There is a big difference between being alone and being by oneself.
Being alone connotes the desire to be with others, yet we are not.
Being by oneself indicates the desire to be with ourselves.
No one likes to feel lonely, yet the feeling can be with us whether we are with people or not.
When we make a conscious choice to spend time with ourselves, and look at it as a gift we give ourselves, then the loneliness dissipates. It has less to do with our physical environment and more to do with our internal state.
If we spend all our time with others, engaged in conversations, listening to others, responding, we do not have the space to feel what is going on inside of us.
It is only in the quiet moments when we are not distracted by the outside world that our internal world is revealed and we can be present to our underlying state. Making the effort to cultivate our presence to what is going on underneath the surface serves us in so many ways. Not the least of which is knowing ourselves better, so when we are engaged with others we can more readily tell what is someone else’s stuff, and what is ours.
How often do we actually take time to be with ourselves? Chances are, not enough.
Yet when we make time to be in solitude, to be quiet, to be with our thoughts and feelings, we find a whole world full of richness, information, and feelings. There is great treasure there, and when we learn to appreciate it, it will uplift us throughout our lives.
So let’s all give ourselves the gift of being in good company, with ourselves.
~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant