Today while taking a brisk walk around the business park where I work, listening to a podcast, I had a thought about being alone. I realized that when a really big life event such as a break up, divorce, or death occurs being alone can be a GOOD thing.
I’ve come face to face with my strengths, weaknesses, flaws, desires and how I can leverage all of them regardless of whether they’re perceived as “good” or “bad”.
The time you spend with yourself serves as a reminder who you really are. For me this meant recognizing the little bits of me that I lost, or really just kind of lost focus of. I’m not saying that I didn’t know who I was, but I absolutely lost sight of my authentic self. I bent over backwards to try and help someone who seemed lost, to the point where it started to pull me down with them.
At this point you may be wondering what things I’ve re-discovered about myself?
I am a charismatic people person who’s also deeply introspective, empathetic to a fault, and self deprecating. (just typing that made me feel douchey…) I’ve realized that this helps bring people together, but could also be used to convince people to carry out my agenda. Don’t worry though, I promise I only use my powers for good!!!
I’m an optimist who wants the best for EVERYONE, but I feel it deeply and personally when someone is hurt or fails. If those people fail, I feel like I’ve failed too.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE to fix things. Whether it’s a physically tangible inanimate object, or someone’s emotional/physical/spiritual problems… I just wanna help, but I gotta learn not to take on other people’s baggage. While it’s great to share most experiences in life, some are better left to yourself.
The inverse of some of these trains is that I can be a little bit of a control freak. I’m “type A” mixed with a naturally anxious/panicky personality. This was very bluntly pointed out to me in therapy, but I also recognize how this may have affected my previous marriage.
This desire to plan is a form of control that I’ve used to minimize my anxiety. A great deal of time after my divorce I learned that a HUGE part of my anxiety was a response to the bad things going on in my relationship. I’ve always wondered if any of that control and anxiety further contributed to the relationship problems. Oh well, doesn’t matter now!
At this point you’re probably thinking this guy is quite the shit show… 🙂
But!!!! There’s more!
I’ve also learned that I love fixing myself. I started going to the gym. I started dieting, which became a new normal for me with my nutrition. I’ve chosen to shoulder less of other people’s burdens.
I am forcing myself to not take negative comments or actions against me personally. I try to do this by identifying what influence caused the person to do or say it in the first place.
I speak with intention, and try to be as direct and sincere as possible.
I share my thoughts and feelings freely. I am not afraid to give a compliment, because I only give them if I mean it. There is enough negativity out there, so why not be a conduit for positivity?
I quickly recognize and squash unspoken expectations I’ve put on others. I’ll only share them if they’re reasonable and truly important to me.
In my future relationships I will remain one of two separate people who choose to share our individual lives with each other, not try to mesh almost every aspect of our lives together.
Finally, I will only pursue someone that pursue’s me back, because what’s the point of being with someone if they don’t truly desire to be with you too?
So, after all of that rambling I must address when being alone is a bad thing…
If you’re lonely, and you’re having trouble finding joy, whether it be in the little things or your favorite hobby, then maybe you shouldn’t be alone at that moment.
Call your friends. Call your family. Get outside. Go to where people are. Keep busy. Find a repetitive trivial task. See your therapist. Get some exercise. Just don’t allow yourself to wallow for too long, nothing good ever comes of it.