Finding Inner Calm and Deeper Wisdom

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Posts Tagged ‘alone and happy

Fear of Being Alone

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Before we became human, we lived in trees. As we evolved, we lived in caves where we became more civilized, and we had fires to keep us warm. From way back then all the way until today, we lived in groups. We lived in families. A human living alone is more vulnerable to attacks from predators and other humans. The human psyche is programmed to want other humans nearby for comfort and protection. The fear of being alone can be considered normal and natural. But that doesn’t always make us happy.

When we are alone, whether by choice or otherwise, we must deal with the fear or discomfort that comes from somewhere deep inside our own mind. Long periods of solitary confinement are known to encourage mental illness. Thus, when we must be alone and suffer because of it, we need to develop an inner coping mechanism. We need to find a way to make ourselves feel better about being alone.

I have a method that works for me. It’s not especially easy to describe, but I’ll try. Also, I don’t understand fully why it works. But it does—for me.

I go into into my bedroom, shut the door, and darken the room. I lie down and get myself in a comfortable position. For me, this is usually lying on my side with a pillow under my head and often one between my knees. I may put something over my head to further reduce light and noise. I concentrate on relaxing my physical body as much as possible. I try to stop myself from thinking, usually by using my mind to “watch” my breath.

If I’m tired, I will fall asleep. But that’s not the objective. If I sleep, I will wake up and start over. The object is to be totally relaxed, both physically and mentally, all while being awake. When I finally get to that state, then I’m ready to go really deep. After being totally motionless for a while, I get the sensation that I can’t feel my legs and arms. Then at some point, I feel as though I can separate myself from my body. (This is also good for insulating myself from bodily pain.)

“Withdrawing from the body” is a distinct feeling that can have both scary and pleasant results. It might be scary at first, because in a way it’s like dying. But it’s also very pleasant because it separates me from the aches, pains, and fears of living in a human body. At this point, I’m really, really alone. There’s nobody else in there but me.

Voila! There’s my solution. By getting myself to be really, really alone, I get to experience the most extreme state of aloneness. Doing that, I’m saying to loneliness, go ahead, scare me as badly as you can.

Years ago, when I first did this, it scared the hell out of me. There are demons in there. Well, that forced me to befriend those demons. And that took a while, but I did it. There’s an old saying, “When you embrace your demons, they always leave you a gift.” That will also make you a better person. And more comfortable being alone with yourself.

Many of my readers are already familiar with this practice. We call it Zen.