone, distracting themselves in all sorts of ways, just so they won’t experience a moment of aloneness.
Afraid of Ourselves
Why do people always feel the need to be distracted from themselves? Mainly because of the fact that they have become disconnected from who they are.
Since we were children, many of us had to go through difficulties in life, some of which caused us immense suffering and were emotionally traumatic. Later on, in order to avoid experiencing any further suffering, many of us tried our best to repress our emotions that are associated with those traumatic experiences. But no matter how much we repressed them, they are still hidden deep inside our psyche, calling us to pay attention to them all the time, but we choose to not even stop for a moment and focus on them. We are so afraid to come in contact with our emotional world that we try to avoid it in any way possible.
In essence, we are trying to escape from ourselves. Not surprisingly, whenever we happen to find ourselves alone and unoccupied, we quickly start to feel uncomfortable. To avoid that discomfort, we rush to do something that will distract us from ourselves. This is the main reason why so many people watch TV for hours without end or mindlessly surf on the internet. Or why so many people overwork. Or why so many want to be constantly in the presence of others. This also explains why before going to bed at night, many of us consume sleeping pills, so as to avoid confronting the repressed, darker part of our psyche. We are so scared of our very selves that we are constantly somewhere between keeping our minds occupied and keeping our minds shut.
The Healing Benefits
of Spending Time Alone
By avoiding to face our inner world, we’ll never be able to live in harmony with ourselves. We’ll always be insecure, stressed, depressed. That’s why, no matter how painful coming in contact with our deeper selves might be, we should gather courage in our hearts to take a look within, and then our life will be totally transformed, in an incredibly positive way.
These are some ways spending time alone will make your life better:
- You’ll feel unburdened from toxic, repressed emotions.
- You’ll be more in tune with your emotional world.
- You’ll better understand yourself.
- You’ll make friends with your past.
- You’ll be more mindful of the present moment.
- You’ll be able to make more conscious choices.
- You’ll overcome feelings of loneliness.
- You’ll be less stressed and more calm.
- You’ll feel less afraid and more strong.
- You’ll be more honest with yourself and others.
- You’ll find more peace with yourself and the world.
Learning to Be Alone
To reap all these healing benefits, you need to make some space for yourself. Every day, make it a habit to spend some time on your own (I’d recommend at least 30 minutes). Find a silent room in your house to stay, sit on a chair or lie on a bed, turn off any electronic devices, and be sure to let the people close to you know that in this period of time you don’t want to be disturbed.
While all alone, in silence, start paying attention to your sensations, feelings, and thoughts. If you’ve not done such a thing for a long time, chances are that you will soon start feeling uneasy — your body might start shaking, disturbing emotions might be felt and unwanted memories might pop up. If and when this happens, don’t rush to escape from what’s happening, no matter how scary it might seem. Stay there, mindful of anything that you’re experiencing, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
As I mentioned already, what most people are afraid to encounter is their past traumatic experiences. But when you are all alone, doing nothing but being attentive, hidden memories are bound to jump into your awareness, and it’s very likely that they will awaken a lot of repressed emotions, which might make you burst into tears, feel sadness, and bring myriads of thoughts that will agitate your mind. When, however, all these memories are brought into the light of consciousness, a healing process starts taking place. The divided mind begins to come together. The darker side of your psyche merges with the brighter one. And then, through that process, you start experiencing inner harmony. You feel physically relaxed, emotionally cleansed and mentally refreshed. You become revitalized, reborn into a healthier state of being.
By choosing to spend time alone on a regular basis, you’ll learn to live at peace with yourself. You will stop distracting your mind with superficial things that are wasting your time and energy, and you will not want to shut yourself from life — on the contrary, you’ll be able to experience each and every moment to the fullest, squeezing the juice out of life, without feeling chained to the burdensome fears of your past. You will stop trying to hide your deepest parts of your psyche from yourself and those around you by pretending to be someone you are not — you will feel free to express your authenticity, finding that there’s nothing left to hide.