The Loneliness Companion Blog #1

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Chapter 4 Embracing Solitude

Fostering a strong internal dialog that allows you to embrace being alone can be particularly challenging during these trying times surrounding a global pandemic. As American’s began sheltering in place, many people were confronted with the struggle of lacking companionship of a significant other, friend, roommate or family member. Additionally, being unable to engage in the social and community-based activities that we were used to may also bring to light uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Tackling these feelings, opposed to sinking into loneliness, is essential to growing and thriving while being alone. 

The Loneliness Companion is a guide for improving one’s innate ability to sit in the discomfort of loneliness and transform it into self-actualization and inner peace. Chapter 4, titled, “Embracing Solitude,” describes the potential benefits of solitude as a way to bring about clarity and inspiration. 

Benefits of Solitude

  • Improved focus and productivity
  • Improved mood
  • Sense of freedom
  • Greater connection and spirituality
  • A greater sense of self-empowerment
  • Greater connection to nature

Each of these benefits can be manifested once the difference between solitude and loneliness is recognized-something that must be consciously welcomed into the psyche. The ability to sit with yourself and be your own best company is a goal that can be achieved through practice, patience, and a willingness to surrender to all aspects of yourself. By eventually improving the relationship we have with ourselves, we will be able to bring our best self into future relationships, without the fear of abandonment because we know that if we are alone with ourselves, we are already whole. 

 

Enjoying This Time on Your Own

When there is a lack of control in our lives, it is easy to reach for the easiest fix- which can often be racing to the next relationship to have some comfort and predictability. Often we find ourselves “waiting” for that perfect person to appear or end up settling in a relationship that leaves no room for our own personal development and freedom. Instead of viewing time alone as one of loneliness and longing, use it as an opportunity to reassess your life’s dreams, goals, and passions. The lessons you will learn from the discomfort of being alone will transform you for the better and bring to light aspects of yourself that you would not have discovered any other way. 

Affirmations to Embrace Solitude

I am able to take space for myself when needed.

I know at the core I am good.

I believe in the value of solitude

I am committed to honoring myself and practicing gratitude.

 

Love Yourself First

Changing your perspective on what it means to be single will aid in the transformative power and freedom that accompanies being on your own. When you are comfortable with who you are and have developed self-esteem through radically accepting all parts of yourself, then your next relationship with be one that is both challenging and satisfying. One trait that may hinder relationships is perfectionism, which inevitably leads to perpetually chasing after validation outside of one’s self. This may lead to pressure on the other person in the relationship feeling as if they are their partners “missing piece.” If we can develop a strong sense of self through utilizing an ability to sit with ourselves, that skill can allow us to be whole with or without another person. 

 

Gratitude Practice

Developing a gratitude practice is one way to recognize the positive aspects of ourselves and our surroundings- naturally putting us on the path towards loving all parts of ourselves and bringing that into our relationships. 

  • Use a pen and paper, an app on your phone or a gratitude journal including prompts
  • Acknowledge at least 3 things you are grateful for
  • Designate a time of day; usually first thing in the morning or the end of the day
  • Set an alarm in your phone daily to remind you 
  • Reach out to a friend and suggest that you do this together for accountability

 

Take Away

The relationship you have with yourself will be the foundation for healthy, balanced relationships with others. Spending time alone is essential to truly taking a deep dive into who we are, who we want to be and our own potential. The key is recognizing that certain distractions we set forth in our daily lives to remove ourselves from our thoughts will only suppress the number of amazing things we have yet to discover. Although humanity is going through a difficult time together with isolation as a reality, by surrendering to solitude and taking this as an opportunity to get to know yourself, you will come out stronger with new eyes for yourself and the world.

 

Written by Emily Bachmeier, MA

Excerpts from the book The Loneliness Companion; A Practical Guide for Improving Your Self-Esteem and Finding Comfort in Yourself