by Anne Malatt, Australia
I used to think I had to be alone to be myself.
When I was with others, I was always trying to fit in with them, calibrating myself to them, measuring myself to make sure they (and I) were comfortable.
I was an expert at this, but it could get confusing. I was such a chameleon that I could not be with more than one of my friends at a time, for I was a completely different person with each one of them!
I have always enjoyed my own company. When I am with myself I get to do as I please, how I please, when I please. I don’t have to fit in with anyone, and no-one argues with me!
I have spent much of my life trying to be alone, working hard to make sure relationships failed, working extra-hard at work and at home, all to make time to be on my own. When my children were little, I was a single working mother, and this was quite difficult to do! I would spend my whole day in motion, just doing what I had to do to get through the day, so I could be with myself at the end. I felt like I was always trying to get away from people, even my adorable children.
I have come to realise that I do not have to be alone to be with myself, to be still.
I have come to realise I was running away from reflections I did not like to see; from parts of me I did not love; from behaviours that I did not want to look at, let alone change.
I have come to learn to let people in, to allow them to be part of my world, to share myself with them, to see what they have to show me, so that I no longer have to run from them.
I have come to learn that we are all equal, all one, and that what I see before me is there for a reason, for me to observe and to learn from.
Having said all this, many of these understandings, insights, revelations, came to me in the early hours of the morning, when I was alone with myself.
Having finally learnt to go to bed early and rise early, I found what I had always been searching for – a moment of aloneness, silence, stillness, to be with myself, to deeply connect with myself and with God.
From that connection, that living stillness, that love that I am and that we all are, I can move through my day with grace – in stillness, but never alone.
612 thoughts on “Stillness and Aloneness”
I had to stop when I read this ‘working hard to make sure relationships failed’ it sounds ridiculous yet I know we (humanity) do it all the time!!!! Work hard at making things be hard and … not work. WOW WOW WOW. Why?
It’s a beautiful thing to find stillness in relationship and know that Love is the quality we carry within. Where-ever we are, it is and never for self alone but to share with all others.
I used to think that being alone kept things simple and easy, and having others around was a cause for complication and frustration. Walking down the crowded street, people were getting in my way. Basically, others were to blame for my predicament in life. Always. Where we feel we can just be ourselves – we all want that, and we try proving that it is not possible because of others, but it is never about others.
We feel like we want to be alone but we can be escaping the imposition we place on ourselves by changing who we are to fit in. It take so much pressure off ourselves to just be who we are and enjoy the simplicity of being ourselves.
There is so much wisdom in what you have shared Anne and from your sharing we can all learn how to deepen all our relationships starting with the enigmatic self.
I used to have an low level of anxiety whenever I was in public and alone. I still have this every now and then, but now its a marker for me that I have disconnected from myself. Anxiousness is not present at all when connected.
I love stillness too because when I am still I am not alone at all – in stillness I am with god.
When we choose a moment of stillness to connect to who we are we know we are never alone.
When we are still and with ourselves, we are not by ourselves, but swimming in God’s light.
“a moment of aloneness, silence, stillness, to be with myself, to deeply connect with myself and with God.” I find these moments to deeply be with me, with God, and to nurture myself create a beautiful foundation for my entire day.
Feeling alone has nothing to do with the number of people we are with it is all about how connected we feel.
Interesting that stillness can be a quality of being that can be experienced regardless of whether we are on our own or not, or in a quiet place or not.
It is interesting how ingrained this concept of ‘being alone’ actually is. As a recent example, I was recounting the birth of my now 5 year old daughter to her the other day was sharing with her that she was born so fast I did not even have time to get to the hospital and her dad was not even in the room as he had gone to phone the midwife so when she was born, I had to catch her ‘all on my own’. Her simple response was; “And God”, meaning God was there. That stopped me in my tracks and made me fully appreciate that when we remain connected to ourselves, we remain deeply connected to the All that is there within us and all around us.
That’s beautiful Liane. And so beautiful that a child can express the truth so easily.
What I now understand of both, Stillness and Aloneness the two are totally different. Aloneness is stagnant, draining and like sitting in the bottom of a well in the dark. Stillness is settling, unifying and connected to others and to energy beyond the physical world we see, it is energising.
It is lovely to read about you embracing the people in your life, knowing that your love is strong and resilient.
It is beautiful to be alone with ourselves in the early hours of the morning before the day begins, this beautiful stillness we can connect to can then be taken into the rest of our day as we connected with others.
Being myself by being alone – I have tried this life times, and what I am discovering is that being in a relationship is a big part of being myself. Connecting with others, expressing myself, being heard, holding others in their expression is part of being myself. Embracing people, embracing the world is part of being myself. When I am not doing that, I feel a dent in my heart, that lets me know that I am holding back myself.
