Stillness and Aloneness

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.

564 thoughts on “Stillness and Aloneness

  1. I have been like this also most of my life, always hanging out for the next opportunity to ‘relax’ and just ‘be’ on my own. But I’ve certainly learnt over the years that being myself around others actually allows them to be themselves and then when we get a bit more real with it all, we don’t feel the need or pressure to fit in and be someone we’re not. So hanging out with others becomes far less taxing because you don’t have to be ‘on’ in an exhausting kind of way, you just need to be you.

    1. Being ‘on’ is exhausting, hence the need to retreat to re-coup the drain. Letting go of living in this osculation is also very freeing of the isolation that occurs in either scenario.

  2. How is it that you can be in a room of people and feel alone, and you can be on your own but not feel alone? I think you’ve pinpointed it here in that to be alone does not mean loneliness, and that actually when we are feeling alone we are simply missing the connection we have to ourselves, and by virtue of that, to everyone else.

  3. We live on this planet with over 7 billion people yet we can sometimes feel so alone. What does this say about our connection, with ourselves and with each other? Is it possible that we often feel alone because we have forgotten how to truly connect, in a loving way, love, with truth and honesty?

  4. I so relate to this blog Anne and especially: I used to think I had to be alone to be myself. I too liked my own company and my old pattern or belief was if I am on my own nobody can hurt me…. ouch, fact is I hurt myself by cutting myself off from people when what I truly desired was to connect with them…. Thankfully this old belief can no longer hold true in my body as I now love to be with and connect with others.

  5. There can be protection in needing to be around others, as much as there can be protection in being on one’s own. The truth is we need to learn to be comfortable in our own skin, either way, and transparent to the world in such a way that it affords others opportunity by way of reflection to do the same.

  6. There is a divine beauty in being able to be alone and be so connected to the love within to not need another to bring you anything, however to let others in and share this beauty within is truly exquisite, reminding them that they too can embrace and share another way of being free of needs or self-protection

  7. I love my own company and I actually get to be alone quite a bit of time – being myself, doing as I please. You say “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 makes me wonder how could we really be ‘ourselves’ when we are actually preferring to be isolated from others when at the core of what is fundamentally propelling us is a pull towards evolution, back to the oneness we all come from, whether we like it or not. Being alone definitely feels like we can do whatever we like, especially when our environment doesn’t allow us to be who we truly are. But when we start believing that we need to be alone to be ourselves, who is that ‘we’?

  8. Thanks Anne this is a message from heaven. I too always struggled with ‘alone time’ and I am sure you are right when you say what we struggle with in ‘alone time’ is being confronted with all we don’t want to feel so , in fact, we manufacture dramas and situations that make ‘alone time’ a very rare commodity. In truth, since building a rhythm that allows me more space to feel there are in fact opportunitites to be with me all the time, I have also found that there is a sense of togetherness and connection that I never felt in my search for ‘alone time’.

  9. Alone time is a great moment to feel my connection to what is going on inside, if I’m squirming in the possibility of stillness then this is a gift. It is what I do with this that matters.

  10. It is truly important to be comfortable in one’s own company. However, like much in life, there is a true way to go about this, and a way that is not true. Should one seek one’s own company out of protection from the world, and as a way of withdrawing from life, then that is not healthy. However, if it is done as a way to reconnect to one’s self and develop an inner strength that gives one the inner confidence derived from understanding their true nature, then it is a true thing to do. That being said, in the case of the latter, once that point is reached, it is time again to re-enter the world and hold nothing back of the glory you have reconnected to so that others also may be inspired to come to the same realisation. So, how do you know which one you are doing? Simply, if you have not found yourself opening yourself up to the worlds as a result of turning inward, then you are in the protection of the first category, and not the glorious expansion of the second.

  11. Moving through our day in stillness, but never alone; what a beautiful reflection to take into the day Anne, thank you.

  12. When one is truly still after not having been for a very long time, one is often hit first by grief. That is a common experience. To feel alone is when one has stopped for long enough to be free of the busy momentums of their day, but has not yet re-connected to their essence. And it is the latter ability that we have lost touch with most of all.

  13. Knowing that connection with God and growing that is everything to me. This has been my guiding Light within. The more I confirm this within myself the more it is reflected back to me.

  14. On reading your blog this morning Anne I was particularly struck by what you have expressed here. What a beautiful learning to share with us, thank you;
    “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”.

  15. It is fairly early in the morning reading this blog and I also appreciate the stillness that is present in me while the day wakes up. And while I read what you share the kookaburras are having a wonderful sing along, confirming that the joy of now, the lovely stillness and simplicity that is present is my choice to hold through the day.

  16. “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.” So every moment in life is one of learning and becoming more aware of oneself and everything around us.

  17. If we have spent much of our life avoiding being still, which many of us have done, stillness will at first bring up all that has been lurking around us that we’ve not been wanting to feel. We feel the unsettlement we’ve been living with, the anxiousness, and beneath that the immense sadness of missing ourselves. Feeling alone is normal when this comes up, but if we let ourselves go deeper and allow all these emotions that have been buried to come up, we very quickly feel the warmth that lies beneath – the warmth of our connection. It is this inner warmth that nurtures our entire being. And then we realise we can be alone, never be left out in the cold, because we have come back to our true home – the love that resides within us and is us, that we melt into when let ourselves be still.

  18. I find myself back here again! Always a pleasure to read this and a valuable reminder of the chatter that can tell us we need more alone time when in fact our bodies are calling for more connection.

    1. Yes Lucy, something that I particularly see with teenagers and can remember being the same way. Believing that we only want to be alone because we are then ‘left alone’ but in truth we are craving connection and openness.

