Finding yourself alone after being in a long relationship can have many challenges, one of the most challenging is dealing with loneliness. Many people end up staying in less than satisfactory relationships because of their fear of being alone. I am sure that was one reason my own marriage lasted so long, the idea of being alone can be terrifying. However I know you can be even more lonely in a loveless marriage than when you are alone.

loneliness 2I am lucky enough to be one of those people who has always loved my own company, even as a child I preferred to do my own thing and I absolutely enjoy quiet.  However you may not be like that, you may feel uncomfortable being alone. Don’t judge yourself against others, accept yourself as you are, after all we can only be who we are.

I am dealing with being alone quite well considering I was with someone since the age of 22. I continue to  work on myself but more importantly I have mindfulness in my life. Part of my practice requires that I accept solitude and that I continue to discover more about myself. I guess my practice is what makes me enjoy the solitude, actually not enjoy it but absolutely need it.

Sometimes being alone can be difficult, like on weekends when everyone else is out and about with their partner. It’s at these times that I find practicing mindfulness helps. I tend to do a formal practice, such as a self compassion meditation or just sit with the thoughts. If you do sit with the feelings arising and you get emotional, that’s fine. Crying is an expression, it’s doesn’t have to been seen as such a disaster or a sign of weakness.

This week I’ve set myself  the challenge to go to the cinema alone. I always thought was strange that people would go to the cinema alone, I mean why would someone go to the cinema alone? How judgmental was I? So this week I’m off to see “Life” the film based on James Dean, my childhood hero, on my own.

Being alone is not the same as being lonely, actually being alone can be just what is needed if you have the courage to embrace the opportunity to be with yourself. Working on ourselves is the only job we have to do in this life, it’s what brings full self acceptance and self knowledge.

Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let them resolutely pursue a solitary course – The Buddha