There are times in most of our lives when we feel as if we’re the only one to feel exuberant, our friends seem lukewarm at best about our mood; or we feel that we are alone in feeling down and that our friends are having fun and ignoring us as if we didn’t exist; or we feel so alone and misunderstood that the whole world looks out of focus and off-color. We are disconnected. And when we are disconnected from others and the world around us we easily become disconnected from ourselves. Oddly enough one of the best things we can do when we finally recognize that these symptoms are actually coming from ourselves and that others are not just acting strangely is to take some time to be alone, to take out and look at our feelings and emotions to find what is missing or recognize what we are carrying around that is too much for us. If we take care to be thorough and honest we can plan a long and lasting strategy to keep disconnectedness at bay. For humans are social creatures and must maintain a sense of community, large or small, to feel whole. Acting to dissipate and resolve the sense of being disconnected is better than crawling down a hole to escape it, isn’t it?
When all the fuss is over, when you’ve made plans, then completed them, when you’ve anticipated for such a long time… it’s hard for the event to have ended, whether it went well or badly. For no matter how emphatically we tell ourselves that we are creating no expectations, that we will not anticipate the reactions of others, that we will be prepared for any eventuality, we are not. No matter how much or how well we plan we are still dealing with people and people’s reactions cannot be accurately predicted; nor can their actions or their own plans. We can tell ourselves that we have no idea what others may be planning for us either; but we will have thought about it, and we can be disappointed if plans or gifts do not quite match what we’ve vigorously denied is in our head. Most of all we feel let down; our energy, creativity, and anticipation have nowhere to go for the time just after the longed-for event, because it’s gone, until we bestir ourselves to find something to look forward to and let the event just past stay there, in the past, leaving good memories and bringing lasting feelings of goodwill. Doesn’t recalling the memories of an event help to blow away the malaise of let down?
There is a common misconception that to be solitary or to be alone is to be lonely, sad about it, and discouraged. In truth it is probably more harmful for a person always have someone around them. There is then no time for quiet contemplation or for a chance to work out how you really about any situation or given set of circumstances. And it is important for us to figure out and determine things on our own, to make our own decisions and to know our own minds. Being solitary while dining out or going to a movie or talking a walk also allows us to view the world only through our own filters and not diluted by a companion’s or companions’ feelings and prejudices. Being solitary allows our minds to expand, take in more, pay attention to larger, big picture things and to take in less, pay attention to small, more detailed things. One also anticipate seeing a loved one or loved ones and enjoy ‘coming home’ with a greater appreciation when one has given oneself the gift of alone-time. Unbroken time with others, even your very dearest others can and does begin to pall after a time, rather than allowing that to happen it would be better to plan for your solitary time instead of being driven to it. Doesn’t being on your own for a bit really have some appeal sometimes?
We all have days, hours, or moments when we just don’t want to bothered. By anyone. This is not an indication of how we feel about someone, merely an indication that we want to be left alone for a while. In point of fact this bodes well for those being asked or told to back off. We’re sure to feel better about ourselves and the others in it once we have had time to think over what we need to think over or to have some time away from the noise and distractions of frantic and perpetually moving world. It’s quite satisfying to say “back off!” occasionally. It reminds us that we are the ones in control of our lives and that we do have the choice to make choices, a necessary part of maintain our sense of self-worth. Actually saying back off or words to that effect reminds other people of the same thing and may even help them be able to create their own momentary space as well. Not that that would be what you were thinking about at the time, but a nice justification afterword, if you feel the need of one. No one can be with or around others all the time, time with solitude of some kind is necessary to remind us of our individuality, whether we go away somewhere or create our solitude in a crowd. Aren’t there times when you feel like telling everyone to back off?