If you are the kind of person who looks outside of yourself for answers to life’s great mysteries, you will from time to time experience solitude as “loneliness.”
If, on the other hand, you are the introspective type, always looking inside and not out there in the world for greater understanding, insight and awareness, you will most likely experience it as “aloneness.”
There is a world of difference between loneliness and aloneness and if, as we have discussed in many previous articles, you yearn to hear the still small voice of your heart (which always knows what you need and want), while escaping for a while from the machinations of your mind and its conditioning, you need frequent periods of aloneness.
Many people dread being alone, but aloneness is nothing to be afraid of – indeed those who are used to it and understand the benefits at firsthand welcome and even yearn for it.
The modern buzz-word for this is having “me-time,” but I eschew that phrase because it smacks of narcissism and implies you just want to pull up the drawbridge and shut out the outside world, abandoning it to its fate while you get on with your life unhindered. Aloneness, by contrast, is a process of nourishing and enriching your heart and soul so you can function more effectively in the world, and be of genuine service. It helps you recognise what is meaningful to you and gives you the courage to pursue your unique path single-pointedly while sharing your gift with others, even if it feels scary.
That way you can realise your enormous human potential and give your life genuine meaning and purpose. This is a win/win for all of us because we need you to realise your potential so you are able to give us your particular contribution to its full value. And you need it to feel you are living a meaningful and fulfilled life.
By definition we are all unique and I have a feeling if we each concentrate on developing our gift to the full, not only would we be filled with joy, but also conflict or even competition between people need no longer arise, except in sport. It’s worth remembering that the word “enjoyment” has at its root the word “joy.”
So how to create and benefit from aloneness?
As ever I go back to my old hobby horse of silent meditation. Set aside some time to do this and schedule it in your diary. You need to choose a time when you know you will not be disturbed, and putting it in your diary will hopefully imbue you with required self-discipline to actually do it.
I have written extensively about the procedure many times on these pages and I do not propose to repeat myself yet again for fear of sending you to sleep. Suffice to say I know just about everyone has resistance to the silent meditation I recommend but actually it’s not difficult. Truth is, it’s as easy as falling off a log once you get the knack. If you need me to explain again how to do my method of silent meditation, please feel free to e-mail me at the address below and I’ll be delighted to oblige.
Meanwhile, make good use of your solitude and relish your aloneness. It’s a tremendous blessing and it doesn’t even cost you anything!
See Dave’s blog at www.heavenlyvibrations.wordpress.com and feel free to leave a comment.
You can e-mail Dave at [email protected] or ‘phone him on 0208 374 7911.