“Aloneness is full of joy and harmony, love and peace. In loneliness there is suffering, in aloneness there is no suffering.” -swamibrahmdev
Meditation has been defined as the elongation of the space between your thoughts. In silence, we can come into contact with our true nature. The idea of being alone scares many people – alone in their life, in their house, alone with their thoughts. And this makes sense- why would I want to be alone with my thoughts if I think I AM my thoughts? Our mind is like an unruly child and can come up with all sorts of stories and movies that put us into places of fear, un-met desires, anxiety, ego, and attachment. And when we are defined by our minds or think we are our minds, we are no longer in control. We become the slaves to our thoughts, emotions, bodies and minds.
Through silence and an understanding of the ego (please read almost anything by Ekhart Tolle to understand the ego, at least at the intellectual level), we can start to create freedom from the illusion that we are our minds.
In the Integral Yoga tradition, it is said that love brings up the opposite of itself in order to help us grow in awareness or help us see something that is blocking joy. One of my spiritual teachers, swamibrahmdev, says “We think that only when something is pleasant it is love and when it is unpleasant, it’s not love.” Love is purifying and will destroy things that no longer serve us or that need to be destroyed in order for us to grow and understand love more deeply.
So when we are afraid of being alone, it is only because we don’t understand what it means to be alone. A lack of understanding of how to sit with aloneness combined with identifying ourselves as our minds makes us think that being alone is the same thing as being lonely. When you feel uncomfortable in your aloneness- and you are alone even if you are in a relationship- sit with the aloneness. Embrace the discomfort and it will flower into a beautiful relationship with yourself and the Divinity that resides within and around you.
Like what you read? Then you’ll love Jenna’s free Valentine’s Day teleclass: Three things yogis miss that keep them struggling in relationships with themselves and others. February 12, 4 PM Pacific. Sign up here
Jenna is a board certified holistic health coach and yoga teacher and is the health and wellness expert for the global yoga community. She presents workshops and classes regularly at Google and at yoga studios around the San Francisco Bay Area. She helps her clients have more energy, lose weight without dieting, curb sugar cravings, and heal their relationship with food. She combines western holistic nutrition and eastern philosophy to maximize her clients’ transformations.
black and white photo credit: mohammadali