I recently moved into my own space, and have found myself spending a lot of time alone, which is something that is taking some adjusting to. I am 100% certain that anyone who is related to me or knows me personally rolled their eyes at the first sentence because even when I am at home or at a social gathering I often become quite reclusive (anti-social extrovert), but to my defense, self-isolation in a house full of people or at an outing is different from being alone, I mean alone, ALONE.
Although I grew up in a house filled with siblings and preferred moving in with my best friends when I first moved away from home. I have never been afraid of being on my own and to some degree thought that I naturally preferred it. To my surprise, the first two weeks in my new home started off with trying to fill my space with noise, overthinking myself into an anxious pulp and eventually enjoying my own make-shift routine. Even though my new found life of solitude is still taking shape, I’ve compiled a list of 3 lessons I have learned in my time alone…
Lesson No 1: Value Time With Loved Ones
Time on your own can remind you to value the time you spend with your loved ones, teach you to value their conversation, laughter and even encourage you to put your phone down. For instance, when I was still living at home catch up time with my little brother was often characterized by ”uhms” and ”yeahs” while we both stared at our phone screens but the last time I went back home we made it a point to get the picnic blanket, lay it out in the backyard and have an actual conversation, he even convinced me to give Trapo’s Oil Change a listen.
Lesson No 2: Enjoy Your Own Company (boredom) / Get to know yourself
The world will always try to put you in a box, label and tell you who you are but society will not have that hold on you if you are firmly standing in who you believe you are and you can only get to that point from spending time with yourself, battling through your boredom and literally getting to know yourself. I personally believe in the power of Self-acceptance and Self-awareness. The benefits of being aware of your habits, (sub)conscious coping mechanisms, strengths, weaknesses and the complexity of your humanity are essential for the progress you wish to make in any area of your life. An awareness of your strengths gives you an opportunity to know how to build on them. On the other hand, being aware of your weaknesses gives you an opportunity to turn them into strengths or simply embrace them. It is also important to note that, the world cannot invalidate you if you have already validated yourself. The world can not break your character if it is built on a solid foundation.
Lesson No 3: Make time for your spiritual well-being
” I sit in silence and find whenever I meditate
My fears alleviate, my tears evaporate
My faith don’t deviate, ideas don’t have a date” – J Cole
The world is filled with so much noise and pressure that we often find ourselves drowning in it. We seem to forget that there’s more to life than deadlines, he-say/she-say, Instagram likes disappearing and Twitter hashtags. Making time for your spiritual well-being goes beyond Sunday services and involves habitual practice on your own. A few years ago a preacher told me that my mental and spiritual well-being are intertwined, which is something I have found to be true. So, in my experience, meditation, and prayer help alleviate my anxiety. Making the time for my spiritual well -being includes 15sec conversations with God at hourly intervals and logging off social media platforms for as long as I need to. My time alone has allowed me to define what spirituality looks like to me even though there really isn’t a script for this type of stuff.
No man is an island, we all need companionship and human connection. I believe in the power of community and the importance of the relationships that we have with the people we have in our lives. All I hope for is that this blog post has inspired you to make time to get to know yourself, take care of your spiritual well-being and hopefully, see the value in being fully present in the moments spent with your loved ones.
One last reminder: Life is a journey and no one will ever have it figured out but that should not stop us from trying.