We just celebrated the independence of the USA from the British Empire and this got me thinking about freedom, independence, and what that all means. We celebrate the independence of our country, but how often do we celebrate over even liberate our own independence? Do we notice or grow our own person? How much time per day or even per week to you set aside to be alone with yourself?
Let's just start by saying there are tons of different types of personalities and we have all had life experiences that have shaped us. So, some of us love to be alone and others truly fear being alone. In general I would say the amount of people that fear being alone outnumbers the people who only want to be alone or that enjoy some time alone on a regular basis. Maybe that's just because the people that fear being alone are more extroverted and therefore their voice is heard louder? Regardless, I find there are some extremely important and rewarding reasons to build some alone time into your life. I don't mean after you've had kids and all you want is some time for yourself (even though that may currently be the case which is totally normal and okay...however if you do not have kids yet it's the perfect time to build this into your life).
So, why is it important to be alone? What are some of the benefits?
1. Clarity + perspective
When we are constantly around others we start to feed off of their thoughts, their emotions, and there perception - which is why we have been told since we were little to be careful who we hang around with. It's true! With that being said, it's also true that by taking some time to be alone we can more objectively look at things, taking into account the way others are reacting, and then deciding for ourselves the way we want to handle things. We start to clarify who we are, not who we are around others. We begin to observe things and make conscious decisions which helps us to change our perspective. All good things here.
Let's face it, even the most extroverted person, someone who feels more energetic when around other people, sometimes needs a break. It can be exhausting to be around others all the time because we are getting all their energy vibes off of them - the good and the bad - and filtering (hopefully) what we allow in and what we allow out. So it can be exhausting to have our guard up to only receive the good and block the bad. Does that make sense? Example: you've had an amazing day, you're feeling confident and radiant and when you go to meet up with your friend for dinner and they tell you all about how they just lost their job, they are fighting with their partner, and their child is sick not to mention that they are physically exhausted from not getting enough sleep. At first during the conversation you may be able to be a strong support for them and give them good vibes but after some time (maybe not this dinner per say, but if this keeps up in their life and you keep being their supportive friend) it gets exhausting and their bad vibes start to affect you and suddenly you're noticing all the challenges in your own life. Sooooo, it's a good thing to have time alone to re-energize who we are and to keep building up our aura and strengthening our good energy.
3. Emotion regulation
How this works is that we can easily become like a shaken bottle of pop, ready to blow at any moment. Taking the time for ourselves, to settle into our beings, to connect with who we are, helps us to better regulate our emotions when we are around others. Part of this is because we start to know what our emotions are. Because we have spent time alone, contemplated things in life, and figured ourselves out a little bit more we are able to regulate our emotions in general. Pretty amazing and significant stuff.
4. Learn your life purpose
As we spend time building a relationship with ourselves, we start to learn who we are and what we want in our life - which also includes what we do NOT want in our lives. Rather than going along with the group think, we start to think for ourselves, and follow what we want to do. This is a beautiful thing because when we follow our true desires and passions we start to fulfill our purpose in the world. This bring us a sense of fulfillment and general life satisfaction and it also helps to improve our world - we are living out our life's purpose! (p.s. If you think this sounds absurd I would love to chat with you more about it)
5. Build a relationship with yourself
Self love, self compassion, self esteem baby. Sound selfish? Read this post HERE about the importance of you being happy and having a relationship with you. Once you start to feel that self love and compassion for your being you start to treat yourself kinder - as you would treat a friend or family member that you love. When this happens it's amazing how it changes the way you look at things like your personal hygiene, the types of foods you put into your body, what you are drinking, how much you are sleeping, your general routine for things. It's healing to love yourself. When you have self love and better care for yourself you are also better at caring and loving others. Amazing.
6. Space and Grace
I love space. How about you? I think I used to hate it and feel afraid when people gave me space, like maybe they didn't love me or care about me "enough." Sound familiar at all? Now I realize that when there is space there is a place for growth to occur. I look at this like giving yourself space and grace to grow, change, develop, transform. It's important to give others this space too. To not control them or expect them to be exactly the same each moment. Allowing that space for growth and in turn be able to appreciate and love the person for who they are in that moment (grace). With this space come authenticity and with the grace comes a place of deep understanding and true connection.
7. Appreciate the people in your life
Let's be honest here. Sometimes we need a break, or more space, from people in our lives to appreciate them more deeply. Isn't that a common occurrence with siblings once they get older or one moves away to college? Seems time tested and proven over and over again. Create some space in your life today for yourself, and from there you will be able to allow others the space and grace they need to grow as well.
There are so many amazing outcomes from spending quality time alone. Has anyone ever told you how important it is to build a relationship with yourself? Maybe you give yourself 5 extra minutes each day when you get out of the shower? Maybe this alone time takes place when you are doing some morning exercise? Perhaps you give yourself 5 minutes to sit and just "be" before you go to sleep each night? As with anything, building it into your routine will make it easier for this to become a habit. Enjoy YOUR life! Enjoy YOURSELF! Enjoy the RELATIONSHIP with YOU! So much joy to you on this journey of self discovery and growth <3