Thursday, August 3, 2017

Alone is NOT Lonely

I'm a stay at home mom with three kids in school. I also have a spouse who works hard at a couple different jobs. One for our necessities, one for his hobby. My extended family lives several hours away or are involved with their lives. You could say I've got some time on my hands.

I used to be afraid of time. Of unstructured minutes. I used to do everything in my power NOT to be alone or just with my kids. Being home and without activity meant I might have to face what was going on inside my brain. The idea of not being busy must mean that I am being a sloth. That I'm not measuring up to the standard of busy that is success in America. I would sign up and volunteer for anything.

I got exhausted. My body just shut down. My mind said enough! I took a head first dive off a cliff into depression. I physically could not go somewhere without crying. I was filled with anger and rage so hot it has left scars still seen in our family. My busy life left no time for introspection. It was a way for me to stuff down the hurt and shame of my past. My body and mind were so tired from not dealing with things that they forced me to deal with it. If I hadn't taken the time to deal, I probably wouldn't be here typing this.

I had to learn to sit. 
To be still. 
To rest. 

It was not easy. I had to say no and drop out of some long-term commitments. I had to be vulnerable and honest with people that I trusted. I had to admit I wasn't perfect and couldn't do it all. 

I had to learn to be alone. 

What I found in that alone time, was someone I liked to be with. Someone that was creative and lovely. I found that the broken pieces of myself I had ignored and been ashamed of were actually able to be reformed into something beautiful. Someone who was kind and gracious. Who could take a breath before the rage volcano erupted. When I took time to be alone, I found I was more refreshed and able to pour into my family. 

I will warn you, being alone can be addictive once you get to the place that you like it. There's a thin line between being alone for refreshment and being alone because you want to only think of yourself. So be careful there. 

I would encourage you to try it. Moms with young ones, swap with a friend. Moms with older kids, practice some alone time while the kids watch a show. Those that are driving around town, working, exercising and filling every second with an activity, slow down. Say no to just one thing. It's going to be alright.

If we each take the time to examine ourselves, I believe we will find a more lovely person than we think. Your worth the exploration time.

Being alone doesn't mean you are lonely. It just means you are comfortable with hanging out with you. 

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