Living Alone and Accepting Aloneness

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A self-employed Business Consultant from Baltimore MD emailed me a copy of some thoughts he had written in response to a recent separation from his partner and his need, at least for the short term, to spend time alone. I share his thoughts in the hope that his insights might inspire others:

“I am an island of consciousness – no one else can do my thinking, no one else can do my feeling – I must embrace my aloneness. There are many reasons for doing this:

1. Aloneness is an unavoidable condition of life. Even in the company of others I am still a very distinct and unique individual. I can enjoy the company of others but wherever I am and whatever I do I must ultimately return to the aloneness of my thoughts and consciousness.

2. Aloneness is part of my journey through life. Ultimately I must die alone. No one else can journey with me across the abyss between life and death. People may be with me in my final moments but I take the step alone.

3. I write these words alone in my home on a beautiful, warm sunny day. Despite being alone I feel a tremendous inner peace and joy. It is really OK to be in touch with my aloneness. It is OK to be aware of my individuality and uniqueness.

4. I approve of myself. I am an OK person. By accepting my aloneness I accept myself. I feel a delicious sense of harmony between myself and this magical environment. No one can take that peace away from me. In the final analysis it is always available. Last week I said goodbye to my partner and fearfully returned to my own aloneness deeply concerned about how I would cope with the weekend. Yet here I am on Monday afternoon feeling OK, at peace and free of the underlying mental stress that has accompanied that relationship.

5. It is probably unrealistic to expect that I will always feel so at peace. Moments of stress and anxiety come and go but the peace I now know is an all-pervading reality that provides a secure backdrop to my life.

6. I will accept and embrace my aloneness because it is no more distressing than the peace I now enjoy. The considerable stress over the past three weeks has not come from aloneness but from unrealistic expectations and disappointments.

7. The expectation that is forever elusive and always provocative is the expectation that another human being can enter my life and provide a greater source of peace and joy than I can find for myself as I have done today. I then cling to that person for approval and shelter from aloneness. This possessiveness then proceeds to destroy the relationship.

8. I will lay aside the fantasy of a perfect relationship. I will recognize that no relationship can ever stand the test of time nor reach the same degree of quality that I can find in myself. I will therefore abandon the futile lifelong search that continually shakes me from the inner peace and contentment that is always available in my aloneness.

9. Savoring the peace this afternoon I ask myself … what more could I want? It is a restful peace; a joyful peace; a reassuring peace. I could only describe it as an overwhelming sense of being in tune with the universe. A feeling that where I am is where I belong. A feeling that being alive is an appropriate experience for me to enjoy at the moment. A feeling that I am on a journey that is going in the right direction. A feeling that I am growing into life – growing into the fulness of my own personal existence.

10. As I read my words I am challenged by the absurdity of my fears: So this is what I feared! I feared the peace and tranquility of this place. I feared the deliciousness of today.

11. I have always enjoyed reading my Journals because of the transcendent pleasures they provide. These pages become a review and I can travel across them viewing the emotional pain in perspective and from a safe vantage point. That vantage point is the shelter of my own aloneness.

12. I will form new friendships. I will seek friendships to enable me to share many of the good things that life had provided. In friendship I can fearlessly reach out to others and embrace them in genuine love because of their sake not because of my hidden pathological needs. I can laugh, love, share etc … in the certain knowledge that my own aloneness is OK – in knowing that it is my place of being at home.

13. My aloneness offers concrete security. If I am OK in me then no one can take that away. So I must learn to enjoy my aloneness as I am this afternoon. I will be a friend firstly to myself. I am my best friend. Why? Because in myself I can find enjoyment and peace in living. I know that when others let me down that I can lie in bed at night and feel OK about living and OK about me. That security is once again confirmed. After a few weeks I have found it again. Five months with my ex-partner could not destroy it.

14. I belong to me – I am totally mine. I feel OK about who I am and what I have. I approve of myself. I have finally come to realize that when you have no expectations of others – then you have everything.”

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About the author

John Townsend
John Townsend

My name is John Townsend and I have been working as a Stress Management Consultant since 1986. My seminar, Get Tough With Stress, has been presented to thousands of people throughout the world and shows people how to toughen up to stress and to transform stressful experiences into valuable learning experiences.

My clients include many of Australia’s largest companies plus Australian Government Departments and agencies. One of my greatest personal joys was to present my Get Tough With Stress programme to staff of the Australian Parliament.

Over the past 15 years I have been presenting to large numbers of Chief Executive Officers through an organisation called The Executive Connection (TEC). I have been privileged to receive the highest honours bestowed on speakers by TEC, an organisation dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of Chief Executives.

Follow John on LinkedIn: townsend-international-pty-ltd

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John Townsend By John Townsend

John Townsend

John Townsend

My name is John Townsend and I have been working as a Stress Management Consultant since 1986. My seminar, Get Tough With Stress, has been presented to thousands of people throughout the world and shows people how to toughen up to stress and to transform stressful experiences into valuable learning experiences.

My clients include many of Australia’s largest companies plus Australian Government Departments and agencies. One of my greatest personal joys was to present my Get Tough With Stress programme to staff of the Australian Parliament.

Over the past 15 years I have been presenting to large numbers of Chief Executive Officers through an organisation called The Executive Connection (TEC). I have been privileged to receive the highest honours bestowed on speakers by TEC, an organisation dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of Chief Executives.

Follow John on LinkedIn: townsend-international-pty-ltd