Choose Your Happy is proud to present another guest post from a young man whose story is inspiring. A lot can be said for someone who has clawed his way out of the depression hole and onto solid ground. Feel free to leave a comment about his metaphor for internal conflict and check out his blog, too!
I think there is a lot to be said for being alone.
Spending time alone is something that I treat like a ritual. I take it as seriously as some people take their faith. My aggressively rigid stance on meditation has a simple reason: I am a student. Just by nature, I have always had a mind for comprehension. The moment that I learn the most, understand an author’s point, see where Epictetus was coming from the most clearly, is when I am alone.
Everyone seems to be afraid of solitude, afraid of being without other people. Hell, most people will admit that they hate spending time alone. But, I don’t think these people are being honest with themselves. Instead, perhaps, thinks of it like this… people aren’t afraid of being without other people, they are really afraid of being with themselves.
We are alone and lost.
Looking inside and really examining what going on in your heart and mind is a terrifying and daunting prospect for some people. Admitting that there might be a bump or hiccup in your perfectly crafted five-year plan is never an easy realization to come to terms with, but you have to come to terms with it at some point.
We cannot continue to walk around confused and unsure of ourselves. The world is already strange enough. We don’t need to add more weight to the load we already have to bear. Looking inside can create conflict within and without. Sometimes you realize the direction you are headed and those you have surrounded yourself with just aren’t for you or aren’t healthy for you. And I know that nobody likely conflict, but what awaits us at the end of that turbulence? Resolution.
We have results and calm seas, a purpose and a direction.
Finally our compass is working correctly again.
Going through a little bit of fear to get back on track is a worthy and noble trade. It can be hard, I know. I’ve had plenty of aftershocks from meditation that left me feeling a little tilted, a bit out of alignment. You have to go through conflict—you have to fight sometimes—to reach your resolution. Otherwise, you’re always treading water and desperately searching for land that does not exist. You haven’t yet built that land. That’s what it comes down to, why alone time is so wildly important: we build the world we live in.
We have to find the people and places that will support and encourage us in our ultimate goals. But before they can, you have to know which direction you are headed. You have to make sure your compass is working and that it’s even the compass you want to follow.
I take my alone time so seriously because I spent years treading water and I have had more than my fill of swimming aimlessly.
So, come one. Put on your favorite tunes. Take a few deep breaths.
You’ll be amazed what you can find inside yourself.
Get your compass, follow its direction, and please come out of the water.
The sand feels so good on my feet. You should really feel it, too.
Christoper is an avid CrossFitter, writer, tattoo enthusiast, student of whatever he can get his hands on, and currently a Zen master in training. He’s a Level 1 Certified CrossFit Trainer and his blog can be found here. He believes that people should take everything in stride, live one moment at a time, strut, hug liberally, and be nice to those around them.