Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Judith Schuepfer-Griffin Registered MBACP, BA Hons
1st September, 20140 Comments
Spending time alone is not everybody's cup of tea. Some crave it, some hate it. Being alone is most difficult for people who are not at ease with themselves. There may be too much noise in their heads, too much inner conflict and debate, too much insecurity or fear. If we're dependent on the presence of others there is usually a big black hole inside ourselves and we start to feel that deep emptiness inside when we're alone.
The other side of the medal is usually that our relationships with the people whose presence we crave is also not great. If we need their presence we probably suck there emotional energy in order to fill our inner emptiness, which will drive them away from us because they can instinctively feel that they are being drained. In short, we can't live with them and we can't live without them. If this is the case we really need to work on our relationship with ourselves.
Another person can never fill our inner emptiness, only we can do this. If we even feel that another person is our life-blood, our oxygen, then there is a part of ourselves that is still in its infancy and is really craving to be mothered. We may look like a grown-up on the outside but on the inside there is a baby that is totally dependent.
To be able to be alone and enjoy our own company requires a good connection with ourselves and the ability and willingness to take responsibility for our own needs, which means: to respond to ourselves. Then, to be alone at times will feed us; it will help us to "re-group"(since we are all made up of many inner parts), to recharge, to feel again who we are and to re-orientate.
It's like being on a long walk, but then to sit down on our own, to rest and set our inner compass on "North" so that we can figure out where we are and where to head from here. To be able to be alone at times and at peace with ourselves is a grown-up thing. The more securely we are rooted and connected in ourselves, the more at peace we are whether we're alone or amongst others.
To spend time alone can be a wonderfully liberating and nourishing experience! To realise that we don't need the constant presence of others and that we're complete within ourselves will make us truly able to love, to relate to others in a healthy and enriching way. If we become mature enough to be able to take care of our own needs, the more our love will be about giving, to ourselves and to others instead of needing from them. Two of those make a really happy couple!
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