7 Reasons You Should Be a Loner
I AM SUCH A LONER.
Yes, by choice. I wasn't this way until recently though. I was quite the opposite actually. In high school, my house was the Spot everyone would come to hang-out, whether they were invited or not, they just knew they were welcome. In college, I was always surrounded by friends; even my "study" sessions were extremely social. During the two years I spent teaching, my weekends were filled with plan after plan after outing after outing. nonstop.
I COULDN'T STAND BEING ALONE.
And then I remembered who I used to be in my pre-teen years. I used to go to the dining room (for my arabs - the Salon, where nobody ever sits lol) and lay flat on the couch for hours at a time, just thinking. I loved that room so much because I felt completely invisible. People would come through the front door and somehow never notice me laying there. Something about being in the middle of all the action but being so still, silent and alone was liberating. I used to have some of my most reflective moments laying there on that couch, unbothered.
Today, I often remind myself of that young, wise and introspective girl, wondering why I ever tried to be someone else. In so many ways, I am more like her than who I was for the past several years. But it took a lot of alone time to get me to come back to myself. At some point in my adolescence and early adulthood, I stopped listening to my thoughts. I would barely write in my journal once a year. My excuse was that I was so busy, that I had so much going on, that I'm so ambitious and just want to work towards my goals, etc.
In reality, I was just afraid of being alone with myself. I was scared to listen to my heart. I was terrified of what my subconscious had to say about the person I was becoming. I dreaded the moment where I would be exposed because deep down inside,
I knew I wasn't being true to me.
After my father passed away, I knew that I would have to force myself to become intimate with my thoughts again. The fear of spiraling out of control and into depression was much more daunting than the fear of being exposed. The fear was still there, and the process was still extremely uncomfortable, but I knew I had no choice this time. So I quit my job, let go of relationships that weren't serving me, and focused on being happy.
AND MAN DID I DO THE RIGHT THING - FOR ME AND FOR EVERYONE ELSE AROUND ME.
Since, I can honestly say I've spent 90% of my time completely alone. In this time, I've been blessed with revelations that were both deeply devastating and intensely empowering. They shook me to my core, only to strengthen me from the inside out. I keep wondering who, what or where I would be had I not forced myself to be alone, even if it was lonely and uncomfortable at first. I am so much stronger, so self-reliant, so much more whole because I gave myself the wonderful gift of solitude.
SO YES, I WOULD LOVE TO CONVINCE YOU TO GIVE YOURSELF THIS GIFT TOO - EVEN IF IT'S JUST FOR AN HOUR A DAY.
If the fear still feels unbearable, check-out my post on how to be faithful and fierce in the face of fear.
AND Keep reading to learn about what you'll SURELY get out of being alone.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO BE ALONE AND LISTEN TO YOUR THOUGHTS, HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL GET IN RETURN:
1- YOU WILL BECOME WHOLE
Forcing ourselves to be alone ensures that we are becoming intimate with our deepest insecurities, fears, self-deprecating thoughts, mental barriers, etc. I didn't even know I was broken until I started blocking out the noise. I have learned so much about my brokenness in my time alone. If I wasn't intuitive enough to understand what was really going on, I would have thought my loneliness was making me this broken person. In reality, constantly being around people and noise has an extremely unhealthy outcome of drowning out even our heart's loudest cries and pleas; always being around people and noise teaches us to be merely functional in our brokenness, and god wants so much more for us than mere functionality. Being alone helped me actually listen to my heart's cries and begin to address them, one by one. I have never been more whole, and I wouldn't be here without having blocked out the noise and truly begin to address all the things that my heart was telling me it needed.
2- YOU WILL ACHIEVE SELF-MASTERY
Realizing that I was broken - that I still had extremely unhealthy thought patterns about body image, about faith, about relationships, about identity, about my intelligence, my self-worth - was a huge step towards self-mastery and wholeness. It was devastating to see how far I journeyed in my brokenness, and that it didn't have to be that way. Addressing and repairing each and every area of brokenness is such hard work, but the end result is that I am becoming a master of self. I have learned to love myself completely, at my purest form. I feel so much stronger, so much more connected and so much more grateful because I am understanding myself on such an intimate level. I feel ready for whatever comes my way because of this deeply spiritual journey I'm on. we cannot control what happens to us, but we can keep learning and working on ourselves so we can be spiritually equipped to handle it all gracefully.
3- YOU WILL ATTRACT RELATIONSHIPS OUT OF LOVE AND DESIRE, NOT DEPENDENCE
Becoming a master of self ensures that we are equipped for whatever relationships are in our lives. What's more is that self-mastery allows us to attract into our lives the kind of relationships that nurture our soul; when we understand what serves us on such a deep level, we will only allow those kinds of relationships to be a part of our lives. When we listen to our most intimate thoughts and work towards wholeness and self-mastery, our relationships are there to complement what we have already built, they aren't there to help us build or fix a foundation that should have already been in place to begin with. even the relationships we already have are strengthened by strengthening our spirits in this way. We are no longer damsels in distress, we are queens at liberty to invite only the best company into our kingdom.
