Enjoy time alone, get to know yourself.
Getting to know yourself is one of the, if not the, most important part of life - after all it is YOUR life, it wouldn't do to not let YOU factor into it. You have to develop your relationship with yourself first. Spend time with yourself by being alone and learn what you actually enjoy doing with your time.
So many of us try to conform to what it appears people around us seem to enjoy. The problem is that if everyone is doing that, we’re just conforming to nothing or to what the ad agencies tell us is normal. It can be a big challenge just to have courage enough to stray from the norm long enough to see if what you’ve been up to actually serves you, but I promise you that this is a necessary part of growing up (one that many adults still haven’t attempted). If you’re so concerned with fitting in, you’ll wake up one day and realize you don’t actually know yourself. And knowing yourself is the first step to any healthy relationship. It may seem counterintuitive to say that in order to be in a relationship, you need to spend time alone, but it’s the truth.
Don't be in a relationship just for the sake of it. That will not serve you (or your partner) to good affect. Being single is not as boring or lonely as it is sometimes made out to be. I promise you it will be fun and rewarding to focus on who you are and what you enjoy, although it may be challenging too.
I made the mistake of not knowing who I was or what I enjoyed. I thought being in a relationship was where I would find fulfillment in myself and I relied on that to create excitement in my life. That is how I misunderstood the purpose of relationships. I pretty much relied on someone else to make me happy then I ended up knowing more about that person than myself. I distracted myself with other people's lives, so when I was alone, I was stumped about what I would enjoy doing. Surrounding yourself constantly with others will not make you feel whole. Part of the process of getting to know yourself is to find things that make you happy while spending time alone. In my time alone I learned how much I enjoyed nature, holistic health, yoga, meditation and more. I would never have known that if I was always going around with others, doing what they enjoyed and nothing more.
People constantly try to fill the emptiness in themselves with things, people or activities. They are afraid of looking inward; possibly even hating the emptiness they feel in themselves. What you will find, though, is that if you do not look at the emptiness; the emptiness appears to get bigger and deeper. You think if you put more things into it that will fix the problem. But it won’t. The only way to fill the emptiness is to look at the emptiness, to regard it frankly. When you take a look inward, you’ll realize it’s really not that big of a deal. Actually, once you’ve addressed the emptiness in yourself, and stopped trying to fill it with things outside of yourself; it fills itself. Spend time alone, but sitting on the couch watching TV for hours on end doesn’t count. You have to find active engaging activities that you can honestly come away from feeling fulfilled without the assistance of another person or chemical substance. What do you lose yourself in? This is how you get to know yourself, by learning that you can be happy and comfortable being alone. Once you know yourself, you’ve taken a big step towards creating all types of relationships around you with people that believe, enjoy life and practice the same way you do. Remember, we attract people similar to us or who are on a similar journey.
If you're the reverse and would rather be alone, then ask yourself why you prefer to be alone. Are you scared of relationships? What is getting in your way of finding a relationship? There are a few ways we stay out of them. Sometimes, we think we are protecting ourselves from being hurt. Sometimes, we just don’t think there is anyone out there for us.
Trust. Would you rather rely on yourself than risk trusting another person? Some of us choose to only trust ourselves, or a very small group of people in addition to ourselves. Maybe you’ve been hurt in the past so you think that if you open your heart to someone, then you'll just get hurt again. By dropping the fear of getting hurt, you take down a wall. If you’ve had a wall up this whole time, how do you think other people will act towards you? They most likely kept their wall up too. You may even be circling around each other, not trusting each other, keeping your distance, respective walls fortified, afraid to show your true selves. If you drop your wall, well, you’ve just given the other person no reason to keep theirs up. Trust becomes easier, for both of you. Easier said than done, but we should learn to face our challenges and not run from them because of a fear of being hurt. If we face our challenges, we learn from them.
How do we drop the fear of being hurt? A wise woman (Janice again) once told me that nothing anyone says can ever hurt you if you don’t already believe it to be true. For example, if you are very tall and someone calls you short, it will not offend you. But if you have always been afraid that you are too short, take pride in your tallness, or use it as a way to boost your self-esteem because you feel very small inside, and someone calls you short; it might really upset you. What they said effectively picked at a fear you had about yourself, and it stung.
