Alone yet content and happy

edited November 2019 in General

Unfortunately we live in a world where loneliness for whatever reason is common place. And it is cause for much discontent and unhappiness.

Fortunately, there a few among us that are alone for whatever reason. Yet are very content and happy.

One can be physically alone. One can be emotionally alone. One can be in a long term relationship and be alone.

To be alone is to be physically or emotionally separate from another. For example, two married people living and /or sleeping in separate rooms or sections of the same house.

To be lonely is to feel separated from another. To feel a sense of disconnection from another .

What is most important to me is that one is comfortable with and happy to be alone. One feels content in his or her separateness from others. And is actively engaged in doing the things on his or her own terms that bring joy and happiness to him or her.

I am alone. Before I walked away from my long-term relationship I lived physically and emotionally separate from my ex. I began the long arduous process of building self contentment by being mindfully observant of everything I did and felt. I lived like that for several years. It was painful. But I felt rewarded in later years as I gradually felt more comfortable being with myself.

I am content and happy. When I finally found the courage to walk away and build myself on my own, I began to count my blessings. Day by day with each count I gradually stacked my piggy bank with coins of content.

I thanked myself for being me. For appreciating others. For feeling hurt. For feeling better. For giving. I thanked others. For their criticism. For their love and understanding. For just being there when I needed them. For being mad at me. For just being themselves. I thanked the universe for life. For health. For strength.

Something happened over time. I felt less angry. I felt more open. I felt at peace. I felt more empathy toward others. I felt more motivated to try new things. To meet new people. To just be.

And today I totally enjoy being alone. I cherish having the mental muscle to listen to my gut, sit with the emotions it's throwing at me and process each in it's own unique context. I treasure being able to do the above and still show compassion to myself.

Do I fall short sometimes? Sure. Do I tear my self up with negativity at times? You bet! Do I still beat myself down with my mistakes and shortcomings? Absolutely!

I just keep going. I do not let it become me. And when I run out of coins to bless myself with. I throw both my arms around my shoulders and hug myself. I move those fingers down my neck and upper back. I switch my arms to my torso and hug and massage my rib cages and lower back. Yes I cuddle myself. And I absolutely love it!

It's my go to when I have no one to cuddle. After all why not ? I am my own best friend. I've come to appreciate her more than ever. She is always with me. She is free of cost. She doesn't shame me. She encourages and motivates me. She's my only constant. Always!

Because of her, my ever loving caring self, unconditionally my agape, I am alone yet content and happy!

And I will add that my being alone and content does not exclude the people I meet everyday. The people I volunteer with. The people I hang out with. The folks whose connection I treasure. I just don't need them to feel good. I don't need to feed off their energy to live. I don't need their validation.

I am enough. I'm happy and content to spend time with me and just be!

Comments

  • [Deleted User]PhilosophyL (deleted user)
    edited November 2019

    Struggling with this perspective. And I don't mean to attack yours. Only to voice that I hear that and have heard it, and I'm not ready to agree completely. It seems to me that the current stream of pop-culture psycho babble keeps reinforcing the notion that a relationship is to be icing on the cake of an already independent and self-fulfilling life.

    Ok, cool. So I shouldn't expect another person's presence in my life to make me happy.
    Then why did the beginning of the movie UP make so many of us cry so hard?

    If a life is to be awesome without somebody; what ever was the point of having somebody? Cultural naivete related to base instincts and notions of breeding? I wonder.

    Sex? You can rent it. Cuddles? You can rent those too.

    For those that are asexual or contentedly alone, I acknowledge you, but the notion of a close bond and a lifelong friend have been at the forefront of my consciousness since elementary school, and I'm here to say "this current shit don't make sense" for me.

  • edited November 2019

    @PhilosophyL Variety is the spice of life. To each his own. Each of us have to manage and navigate our life circumstances differently. If being different means being with oneself for life and being content with it. Who is any one to judge?

    But should one hold it up as an ideal to be alone? Absolutely not!
    Does it mean that to be with oneself and enjoy one's company one excludes having life long friends? Not at all. Does striving for contentment with oneself mean one automatically exclude others as potential friends or companions? I don't think so.

    So I do understand the premise of your opinion. And I agree to an extent.

    Thanks for your comment. I found it very constructive and insightful.

  • [Deleted User]taulkat (deleted user)

    Humans are social creatures. It is not unnatural to crave the company of other humans. Our society is set up to encourage pair bonding, but that is not the only way to seek out other people's company and be fulfilled. But there is nothing wrong is being dissatisfied in your own company. Most of us crave some sort of social life. Knowing yourself and being happy in who you are is different than being happy alone. I am happy. I know myself. But I have a huge support system, a partner, I hate living alone. So. I don't necessarily see it as a strength to be able to be fulfilled by yourself. Be able to stand alone if you need to, yes. But being able to take joy in the people and life around you, that is also strength.

