An Everyday Dilemma
What shall I do? Honor my thirst to be alone for a while? Or follow the longing in my heart
to be together with friends and family?
For years I believed intimacy meant being together with my beloveds. But I thought that means 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. At the time, I didn’t know the notions of ‘alone’ and ‘together’ were sweet lovers quietly creating an unyielding partnership.
Over time I discovered this very freeing perspective. It was only that I could see they were both equally essential ingredients for the intimacy I was seeking.
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. I never considered that each experience defined itself, paradoxically, by the absence of the other. I hadn’t a clue that meant they could never be separated!
Two Parts Make One Whole
Eventually, I relaxed with this wisdom. That was when a sense of real joy overtook me. I was thrilled at the notion of more freedom to explore both – 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.
However, 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 are meant to offer your heart.
It seemed to me that intimacy meant non-stop togetherness. I was unaware that I had taken an unconscious stand against aloneness as bad. And that unconscious belief became a threat to the success of all my relationships.
I discovered the hard way that there’s a consequence when you make one experience better than the other (it doesn’t matter which). That’s when the essential balancing between them is disrupted. Then that horrible 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 is a path to wisdom and counsel. One leads to the inner and one to the outer.
It’s when you know how to be both alone and together that you real relaxation arises.
You accept the texture, timbre, and feel of each experience for exactly what it is. Each is a unique part of nature’s circle of completion. This plays out again and again. How?
Through the need to commune, and the need to communicate – with others and with your own deepest Self – balance emerges.
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. You can verify every Part as essential to the completion of the Whole. From that moment on, the dilemma of aloneness or togetherness can never again be quite the same. What do you think?