“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” -Maxwell Maltz
I’ve written a lot about letting other people in. As a recovering loner, this has been a huge issue in my life, but everything is about balance. As much as we need to nurture our relationships with other people, we need to nurture our relationships with ourselves.
It’s only when we’re fully comfortable being alone that we’re able to be comfortable with other people.
As a society, we tend to look at being alone as something sad and pitiable. Songs like “One is the Loneliest Number” and “All by Myself” make it sound horribly depressing to be without a plus-one, as if spending time alone means you’re waiting by the phone for someone to call or care.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be. Maybe it can be a choice to recharge your batteries, or work on your passions, or discover new insights. Maybe being alone doesn’t have to be the consequence of having no plans, but rather a plan to enjoy your own company.
Roughly a year ago, poet/singer/songwriter Tanya Davis made a beautiful video called “How to Be Alone.” If you’re not one of the 3.3 million people who’ve seen it on YouTube, now is a perfect opportunity to sit in solitude and watch: