Lonely For Myself
January 9, 2013
This writing is copyrighted and the exclusive work of Halli Bourne of True Self Wellness, LLC.
Be careful how you are talking to yourself, because you are listening. ~Louise Hay
As the youngest of seven children, it was nearly impossible to feel lonely. Our house was filled with constant activity, distraction, drama and white noise. It wasn’t until my first serious relationship at 17 that I recall feeling a pointed sense of loneliness, not yet aware of how my feelings indicated developing distance from myself. In my late 20’s I began working with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, my initial introduction to the illuminating concept of becoming friends with myself. Cameron suggests incorporating an “artist date” into one’s weekly routine, “a solo expedition to explore something that interests you.” In the beginning I felt foolish, and perhaps even self-indulgent, yet as I dedicated this creative time to myself, I found a burgeoning ability to enjoy my own company.
Devoting time and energy to oneself is a skill much unheralded. Popular culture urges us to seek our sense of value externally through wearing the “right” clothes, obtaining impressive job titles, grasping for love from romantic partners or soliciting acknowledgment from employers. Hinging our self-concept on external and changeable factors is a devilish playground for the ego, for others will have the power to make us feel small or unlovable and our self-esteem can swiftly take a swan dive. What if we gave relationship with ourselves the same weight we give to relationship with others? From another perspective, if we spoke to our friends the way we talk to ourselves, we would likely run out of friends rather quickly.What if the feeling of loneliness is a pointer to nurture something vital in us that has been ignored?
Here are suggestions for ways you can make friends with yourself:
1. Listen to your inner dialogue intently and curiously. Begin to edit destructive self-talk.
2. Take care of your own needs, i.e. eat healthy food, get regular exercise and adequate sleep.
3. Make appointments with yourself to do things you find pleasing without requiring company.
4. Frequently step outside your comfort zone to learn more about who you are.
5. Routinely take time to be in silence and solitude.
6. Avoid judging your feelings and acknowledge them instead.
7. Maintain a steady diet of playfulness, so as not to take yourself or the world too seriously.