-The misfortune of not being able to be alone.- A phrase casted by La Bruyére, in order to disgrace those who run to the crowd, afraid of not being able to stand being with themselves.
“Must of all our disgraces come from not being able to stay in our room”… Another expression regarding solitude brandished by Blaine Pascal, the French philosopher, concerning the recognition of our inability to stand alone.
Being alone it´s harder than it seems, particularly now that “virtual” company permeates our lives. Being accompanied but without being with someone. Can we define solitude as the absence of a physical company? For practical effects it could be.
However, this subject gets more convoluted as in order to prevent loneliness we are willing to do or accept things that go against our convictions or our dignity. In this sense we can observe couples that remain together because of this reason, or toxic interpersonal relationships that we allow to continue in spite of the disadvantage amongst the ones involved in it. That codependency that prevents us from reaching our personal growth and the individualization that would bring us to the full development of our potential.
To learn to dialog with ourselves in order to face our fears, doubts and weaknesses is quite more difficult than being with another individual that perceives them and could use those in their favor, making us vulnerable. We find hard to enjoy life without somebody that supports us, at every moment and every step. We would have to ask ourselves, where did we learn to fear loneliness? Maybe a great part of that answer lays in our upbringing where control, codependency and emotional weakness can be found.
Healthy relationships consist in being comfortable and good with ourselves in the first place in order to create authentic and solid relationships, either with a partner, friend or family. Emotional independence is needed, makes us authentic, and recognizes our individuality and those principles make us unique and fearless about it.
Have you ever realized how many things you have done or passed on in order to be with someone? Or being pointed out as the “different” person in order not to be alone? Perhaps it is because you haven’t given yourself the time or the opportunity to truly get to know you, and find out what exactly it is that you desire.
Learning to be alone requires training and following certain steps we can convert into a true goal. It is important to establish that emotional codependency does not distinguish age, race, gender, religion, nationality or social status. That is why I propose this simple steps to be alone and happy and if we have company, to enjoy it.
In the first place, we need to come to terms that being alone is not a bad thing and even thou we are social beings we need our own space, that one place where can introspect so we can get closer to our true essence, so we can know ourselves better and by doing so, we will be able to make self-consciously decisions
Second.- Losing the fear of being different. In certain occasions we choose not to be alone because it overwhelms us the idea of how we are perceived by others. Being different is not a symptom of maladjustment, but of uniqueness.
You can start practicing to be alone in public places, a park, a café or a public library… A place where you are surrounded by people but being with yourself or stay home, and enjoy a book, watch television or listen to music. Take a walk to the park and delight yourself with the wonders around, treat yourself to an ice cream, enjoy your company.
To discover what motivates us, what make us feel fulfilled can be either simple or complex tasks, it is up to us. Work on the observation, imagination, and as you walk reflect about what you see or hear as an example.
Climbing to the next step is quite a challenge, which is that truly profound analysis of our lives. What we have done or not done what we want in the future, the obstacles that could prevent us from advancing and other ideas that sometimes assault our minds. However once we reach this point, come to terms that we can be good with ourselves and start that trip of introspection deep inside. Each step can be achievable depending on what we have learned and the degree of codependency we have learned because yes, codependency is a learned behavior and something very important that is worth mentioning: People that are codependent of “someone” easily can be codependent of “something”. Beware! The codependency cost can be so high that can ruin our lives.
Emotional independence or autonomy is an attractive and invaluable asset in any relationship, it takes away the burden we mean to a family member, friend and of course our partner. It allows us to choose freely, act on our convictions without mental bondage or guilt complexes, but most important is, that when we establish a relationship of any kind, this one has to be from our choice and not out of necessity and in case that relationship does not work, yes, we have learned that we can continue our journey alone and happy.
Aída López is an specialist in Human Development and Emotional Intelligence, lives in Mérida Yucatan.
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