  • edited December 2019

    @Taulkat Again it is not mutually exclusive to be full filled by yourself, be strong in that regard AND take joy in the people around you. They are both mutually inclusive things that people do every day!

    In the impersonal often shaming intolerant world that we all live in, it IS a strength to be fulfilled by yourself. It IS a strength to ENJOY living and being alone. And still enjoy the connections with other people.

    With the increase in social media, there has been an increase in suicides worldwide. Technology brings the convenience of far more self indulgence and impersonal interactions from behind a screen. For some people that can be very alienating. Especially if they do not have access to an offline support system. Many folks on this site don't. I encounter them every day.

    My point is that one needs to have a solid relationship with oneself to not get trapped in that alienation loop. For some that means learning to embrace being alone. Learning to enjoy being alone with oneself. Even as you seek and enjoy others.

    And if I may add that some of us folks are seen as socially impaired because we mindfully live through our painful experiences and take from them lessons that give us unique perspectives and beliefs that make us appear unrelatable. That make us seem asocial or antisocial. That in and of itself can also be isolating.

    And in this world when you are viewed as different against the grain of what passes as social norm you are faced with two choices. You either conform and pretend to be who you are not. Or you don't. And simply live blissfully alone.

  • I was once advised that a relationship should be two individuals, who together make something which is greater than the sum of its parts.
    They should be like the pillars of Stonehenge, supporting the horizontal ; not two cards on edge, holding each other up.
    Think of a knife and fork ; both are useful tools, and each can do the job of the other though not very well, but the combination is much better.

  • [Deleted User]taulkat (deleted user)

    @Bles if that works for you, that's fine. Instead of encouraging other people to go against their nature, as a society we should try harder to make other types of relationships easier and more accessible. I was not attempting to invalidate your decision. Just pointing out that it isn't healthy for most people.

  • edited December 2019

    @taulkat So a person can't openly express his or her opinion without it being seen as an attempt to convert? Or to prescribe a lifestyle?
    And is it going against one's nature to embrace oneself? One's self as a single entity: separate and whole? Are we saying that one is only whole and healthy if one is always in a relationship with someone? One is never alone or by him or herself? Is the only healthy relationship one can have the one s/he has with others?
    And who decides what is healthy for anyone yet alone most people? Who creates the ultimate criteria for what is healthy at all?

    @geoff1000 who says a knife and a fork can't coexist in the same person ? Who says a relationship is only between two people? Can't one have a relationship with oneself and still have a highly functioning one with one or many others? What is the purpose of any relationship? If it involves the fulfillment of needs. Then in the same way that a relationship with many different people or one person for that matter can serve to fulfill one need or another. Can't one do that with one self as well? Can't we fulfill certain needs in ourselves that others can't. And can we not fill those needs through having a relationship with oneself? Can a person really make another happy if that person is unable to feel or be happy?

  • @Bles You are a one way street. You extrapolate things from others posts that the person never said and attack them if they question anything you say. Just an observation. Carry on.

    @taulkat and @geoff1000 Your points are valid.

  • @Bles
    If you are happy with what you have, then you are rich beyond measure.

  • edited December 2019

    @FunCartel For a venerable academic it is rather disappointing how shallow and one sided you are in your observations.

    It is quite interesting that intensely arguing a point of view, especially one that borders on subjective life experiences is seen as being a one way street and attacking others. Particularly in an arena where the practice of passionately arguing one's point is often common place. As far as you are concerned I will forever be a one way street regardless of how I think, reason or respond. So I'm thankful for your criticism even as I'm aware of the deeply entrenched bias underpinning them.

    This is not your first such attack on my writing or points of view. I'm even surprised an erudite mind such as yours with your over 40 years in academia would waste your time commenting on a one way street nab tob like me. Honestly, your criticism of me is a mere reflection of how you view yourself and what you have done to others in this forum whose views go against the grain of what seems normal or logical to you. But thanks anyway. Your insult is always appreciated. Especially coming from a venerable academic.

    As far as your accusation of me goes, I'm discerning from my responses to the comments posted at me, that asking questions to clarify what is said in order to gain deeper insight is both a form of attacking someone and being a one way street. I think I've said enough.

    Your response shows how important it is to be able to just be when one is viewed as a weed amongst grass.

  • I used to watch my only child mother and wonder how she managed to live so content when there was nobody in her life. So like you @Bles, one day I just bit the bullet and did it. From there forward every aspect of every relationship was greatly improved. It wasn't easy. I commend you.

