For years I believed intimacy meant being together with my beloveds – all the time! Everyone I knew suffered greatly from my youthfully exuberant misunderstanding! As a woman, 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 both relieved and scared. But then I became spellbound by the notion ‘alone’ and ‘together’ were actually sweet lovers working together in a quiet and unyielding partnership. From this perspective, I could see them both as equally essential ingredients for the intimacy I was seeking.
I’m sad to say that without any awareness that ‘together’ and ‘alone’ were interdependent, I wreaked havoc in all my relationships. It never occurred to me that one experience couldn’t exist without the other. I was unaware that each defines itself, paradoxically, by the absence of the other and thus could never be separated! Of course I was eventually overjoyed at this insight – as were all my loved ones!
It is incredibly empowering to understand the interrelatedness of
these two human experiences.
They play an essential role in building 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 are capable of offering your heart
I had been for togetherness as the essence of relating. And, I had taken an unconscious
stand against aloneness as bad, threatening to the relationship, or saying something was wrong
with me. Consequently, I was always ready to fight for what I believed was the right way!
If you choose one as better than the other (it doesn’t matter which), you will disrupt the
balance that flows between the two. As a result, an unconscious power trip emerges that
will sap your energy, exhaust your mind, and wound your heart.
Your need to be alone with yourself is a deep and pulsing urge to move inward. Your need to be with others is a deep and driving push to move outward. By design, your nature embraces both. And both provide a path to essential wisdom and counsel – one inner and one outer.
Coming to human interaction with a richer understanding of what it means to be comfortable both alone and together allows you to relax. You can 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 need to communicate – with others and with your own deepest Self.
Relating is an amazing opportunity to explore your capacity to embrace being truly alone and to open to 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.
Once you know 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.
Here are some tips to try on for size.
Tips To Manage Your Desire To Be Alone vs. Your Desire Be Together
- When you start to feel suffocated by your friends, mate, or lover, that’s your cue to move toward being alone. Honor this call from inside to move within. Explore and find out what it is that you now desire.
- When you start longing for camaraderie, it’s your cue to reach out to others. But stay alert during the interaction and discover what it is that you’re really craving. Is it outside today, or inside. Honor that you’re alive and your needs change moment to moment.
- When what you’re looking for isn’t satisfied by meeting up with another, take the time to find out what you wanted. More often than not, it’s inside and you’re mistakenly looking for someone else to give it to you.
- Take time to tune into your body rather than your mind, and determine what is really wanting to happen – time alone or time together. Slowing down & tuning in at the body level will save you a lot of heartache and a lot of time wasted arguing.
**From April 2013 Newsletter – Waking Up To What Is Vol. 3