“I was such a chameleon that I could not be with more than one of my friends at a time, for I was a completely different person with each one of them!” This is so true Anne I was the same, so no one really got to see the real me, and created unneccessary complications, because I wasn’t being honest enough to let myself be seen.
It was the same for me also. The irony here being that it takes more effort to live the pretence than it does to drop the guard and live from our hearts.
Absolutely Liane, but the guard was my ‘protection’, or so I thought. I can remember thinking to myself that if I keep who I am to myself then I won’t get hurt. Seems crazy now and a total illusion and as you say it is such an effort, and the truth is people can see through all the pretence anyway, so the only person we are fooling is ourselves.
Unnecessary complications, drama, distraction and exhaustion… all a smokescreen which we think keeps us protected from being seen, even though everyone else can see through it. Sooner or later we get tired of the effect that this has on the body, and the only option left is to surrender to the simplicity of being who we are.
I had never considered why I have been uncomfortable in the past when I have had several friends together at once, but what you share here Anne makes so much sense. I too was a different person with each friend. Wow, no wonder our world is full of anxiety.
I too learned to go to bed early, and when I am tired instead of my old habit of staying of late to watch a film, and then be exhausted in the morning and then needing a sugar fix to get through the day. A sugar fix is no longer necessary or craved.
I am also learning to express myself, share more of myself, to show myself to others, and as I do, I can feel how much I let people in, and how easy it is to connect with others, when I am just being myself, with no protection or pictures to get in the way. Isn’t this how we related as children, with our hearts open and playful.
I love the clarity and the honesty in this blog, plus I can relate to so much especially; ‘ I have come to realise I was running away from reflections I did not like to see; from parts of me I did not love; from behaviours that I did not want to look at, let alone change’. In being honest with ourselves, so much can change as we get to see how our old choices were not so loving, nurturing or caring. Self-care is how we begin to self-nurture/self-love again step by step.
We often think that staying away from people is the answer to our stresses in life but since attending Universal Medicine presentations, I have realised that hiding is not the answer and can retard us. Now when I choose to go to people I feel energised and have a sense of purpose – hiding never gave me that, in fact, quite the opposite.
I know when I used to shy away from people, the thing I craved most was to actually be with people. This is why I felt so alone in the hiding.
The life of a chameleon changing backwards and forth to suit your environment is an absolutely exhausting way to live our everyday.
So many people live such hectic lives rushing around from one thing to the next that stillness eludes even though it is something we also all desperately seeking. I have found that by being aware of movements and choosing to stay in my own rhythm and not get caught up in the momentum of the busyness that is constantly around me, has made working so much more enjoyable. I am by no means perfect and very much a work in progress but when I stay with that stillness magic happens.
The alone time we seek is thus a substitute for the stillness we so yearn for and know to be eternally ours.
In the stillness we connect to something much greater or grander than what we perceive ourselves to be and from this place it doesn’t matter what is going on around us as we feel safe and equipped to deal with life’s ups and downs.
When we are having difficulty coping with life, it is easy to blame others and to think that that is where our problems stem from but what I have come to realise is that keeping away from people did not improve the situation but only made the feeling of isolation worse. It’s healthier to be around people, and if this is difficult, then the problem lies within ourselves and our unresolved hurts.
Changing our perspective to see that the people we meet are there as a reflection back to us, or we are the reflection they need to have for me takes away any comparison. It shows me that we are all equal and we all have something different to bring which makes up the whole of who we are.
The truth is we are never alone, it is from building a connection with ourselves and living from the stillness within that we start to appreciate this fact.
When we reconnect to the essence of love and stillness we naturally are we also reconnect to something much bigger that we are all a part of – God, the Universe, and the Soul that is the true inner essence of each human being.
We are never alone but it is only through our loving connection with ourselves and in the stillness that we come to deeply know that.
I used to look for relationships that suited good with my needs to not be alone. And I rejected those who didn’t fit in my own interests. Today I’m learning to open up myself to others from my heart, the only place from where I can feel complete and embrace every interaction that I have along my day. I can be on my own but the yumminess of feeling me, from my body makes me feel really held and loved.
That love within us is gorgeous as it doesn’t have preferences. Only the pictures we hold have limitations.
There is a place within us where there is no need to protect, react or change anything but an endless joy of being who we really are. Thanks for this beautiful reminder Anne.
It is only when we are truly with ourselves that we can be truly with another.
“I have come to realise I was running away from reflections I did not like to see; from parts of me I did not love; from behaviours that I did not want to look at, let alone change.”- This is the line that really stood out for me while reading this blog that I felt has also been a pattern of mine in my life. I have felt guilty when I have tried to be alone and keep to myself from my wife and daughter at times, and this blog helped me to see the illusion of how I thought I needed that to reconnect with myself. But now I can look forward to allowing people to see the real me without reservation, and grow from the interactions that come from letting that out with people.