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Essential Aloneness

Essential Aloneness

Essential Aloneness

“We love what we attend.”

~ Mwalimu Imara

So often, in our longing to share our heart with another, we forget that not everyone can hear our words in the same way we are wanting them to be heard.  We want so badly to share our deepest longing, our deepest hurt and our deepest joy with another.  We want to be heard.  In my long years of listening to others share their pain, joy and longing, this one indisputable truth is what I have witnessed over and over.  We all want to be heard, understood and valued.  I say often, “Understanding does not mean agreement”.   We often forget this one point.  We want so badly to soothe that place inside us that longs to belong, to feel connected.  Yet, we are all essentially alone.

When we feel alone, often we feel a sense of punishment or that somehow we aren’t enough.  This can lead us to defining ourselves as not enough or unworthy somehow of love. However, in my experience, if given time and room, this essential aloneness can open a greater awareness of who we essentially are.  An opportunity to be fully present with ourselves and a chance to listen to our own heart’s longing.  What is it I am feeling, sensing in this present moment?  What is my body telling me?  What am I hearing my intuition telling me?  What is it I am afraid to hear, feel, need?

Sometimes this sense of aloneness is only asking to be acknowledged.  We are truly walking this earth journey alone.  No matter how much we want it to be different, we are the only author of our life and no one can live our life for us.  So, this essential aloneness allows us to take responsibility for this one indisputable fact:  we are alone.

I’m not saying we have to be alone or feel lonely all the time.  Community is important.  Relationship is necessary.  All I’m asking is are we willing to be with ourselves in our essential aloneness, without having to fix it, avoid it, explain it?  Can we discern between being alone and feeling lonely?  This is often the exact place where we experience our true feelings about being alone.  If I am alone, does that mean I am lonely?  Not necessarily, I would say from my experience.  We all know the feeling of being lonely.  And that is not always easy or acceptable for us.  Yet, being alone can feel different.  It can be a choice. And in that choice is freedom.

Being with our essential aloneness opens us to freedom.  If we are afraid to be alone, we have ourselves trapped in a cage of our own design.  So, to me, it begs the question, “What if my essential aloneness is my path to self-love”?  What if in my aloneness, I am truly able to hear myself and what it is I truly need/want in my life?

If we truly “love what we attend”, then shouldn’t it begin with an authentic relationship with ourselves?  Can we attend to our essential aloneness with an open heart, thus leading us to greater compassion and understanding of what it means to be truly alone?  Of finding a deeper sense of loving kindness toward ourselves?

When we practice being in our body, we can meet and feel where we hold this sense of aloneness.  We can come to ourselves with a sense of awareness.  And we can hold onto our own sacred place without having to feel the need to give ourselves away.  Learning to value our essential aloneness and be in relationship can be such a freeing place to be.  We can maintain our authentic self and allow ourselves to receive and give love without the fear of losing ourself in the process. I can say with clear knowing that there in not a more lonely feeling in the world than being in a relationship where we have given ourselves away.  Where we don’t even know who we are, what we think, feel, believe anymore.

Think about it.  What if you were able to feel safe and confident in you own essential aloneness and still be fully present in relationship with another?  Wow, what a sense of wholeness, a sense of self- love, self- acceptance that would be!

Being lonely and allowing ourselves to be comfortable being alone are so very different.  Please take the time to assess for yourself where you feel alone.  How does being alone feel in your body?  How does feeling lonely feel and where do you hold that in your body?  Remember, the more we know who we are and what we need/ want, the more we are able to be in charge of our own life.  The more we are able to be the authority in our own life. The less we will find we give ourselves away.   May you find comfort and even joy in your essential aloneness.


Ann Sheppard