  19. ‘I used to think I had to be alone to be myself.’ I used to relish my ‘me time ‘ for that very reason and had no trouble at all being by myself . Now I adore and feel so much more open to people – not just friends but any one I meet.

  20. And we know the difference between running away to avoid evolution and saying ‘No’ to that which does not support us. There is a vast difference and it is down to us to discern that which is true.

  21. “in stillness, but never alone.” when we are in stillness it allows an awareness that God is always with us.

  22. ‘in stillness but never alone’ … I love that Anne, and what you share here is deeply valuable, we have these mirrors around us all the time the people in our lives and of course how we are with us and with God determines how we are with them. And I’m now considering how when I react to those around me, it’s something in me I don’t want to look at … this will be useful to know and observe some more in my day to day life, I can feel I will have fun with this!

  23. I can relate to this a lot. Running around trying to do everything for the end goal of eventually being able to slump on the couch or just be on my own once I’ve attended to all matters. I’ve realised though, that it’s a silly game that doesn’t work and living in that way is so exhausting as the ‘me time’ isn’t rejuvenating in any way at all because there is no quality in it.

  24. It’s funny I spent a lot of my life doing things for others and not really connecting with them, it was something I did to be seen and recognised but in truth I never really enjoyed spending time with others preferring to be by myself when I could. I now love connecting with all people and when I feel the stillness in my body in the way I move it fills me with joy and a deeper understanding for others and life is so much more enjoyable as I don’t have anxiety running my life. Appreciating our natural expression and the stillness we hold allows us to deeply connect with others equally and to observe and learn in all opportunities we encounter. Thank you Anne.

  25. Even though I can get annoyed by what I observe and what is in front of me to learn from, I would not change it for anything…. the awareness and understanding I can walk away with is gold.

  26. Anne, I love the way you express, always so real yet so gentle. And you are correct, I can definitely feel how connection to stillness allows me to feel myself whilst being with others. It’s the best of both worlds for, as you say, there is great merit in ‘alone’ time as much as there in ‘with others’ time.

  27. I used to think I had to be alone to be myself. I used to think this also Anne, but the truth is, you can be so called alone, but still not choose to be present with yourself, so your actually not alone because all of those people in your head are keeping you company, and it’s not always the nicest company.

  28. Stillness in the body is not something that a lot of people have experienced, but it is clear many search for with meditation and yoga being huge in our society (but almost always not delivering). The Gentle Breath Meditation offers an experience of stillness within a few minutes, and thenceforth that true experience is known.

  29. I love how you bring it back and say that most of these revelations have come to you in the early morning hours when you were alone. And not because of the aloneness but because you were being truly with you.

  30. The early hours of the day are precious to me too, as then I experience a connection with a clarity that make life to me so much more profound than it used to be in the past. As from that connection there comes the knowing to be part of something so much more grand than I have ever felt before.

  31. I have found life is back the front in many ways and upside down. This is another one of them, the fact that I always was looking for time off, time out and time to myself. You would move the day, the week and even your entire life around to get to the point of having all of these things when you want them. What I have found now is that at any time, anywhere I can be with myself, it’s a true connection I was looking for and I can have this as I said anytime and anywhere and what’s more with anyone. The true connection isn’t dictated to by what goes on the outside, it’s all about what you feel inside. Life has changed so so much since the outside is just seen as a reflection or an expression of what you hold inside.

  32. Great point about running away from the reflections of others.. from what we don’t want to see about them, or ourselves. When we’re feeling lonely in a group of people, it’s basically a simple reflection of not feeling connected to ourselves. When we’re in a group and feel alone because everyone else around us is doing something or talking about something that we can’t connect to, it’s a weird feeling, but not the same as loneliness. Great reminder that to be connected is to simply be ourselves, and to enjoy it – and that it’s a choice in every moment.

  33. This has given a great insight into different reasons for choosing to be alone and separate from others.
    “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”.

  34. I love having this rhythm of early to bed and early to rise in my daily life – it makes space for that stillness and re-connection with God that was unavailable when diving into bed exhausted and crawling out of bed having overslept.
    ‘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.’

  35. It is not surprising that the counterpart of being alone as in “doing as I please, how I please, when I please” is pleasing others when I am not alone. These are different manifestations of the same outward movement.

  36. I too became very good at fitting in with people, which was totally exhausting as I was never myself, I have come to realise that by just being with myself allows others to be themselves too, and I am no longer exhausted by pretending to be someone I’m not.

  37. Trying to fit in with others by being a chameleon is very tiring, as is being in constant motion. I used to feel I was more worthy or deserving according to the amount of things I achieved in a day. Connecting to my inner stillness gives everything a different starting point, and I get to stay with myself while I am living my day.

  38. Letting others into my life and allowing myself to be me with them has been huge and life changing. The more I let others in, the more I see how we are so much more alike than different, and my life has become richer for it.

  39. I realised recently how much I measure relationships, I am open when I feel it is safe and then not as open when I have stuff going on, this lack of consistency has an impact on the quality of my relationships because people become a little wary never knowing what they are going to get with me. I can then think it is others who are keeping their distance, when in truth, I set it up.

  40. The concept of stillness is not one that is in most people’s consciousness, yet it is one of the five qualities of God without which we can not have the other four, with are truth, love, harmony and joy. So how important is stillness in our lives.

  41. ‘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.’ Such a beautiful reminder Anne, there is nothing more exquisite than feeling the deep stillness we can all connect to.

  42. Being and holding my true self in a crowd is something that I am constantly learning. I can feel a little trigger that could topple me into a reaction when my environment is jarring, but trying to be alone when we are actually all totally inter-connected is a much harder task, well actually, impossible.

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