“Spend time alone. As I start to wriggle free from a state of anxiety ridden hyper alertness to danger into greater relaxation in the present, I spend more time alone. Here alone I am seeing that it is safe to flourish, to be at ease and in comfort and joy. I can see more and more that nothing bad is going to happen as a result. This alone time is spent reading and listening to encouraging pattern breaking material by people who have realised they are free. I allow myself greater freedom from ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldnts’ whatever I want to do with no outside influences. So I lie down and rest when I want, I work when I want, I go for walks in nature when the impulse takes me”.
I am mostly alone all day every day recently. It is a result of the love affair that I am having with silence, an enjoyment of not being distracted and an increasing openness to inner peace.
For most of my life I have not been able to do this. I was so afraid of being alone. Afraid of my own thoughts and feelings which would terrorise me. I could not sit still and I was always moving about driven by inner restlessness and discontent, always wanting to change things, wanting more than what was happening. And I often needed company to distract me from the whole cacophony inside.
Some years ago I discovered that no matter what the cacophony was screaming and shouting at me, there was always a part of me that was unmoved and still, quiet and aware of everything going on. I often use the phrase coined by T.S. Eliot to describe this experience, ‘the still centre of the turning world’. I was very afraid of this peace for a long time but bit by bit I have been opening more to it. I always had a sneaking suspicion that we are actually happy inside, and in my experience it is true, it is actually our natural state to be at peace, joyful, loving, appreciative.
First I had to look squarely at what was in the way, and this does take some courage if you have been an avoider of reality like I was. The approach I have taken to experiencing the peace is to face absolutely everything that is happening inside honestly. And we need some time alone to be with ourselves to intimately listen to what is going on for us. This is where short walks daily in nature have helped me. I go to the woods and I am surrounded by the majestic beauty of huge trees, the soothing sound of the river. To not judge what is there is very important. I used to chastise myself for feeling fear or anger. Now its just a bit of fear or anger, it comes and it goes. A little self compassion is applied for my suffering. We don’t need to compound the suffering by judging ourselves harshly.
Reality is not nearly as terrifying as I thought it was going to be! And the peace is always here, acknowledged or not, and it never goes away. Spending time alone has been instrumental in this discovery for me.