4- YOU WILL HAVE FUN
I'm dead serious. I have so much fun by myself. I remember the first day I realized I was on a date with myself. It was last July and I had planned to spend the entire day alone. I was in the car on the way back home listening to one of my favorite songs and just singing and dancing...alone (i do this all the time). but i remember stopping and thinking to myself: "i had so much fun today." It was such a beautiful feeling. I didn't want to see anyone, be with anyone, or do anything differently. I basically took myself out on a date for the whole day, and I loved every minute of it. Most of my days are spent just like this now, and it never gets old. when you start having fun on your own, just imagine how high your standards are for time you spend with others.
5- YOU WILL DO IT ALL FOR YOURSELF
I am a woman who is particularly attached to my autonomy. I don't have a boyfriend, best friend, direct mentor, etc. Don't get me wrong, I have amazing people around me, but nobody is influencing me directly at this point in my life, and I've purposely positioned my relationships in this way. I think everyone has a desire to be free and independent, but I also think certain phases of our lives make us more resistant to dependence or influence. I'm definitely in one of my most extreme phases of independence right now. As a twenty-something young woman, I am creating the foundation for the rest of my life right now. But i want to do it for me. I want my morals, passions, and purpose to be influenced by God only. I want to come to them on my own and then build with someone else from there. Being alone ensures that I am not being influenced by others in the slightest bit. That everything I am becoming is a direct result of my relationship with God, that only after I've built this foundation will I be ready to build on it with anyone else.
6- YOU WILL BE UNATTACHED TO OLDER VERSIONS OF YOURSELF
I used to be so stuck. I would often stand in my own way or in an identity that I thought I was bound to. The other night, I had an extremely profound dream that I want to share because it clearly symbolizes how I've become victorious from being mentally/spiritually stuck.
In the dream, I was making my way through a crowd of people and accidentally bumped some girl - another twenty-something Arab looking girl. She turned me around and started to yell and cuss me out. At first, I started yelling back, cussing her out and getting in her face. The argument escalated so much that it would have turned into an altercation at any second. Finally, I thought to myself "this isn't you anymore. stop." So I looked at the girl, lowered my voice and said: "What are we doing? What's your name?" Her expression softened a little, and she said her name was Rima. That she, too, was from Dearborn and was 25. We agreed to drop it and ended up going out for lunch to talk. Over lunch, I got to see the other Rima for who she was: a sweetheart, so gentle, pretty insecure and shy.
As funny as the dream is, it was extremely powerful for me. The other Rima is the old me: defensive, angry, often aggressive and hard, prideful and egotistical to hide her truly insecure, shy and fearful nature. In the dream, my initial reaction was me being tempted to revert back to old ways: to revert to hardness and aggression to compensate for my feelings of powerlessness. I think the most beautiful part was the reminder of who I am becoming. How me being my best self encouraged the other/old Rima to channel her best self. Being alone has helped me grow into my best self. It has helped me understand that I have a gift of encouraging others to do the same. I would not be doing half of what I'm able to do without growing out of the older versions of myself every day.
7- YOU WILL DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE
This one is huge. I am not there yet, but I am so, so, so close to discovering what God wants from me, why I have been given certain gifts, what I am supposed to be using them for. I am 110% positive I wouldn't be this close if I was still stuck in my old ways of being constantly around people and noise. How does one talk to God in a room of equally lost (and loud) people? We don't. We talk to each other, and we often perpetuate one another's brokenness and lack of guidance (I'm just being honest). I don't care if this is the only reason you decide to spend more time alone, as it is probably the most important one (although i think it somewhat requires #1-6). Anyway, I digress.
Now that I spend so much time alone, I am in a constant pursuit of my purpose. I am an open-vessel to signs from God (like the dream I had the other night). My mind is clearer and my heart is lighter - I am able to make informed decisions about how I feel about life-changing decisions that have been presenting themselves to me. I promise you, if you spend more intentional time alone, you will get closer and closer to understanding your purpose. To figuring out what unique superpower connects you to the rest of the world around you.
I am obviously privileged. I don't have any responsibilities outside of myself. I am single, with no children, nobody but myself to take care of. I know some of you reading have children, have spouses, have others in your life who depend on you. your days are not entirely yours- i know and respect that. but you can still find time for yourself, even if it means waking up earlier or reserving the hour before you sleep to yourself. the time just has to be reserved and intentional - quality over quantity.
WHILE IT SEEMS LIKE IT WILL COST YOU TIME, RELATIONSHIPS, OR WHATEVER, WHAT YOU WILL GET IN RETURN IS TRULY PRICELESS.