  • edited December 2019

    @bles Herein is the problem. You say I am attacking, but you make stuff up with anyone who makes a comment. That is what I pointed out and you just did it again with me. I have not been in academia for 40 years. I do not work in academia. Wow. You hold grudges, because I said nothing about your writing in that short post. I said you make things up. You take one point someone mentions and make stuff off of that. You argue and attack people with conjectures, suppositions and lies. For example you wrote:

    @taulkat So a person can't openly express his or her opinion without it being seen as an attempt to convert? Or to prescribe a lifestyle?
    And is it going against one's nature to embrace oneself? One's self as a single entity: separate and whole? Are we saying that one is only whole and healthy if one is always in a relationship with someone? One is never alone or by him or herself? Is the only healthy relationship one can have the one s/he has with others?
    And who decides what is healthy for anyone yet alone most people? Who creates the ultimate criteria for what is healthy at all?

    All @taulkat said was your approach and outlook is not healthy for everyone after qualifying her statement with the disclaimer that she was not trying to invalidate your decision. So you wrote what you wrote above in response to that. You concocted more than was there from that. She never made an attack. You are triggered by disagreement. So my statement that I wrote:

    You extrapolate things from others posts that the person never said and attack them if they question anything you say.

    is a true statement, not an attack. Attacking every disagreement is an attack. It is how dictators maintain power. @taulkat was not attacking you, nor was I. She was stating a contradictory opinion and I was pointing out the pattern of your replies to people who do that. Your responses were the attacks and suppression and violent attacks on opinions contradictory to yours is a one way street.

  • @FunCartel Those questions to @taulkat was based on this sentence:
    Instead of encouraging others to go against their nature...

    They were not posed to attack her. They were simply meant to highlight my point that I my opinion as expressed was not intended to be a prescribed ideal for how any one should live. It was not intended to encourage anyone to go against their nature. It was simply a way to live. She says it's not healthy. I ask who decides what is and isn't? How is that attacking?
    It may not be a healthy approach for some people. But is it unhealthy? And here in lies my misstep. I could have acknowledged that for some it can be unhealthy.

    As regards my statement about your being in academia I apologise. I got that from something you wrote in a recent post in another thread. I may have misread. But I still apologize for mischaracterizing you.

    You have made some negative comments on my writing before in previous posts on other threads in this forum. So I'm not holding grudges. I just don't forget.

    In response to others comments at me I did get the gist of their opinions. All my questions were about was to highlight the inclusiveness of the lifestyle I was describing. That it does not mean excluding others: people or approaches. That it does not have to be seen as unhealthy. I chose to play devil's advocate by asking further who decides that or what makes a thing unhealthy? I was not invalidating her opinion that such a way of life is unhealthy. If you look back at all the other responses I posed questions around the comments the posters made at me.
    The phrasing of the questions may give you that impression. But that was not my intention. If you look at all my other discussion threads on this forum, my pattern is always to ask probing questions. I don't believe in nor indulge in attacking anyone. I have made my point and walked away from conversations I have started on this forum before.
    And I didn't feel attacked by any of the other posters except you.

    I appreciate and respect the different opinions each one expressed. Not because I didn't say your opinion is valid doesn't mean I don't value it. I ask questions regarding the comment posted at me. My only regret in that particular response is that I didn't acknowledge that for some constant aloneness can be unhealthy. It never hurts to first acknowledge before you question. That I will remind myself to be mindful of.

    As far as my being triggered by disagreement. Again that was your interpretation of my responses to some of the posters on this thread. And all that comment on violence and suppression of contradictory opinion. Good Lord !

    Again lesson learned for me: acknowledge before you do anything else,! Had I done that the tone of my comments would have been in different phrasing. And my questions would not have been seen as thought suppression and violent attacks on folks! At least by you.

    So again thank you for elaborating further. Your comments gave me a mirror to reflect on how I framed my response to others. Even as I disagree with your assessment of my intent.

  • @peoplelikeus thank you for your comment.
    @taulkat my intention was never to attack your opinion nor hold my lifestyle up as an ideal for any one to follow. I do acknowledge that aloneness is not for everyone. Nor is it healthy for anyone to always be with themselves. And I certainly wasn't encouraging that. However, it is an approach that can use regardless of one's needs and situation. And it is inclusive of being socially engaged with others. Thanks again for your thoughts.
    @geoff1000 my intention was never to invalidate your opinion. I do acknowledge that human beings are socially wired. That relationships in what ever form are the bane of human existence. However, I also believe that sometimes self bonding is a necessary tool one can use at different times in one's life. Inclusive of others and other things. Thanks again for your comment.
    @PhilosophyL thank you again for your comments. My comment was not made to invalidate or exclude anything you said. I do appreciate and acknowledge the pros and cons of such a lifestyle. And as such is not holding it up as an unquestionable ideal for anyone to follow or aspire to. Thanks again.

  • @bles Thank you for acknowledging what I said, because if I wanted to attack it would be much nastier and hurtful. It takes a big person to see another person’s point of view and to act on it as you did above. I commend you for that.

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