I am writing this a few days in advance.
By the time you read these words, I will have Not Been Alone for several days and will Not Be Alone for another several more.
What the heck does this mean?
This means that as I am writing this, I am scurrying around, looking at the tiny nooks and crannies of my life that need pre-attending to (such as this blog) because somewhere in my mind, somewhere in the many many months that I have been on this earth, I have internalized a story that says that “once I am around other people, I am no longer fully free.”
“Free to do what??” you may ask, which would make sense.
“Anything,” is my answer.
Anything at all. Free to work, to think, to meditate, to sleep when my body wants to, and wake up when it wants to. To be quiet for hours on end, to clean the toilet. Once another person enters my inner or outer space something inside of me quietly goes dormant while another something takes over. To clarify: what-I-need-for-me goes dormant, and what-others-need-from-me takes over.
It just happens.
And here is the thing that makes this so very difficult/painful: it does not matter one bit who the other person is.
Please note that In general, I try to only share my time with people I cherish in some way.
You would think that it would change something about this situation. It does not. It simply does not.
The amount of love I have for someone has nothing to do with how much I need regular, generous amounts of time alone. This is a tough one to explain to those who love me and have none of this affliction.
“Why is that?” I have asked myself, knowing very well why that is.
Childhood. Of course.
As a child, I spent enormous, potentially dysfunctional amounts of time alone. I cannot say when the feeling of loneliness — if there was ever one — shifted into a feeling of peace, which eventually turned into a need, but looking back I can say that the hours and hours I spent alone are most likely the cause of this often challenging way of being.
Alone, I learned to tap into my source, which early on connected me with my spirituality. As soon as this happened (and oddly enough the music of both Stevie Wonder and George Harrison were the shamans of this metamorphosis) I was actually, never alone. And have rarely been since.
So, what happens when I Am Not Alone for an extended amount of time? What is it that do I put away, tuck into bed for however long is needed? What does this look like?
From the outside, nothing.
I continue to eat, sleep, play, work, create, clean, and love. For most people — in the past, myself included — it all looks perfectly normal. In fact, I am told that I am rather nice to be around. My light still shines and often spills over. I function just fine.
But two things do happen, in the imperceptible background:
1) I am running on my batteries’ energy. Living now in a solar-powered home, I am really loving thinking about the batteries getting filled up while the sun is out and dispensing their stored goodness for hours at night, needing to be recharged in the morning when the sun comes up. Yeah, so I run on my batteries. And they are the good kind, the kind that holds a lot. I remember when I used my batteries for 13 years straight (get this) refusing to get them recharged. One day, they were completely empty and could no longer be recharged. That’s when I got a divorce. From this, I learned that regular battery charging is not a luxury. If you are an introvert, get yourself some alone time. If you are an extrovert, go hang out with someone.
2) I am not as readily connected to my source. My source, the universe, god, life, whatever you call it. You have it too. While I am aware of never-ever being disconnected from what I consider to be my primary relationship, I don’t get to settle into its bliss as much. I don’t fully drink from it. It’s a bit like looking at your lover from across a crowded room. You know he’s there, you can see him; but you can’t wait to get him alone and sink into his arms naked. Kinda like that.
These are important things for me to know about me and they are important things for the people in my life to know too. Which does not make it easy. Does not make ME easy. I get it.
In the past, I thought maybe I would change. Maybe the need would become less strong, maybe it would even go away. I would wake up one morning and it would be gone, leaving just a taste behind, a memory. It hasn’t. It is the opposite, in fact. I need more and more regular time alone.
However, I am also learning that when my batteries are charged and I Am Not Alone, my power to be, to love, to deeply love, and to shine is stronger than ever.
That’s a beautiful surprise.
I know enough to be pretty sure that there are many other people like me. So to you who Needs Time Alone, who maybe have wondered what the heck was going on with you, I want to say: I see you, I know you, and … You Are Not Alone.