The good news: if you are afraid of being alone… you are not alone, most people are. I talked about it in my sermon this morning. The deep fears behind being alone are the fears of being lonely, and the fear of being insignificant. First, let’s tackle how to be alone and not lonely. As a culture we have forgotten how to be alone. We are just too connected all the time. It’s time to re-learn how to be alone. I’ve come across tons of lists on the subject, but here are 7 things that resonated with me.
The first one is key.
- Understand that you are good enough all by yourself. Your value is not determined by anyone else.
- Value others’ opinions, but value your own more. Don’t always be swayed by what the world around us may say. Take time alone to look at what you think; how you feel about an issue.
- Learn to be an observer. The world around us is pretty fascinating. Learn how to watch he world around us and appreciate it. We don’t have to be in the center of the action all the time.
- Learn to appreciate silence. Yes, silence is sometimes hard to come by. When we find it we should relish it. Spend some time this week in silence. Listen to your breathing. Turn the silent moments into prayer and see where God leads you.
- Learn how to talk to yourself. I do it all the time. Sometimes it just feels good to say things out loud, even if there is no one to hear it. Of course, if you have a dog or cat.. you can cover by “chatting with the pets”. I am often talking to the Holy Spirit… I know it seems crazy. But as it turns out psychologist believe that talking to ourselves is therapeutic. Let’s go with that.
- Cherish every interaction. Enjoy the good interactions with others and learn from those that are not so good.
- Make alone moments count. Every moment that we have on this earth is precious. In our alone moments, we have incredible opportunities to think clearly about our lives, about the direct we want to go in. In a world filled with noise and our over connected society, appreciate those moments when we are alone, we can find quiet and reflect.
If you find yourself alone tonight, take a moment and re read these 7 steps. As God to show you the path of peace while you are alone with your own thoughts.
Tomorrow we start to look at the fear of disapproval, our need to be liked.
Grace and Peace on this interesting Sunday in Lent.