For a lot of people, the holidays are the most special time of the year. It is a time to escape the regular day-to-day life and relax with friends and family. It can be a very relaxing time and bring happiness sharing gifts and love. However, for some of us it is a reminder that we do not have friends and family. We do not have that escape or joy of giving and receiving gifts. We don’t know what it is like to kiss the one we love at the stroke of midnight, we are alone.
The word alone itself cuts like a knife when we read it. There is little joy in the word and even less peace to some. How can we have any peace when we are alone? Solitude is a form of punishment in many prisons the world over, so it is safe to say that being with one’s self in an isolated situation has to be anything but peaceful. But what if we were able to find peace in everything, especially when we are alone. In those moments of complete self-isolation when our only companion is our thoughts. What if those moments where some of our most peaceful?
There must be something to spending time alone to find peace seeing how for centuries mankind has had trials and retreats searching for that inner peace. Many Native American tribes will send a young man out on his own to see what kind of man he will be when he returns. It is said that in those moments alone, he will find who he truly is What can be more peaceful than that?
Traditions unfortunately are a dying art these days. Maybe that is part of the issue, that we do not have a road map for our lives. Regardless what the issue is, there must be a way of being alone without being lonely.
Loneliness is that feeling we get when we are alone and think that no one is thinking or cares about us in that moment. It is a mental state because we can honestly be in a room full of people and still feel that tug of loneliness, that feeling that no one in this room is even thinking or caring about me in this moment. Where is the peace in those moments?
Let’s start breaking these situations down. For the most part, when we feel this loneliness creep in, especially around the holidays, it is when we are at home alone when everyone else is with loved ones. It is hard not to think about what others have and we lack. The thing we want to do the most is stay in bed and dwell on the depression. This is a trap! Staying in bed will only make things worse. It is best to get out and have an experience. Plan ahead! If we know we are going to be alone on the holidays, lets plan a trip and go someplace we have always wanted to go. Better yet, lets pick a place that we feel connected to and do some inner searching. For me, I would choose the mountains of Tennessee. I would rent a cabin for the weekend and do some hiking and soul searching, peace will not come to us, we need to go out and search for it! Perhaps your peace lives on the beach listening to the waves crash against the shore. Nothing can keep you from the peace you seek so go out and get it!
Another situation we find ourselves feeling lonely is when we are at gatherings and notice or FEEL no one cares about me in the moment. Not a single person is even thinking about me or would notice if I just left. In a lot of these situations, it is untrue, we are isolating ourselves due to inner conflict that we are projecting out to those around us. In these situations, it is best to find the person you feel most connected to there and for yourself to have a conversation with them. In doing so, most of the time, we will find that forcing this connection immediately fixes our issue with loneliness.
But we are talking about getting this peace when we are alone, totally alone. How do we find this peace? To be completely honest, your peace is going to be found in a different area than my peace. For me, when I am alone and feeling the loneliness creep in on me, I will put on an album, light some candles or incense and get lost in my mind. I will think about the things I have accomplished and dream about those I wish to accomplish. I make my thoughts, my dreams and aspirations my company. This may not be your trail to peace, but I did not find my peace on the first try. I tried lots of things when I was alone to silence the screams of loneliness. I tried hobbies, exercise, writing and even video games. These all helped a little, but I still wasn’t finding an over whelming peace.
When it comes down to it, you will find your peace when you start to search yourself. Just like a young man going on his vision quest, so you too must search for who you are and where your peace lives. Is it on a beach or in the mountains? Is it next to a creek or even on a park bench watching strangers pass you by? You have to search for it, make an effort and when you find it, keep the trail of how you got there close by.
Written exclusively for our company by Jacob Ruble
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