Can Aloneness Create Intimacy? Or Do You Have To Be Together?
An everyday dilemma:
Do I honor my thirst to be alone for a while, or do I follow the longing in my heart
to be together with friends and family?
For years I believed intimacy meant being together with my beloveds – all the time! Everyone I knew suffered greatly from my youthfully exuberant misunderstanding! It seemed natural for my life to revolve around the notion of ‘we’. Unfortunately, it did so without my knowing the ‘I’ that made up my part of the duo.
When I realized I could meet this ‘me’ by being alone with myself, I was relieved and scared. I didn’t know the notions of ‘alone’ and ‘together’ were sweet lovers quietly creating an unyielding partnership. From this perspective, I could see they were both equally essential ingredients for the intimacy I sought.
Without being aware ‘together’ and ‘alone’ were interdependent, I wreaked havoc in all my relationships. It never occurred to me that one couldn’t exist without the other—or that each defined itself, paradoxically, by the absence of the other and thus could never be separated!
Eventually, I was overjoyed at this insight – as were all my loved ones!
It is incredibly empowering to understand the interrelatedness of these two human experiences—for they are what build bridges between us.
But when you are polarized to one as better than the other (it doesn’t matter which one), neither being alone nor being together generates the joy and pleasure they can offer your heart.
I thought intimacy meant togetherness alone. I had an unconscious stand against aloneness as bad, and threatening to relationship. When you make one experience better than the other (it doesn’t matter which), the balancing between them is disrupted. Then a power struggle ensues, sapping your energy, exhausting your mind, and wounding your heart.
The need to be alone is a deep and pulsing urge to move inward. And the need to be with others is a deep and driving push to move outward. By design, your nature embraces both—each a path to wisdom and counsel – one inner and one outer.
Knowing how to be both alone and together allow you to relax. You accept the texture, timbre, and feel of each experience for exactly what it is – part of nature’s circle of completion. This plays out again and again through the need to commune and the need to communicate – with others and with your own deepest Self.
Relating is an amazing opportunity to explore being truly alone – and being truly together. Embracing what unfolds within you, and between you and others, simply means being Present to what is happening.
Aloneness offers communion with the Whole. Togetherness offers communication with Its Parts. Knowing both, you can glimpse the Whole in all the Parts, and see every Part as essential to the Whole. From that moment on, the dilemma of aloneness vs. togetherness can never again be quite the same. What do you think?