Do you like spending time alone? I’m serious, do you enjoy spending time with Y-O-U? Ding ding ding party of one (hint: it’s you). I have a feeling a good majority of you visibly winced reading and contemplating that question and some of you were probably not at all phased by it, which is good!
It’s become super trendy as of late to take yourself on a ‘date.’ Influencers post all the time about sitting by themselves at a bar, getting a drink, taking themselves to the movies, or even posting up in their favorite cafe or restaurant with a good book, and an even better drink (caffeinated or otherwise). Spending time alone is cool! Wining and dining yourself is even cool-ER!!
Personally, I’m an only child so it should come as no surprise that I absolutely adore my alone time. To be honest, I’m my own favorite company! And while that might sound silly and likely got some audible reactions from my viewers reading this right now, I mean it. And I think valuing ‘alone time’ is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves as individuals and growing humans (because remember we’re ALWAYS learning and developing).
If the thought of spending an extended period of time in your own company makes you cringe, I want you to dig into that. Why do you have a visceral reaction at the thought of being alone? Often times people are uncomfortable with the thought of being in their own head that long and not having the welcome distraction of external voices, points of view, thoughts, influences etc. Sometimes people are concerned with what spending time alone time may say about them and therefore how it will make them feel. ”I have no friends; No one wants to hang out with me; I’m so lame; I never do anything fun; Why didn’t I get invited,” and on and on and on. (BTW, been there, said that!) This internal dialogue, internal attack really, can make us feel un-loved or un-lovable even. We can start to define our worth based on other people and a social invitation or lack thereof.
Well friends, I have good news for you! Spending time alone and spending time with others are very much intrinsically connected. It’s by way of being alone with ourselves, our thoughts, our emotions, our personal point of view on things, that we are able to develop an appreciation, an understanding and a deep, genuine love for ourselves. All of us. All the messy bits, the things that make us uniquely special and everything in between. This takes time. It takes practice. It takes patience. But most importantly it takes leaning into the moments, the precious opportunities really, in which we are alone with our own best company, ourselves.
Which leads me to how it’s connected to spending time with others. By loving up on ourselves, we develop into the richest, absolute best version of ourselves whether we’re alone or in others company. To have that deep, beautiful understanding of ourselves (inside and out!) as humans and how we present ourselves as individuals will make us showing up in relationships with friends, teammates, coworkers, partners, etc., THAT much better.
Just as I’m challenging myself to write a blog post every day for thirty days, I’m challenging YOU (bet you didn’t know there was going to be audience participation, did you??) to take yourself on a date. That’s right, wine and dine Y-O-U. Maybe that looks like being curled up on the couch with a good book Friday night or maybe it’s a ‘Hot Girl Walk’ this weekend, whatever it might be, I want you to take the time to get to know you. Become comfortable with you. Like I said, messy bits included. (Those are the best bits after all, aren’t they?)
And, as our lord and savior RuPaul always says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?? Can I get an Amen?!”