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I’ve always considered time spent alone as sacred.
A space opens up when there are no distractions from the outside, allowing me to meet myself in a raw and unembellished way. This is often outrageously uncomfortable or even painful, yet absolutely necessary to reconnect with myself and feel where, how, and who I really am.
It is there that I find beauty in the ugly and uncomfortable; it’s part of our human existence. I believe that confronting ourselves in an unfiltered way is essential to personal development.
My recent alone time put me through a crazy hurricane of thoughts and feelings, ranging from excruciating emotional pain to blissful happiness. This brought forth some deep realizations, and the experience was so comprehensive that it’s quite hard to break it down into intelligible text. But since writing is my way to self-understanding and how I make sense of my inner world, I’ll try.
It started with a discussion with my mum before I withdrew. We reached a point in our conversation where we couldn’t find common ground and each of us grew frustrated because we weren’t able to express ourselves in a way that would make the other understand. Quite often, discussions like that would frustrate me to the max. It reinforced my inner belief that “I’m not seen or understood” and “utterly alone in this world.”
This time, I didn’t get triggered yet understood that we simply have different views on certain things in life. Being human, this was totally fine. We grew up in different times, and therefore, different societal circumstances. It was not a rejection of my thoughts. There was no provocation. It was simply a reciprocal inability to reach a mutual understanding. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I felt sorry for both of us; even more importantly, I felt respect and a love based on maturity.
Writing this makes it seem so insignificant, but it was like hearing a heavenly choir singing inside of me—like golden fireworks of relief with explosions of emotional freedom, filling every sense of my being.
With that I realized that it doesn’t matter if anyone understands me or sees me for who I am—as long as I do.
I’m allowed to live by my own truth and let other people do the same. I agree with love and support myself, which means that I’m not vulnerable to disagreements—or even rejection—from others anymore, no matter how close to me those people are. I can just let go of the fight.
What a wonderful gift to finally grow up and reach a higher level of healthy emotional detachment—a detachment that brings me closer to myself and the people around me than ever before.
Arriving at my destination where I would spend a week by myself, I was euphoric at first because I had longed for these days alone. Yet without the structure of a schedule and people to interact with, I was quickly overwhelmed and completely disoriented in relation to time. I felt like a wild beast who’d been trapped in a cage for too long, breaking free with all its might, catapulting me from euphoric highs filled with the deepest love for life and self to the darkest lows of suicidal desperation because I felt so damn lonely.
This emotional split was hard to contain, making it impossible to sleep while holding me in a state of near-impossible inner tension. The result was a frozen state followed by multiple, daylong outbursts of writing and crying, dancing and singing, releasing all that had incubated inside of me for far too long.
I understood that my lifelong feeling of loneliness stemmed from the fact that I often chose people who didn’t understand or see me. Because that’s how it works, our inner belief system guides our choices and behaviors from our subconscious.
I always tried to fit in with people who were not my kin, repeating my familial experience and perpetuating my loneliness. When I was younger, I used to drink way too much alcohol to try and fit in—to make myself comfortable in situations that I didn’t feel at home and to un-feel my loneliness and desperation.
I ended this unhealthy pattern years ago and started leaving behind environments and people who were never really mine—not completely. I’ve only just started to fill my life with new connections and things I truly resonate with.
By withdrawing from life, I was able to fully feel my current (and former) state of loneliness along with my desperate need for connection to like-minded people. And it made me realize just how sick I am of feeling this way. It also afforded me the memory of phases in life when I felt home, when I felt connected and supported, making it clear exactly who and what was right for me—and who and what was not.
It was an intense experience, like looking at my life through a huge magnifying glass—past and present—sorting out what I’ll take with me into my future and what I’ll leave behind. I’m truly grateful for this cleansing, although it felt almost impossible to bear at some points. Today I feel energized, full of gratitude, joy, and motivation.
It was like a thunderstorm, flushing away everything that was not supposed to be there, or a volcanic eruption, leaving me with all this fertile earth once the lava cooled down. As I explore this new terrain, I look forward to tending the strong, older trees and little saplings that survived but also find myself eager to plant new seeds.
These new seeds might not make sense to others. These are seeds that I never dared to sow before, yet I’m curious and can’t wait to sit down and enjoy my time in this new-old metaphorical garden that is my life.
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