Remember that emptiness we talked about before? This is what’s in there. That emptiness is full of all the fears you harbor about what you are and what you are not. It’s full of the negative things you believe about yourself. When I say spend time alone and get to know yourself, this is what I want you to do, in addition to finding what you actually enjoy. Look at the beliefs you have about yourself and see if they stand up under your own scrutiny. If we’re constantly operating from our biggest fears about ourselves, trying to avoid looking at them for fear that they are true and instead stuff our lives full with distractions; then it will become very hard to locate someone to love you for who you are. Because you don’t love you for who you are.
Most of us have been taught that there is a right way and a wrong way to be. Unfortunately, many people falsely learned that they either are bad or do things the wrong way. They have been taught that there is something wrong with them, and they exert a lot of energy trying to change and keep up appearances so no one finds out there is something wrong with them. Other people are so attached to doing things the right way and are so afraid of doing it the wrong way for fear of being judged or feeling like a failure. These people often begin to have issues with control and act from their fear when things don’t go the way they want.
Perfectionism, OCD, or fear of failure; we do everything to our highest expectation, sometimes obsessively. I sat with Janice for quite a few sessions, talking about how I cannot watch someone else cook. I'd have to leave the room because the way they cooked and how long it took them to cook drove me insane. I wanted to help, but not in a helpful way, I wanted to literally do it for them because I could get it done faster. Janice gave me a fun game to help me see that there are a million different ways to do something. The game was to spend the next week trying to think of all the different ways that one thing can be done, challenging me to think of ways I wouldn't normally imagine to do my daily chores. It led me to realize that just because someone else does it differently in a way that takes them longer than it would take me to do it my way doesn’t mean that they are doing it wrong. I learned that I have to let them learn, help them where I can, and if they don’t want help, enjoy watching them enjoy doing it their way. Before figuring this out, I would never let others do things for me because I could not watch. It took some time before I was able to just relax and let go and let someone else do something for me. I had to let go of needing to do everything a certain way and let others help me out.
Which leads me to our next important piece of this letter, let people do things for you. If people are offering to help- let them! People LIKE doing things for each other. It makes them feel good. I'm not saying go around like you are a Princess or Prince, standing outside a ballroom door until someone gets there to open it for you. I’m saying that it’s ok to accept things that are offered to you with gratitude and just continue on. Let go of beating yourself up. To do this, though, you need to know that you are worthy of attention and affection. While this may seem obvious, many people really don’t think that they deserve to be treated well.
Until next time for Part 3 of this letter, Know Your Self Worth, Know You Deserve Good Things, remember to spend some time challenging yourself to know yourself better. Take a look at the fears you harbor about yourself and see whether there’s any real truth to them. If you are playing into them, stop. If you use people and activities as a distraction, then spend time alone, or, if you use being alone as a way to keep yourself safe, then try to go out there. Let go of your fears about yourself and you can't be hurt. We'll see you next time.
Kelly DelVecchio is interested in leading a healthy lifestyle through studying spiritual healing, Ayurveda medicine and aromatherapy. To fulfill her passion for holistic healing, she began her personal brand Fit Is Fun in November 2014, which offers health and fitness coaching. Kelly is a 200 hour Certified Yoga Teacher, certified in Reiki level 1 & 2 and recently became a DoTERRA Wellness Advocate for essential oils. Kelly is continuing her education by currently fulfilling requirements towards becoming a 500 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher and Certified Personal Trainer. Kelly was fortunate to be given the opportunity to volunteer for the 12.14 Foundation in Newtown, CT for two consecutive years, which involved a team of highly knowledgeable leaders that presented hands on activities to build strengths, confidence and personal development to young children in the arts program. Kelly enjoys spending her time in nature, practicing yoga and loves to play volleyball. Follow Kelly on Instagram @fitisfun_ or contact her at Kelly@fitisfun.net. www.fitisfun.org.
Christine is the editor at Miylana.com and she records the podcast How to Survive Earth School with Janice Corsano. Aside from managing the blog, she also works as the marketing manager for Miylana and assistant to Janice Corsano. She has two of her own side businesses, CT Haunted History Tours, and Old Soul Holistic. Christine also works at Two Coyotes Wilderness School as a mentor, is Reiki I and II certified, holds a certificate in Green Medicine from the Open Center in NY and enjoys writing, yoga and growing her own veggies. She has two dogs, three jobs, and zero free time. And she loves everything she does.