No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.
How comfortable is your relationship with yourself?
People are, for the most part, social beings; we love to interact. If we spend too much time alone, most of us feel a strong need for the company of others. Aside from the most extreme introverts, all of us rely on our relationships to some degree or another.
Most of us work on those relationships. We buy each other presents, we laugh at each other’s jokes, we are polite, and we give compliments. But how many of us put in the same effort for ourselves?
I’m not suggesting that we become self-centered or narcissistic. In fact, I believe that selfish people are among those who don’t have a good relationship with themselves. They spoil themselves to avoid having to get to know themselves. I equate them to people who showers others with gifts or compliments rather than exploring their relationships.
Rather than giving in to our personal whims or wants, we should spend quality time with ourselves. Regularly.
And this means spending time alone.
This does not mean binge watching your favorite TV show or mindlessly surfing the net. Think about ways you can spend time alone that helps you get to know yourself better. There are many ways of doing this, and we should do something that reflects our mood. If we’re feeling thoughtful, we can meditate or reflect on our life or our feelings. If we feel energetic, we can go for a run or walk through the woods. We might feel creative, and can play music, draw, or write a poem. Whatever we do, it should be quality time—time spent developing our internal self-image and our relationship with ourselves.
For the uninitiated, this can be uncomfortable. We might immediately be distracted by our responsibilities. We might feel that we are wasting time. We might feel lonely.
This may be because we don’t know ourselves that well. In these moments we should make a concerted effort to be aware of our thoughts and feelings. We should reflect on what we do and the direction our lives are taking. We should think about what we might do to make ourselves stronger and healthier—physically, emotionally, and mentally. We should think about how we can make ourselves happy.
We should get to know ourselves as we would a good friend who we want to be attentive to and generous with.
Spending time alone can be challenging, but it’s important. We need to make it a priority and schedule it and be disciplined. We need to find the places and the times where it can work, where we have an atmosphere in which we can reflect and relax.
Each of us will inevitably have times in our lives when a healthy relationship with ourselves will be vital. We will have heartache. We will have illnesses. We will lose loved ones. We will get old.
During these times, we may have the comfort and attention of our friends and family, but we will also need to have internal strength and the ability to persevere. This will come from inside.
There will always be others in our lives, and most of those relationships will ebb and flow to some degree. But it is vital that we have a constant and consistent relationship with ourselves.
We are the only people in our lives with whom our relationship is necessarily permanent.
In the end, we have ourselves.