Learning to Be Alone Is How We Learn to Be Together

Car, Divorce, The Netherlands, Joke, Funny

Have you ever suffered through something that you initially thought was a travesty and later realized that it may not have been as bad as you thought? That is the way that I have come to feel about my divorce.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not advocate divorce. In fact, I think that divorce is the American scourge that will ultimately be the ruin of this nation. Generations of people are destroyed by each solitary divorce and anyone who cannot admit this is ensnared in his own Denial. As generations of wounded  people have evolved to take the reins of our country, the USA falls deeper and deeper into a dark abyss. I could write volumes about this, but that is not my purpose today. Rather, I want to focus on the best way to avoid divorce entirely.

Divorce, Separation, Marriage Breakup, Split, Argument

For the moment, suffice it to say that I do not condone divorce, but for those of us who rushed into marriage, it may have been unavoidable. [I do not actually believe that either].

The best plan, however, is to WAIT before you marry–Wait until you learn to be alone. 

Live Concert, Dance Club, Disco, Laser, Laser Show

About the time that I divorced, someone recommended to me that I read the book Dancing As Fast As I Can. It is about a person who did it all, sped into success, and ultimately crashed and burned. Dancing too fast should be classified as a syndrome. In my opinion, it is the manifestation of people who will do just about anything to avoid themselves.

When I was young, rushing into marriage was one of those ways.

I recently wrote a post about how incredibly insightful that I think the HBO series Girls is. It is about a group of recent college graduates who have been spit out of a system and into the freefall of trying to find themselves.

There are a couple of tragic marriages along the way, but for the most part, the girls do not marry in the series. They simply streak from one relationship to another. It is obvious that the goal is the same as that of my early marriage: Avoid Being Alone!

In Season 1, Episode 3 of Girls, the song Same Mistakes was played.

Same Mistakes–Continuing to Do the Same Things to Avoid.

Unfortunately, one of the worst of our mistakes is that of trying to avoid Solitude.

All men’s misfortunes spring from their hatred of being alone. – Jean de la Bruyere

Sunrise, Morning, Landscape, Summer, Outdoor, Natural

Earlier this week, I also wrote a post about the importance of becoming still and of listening to the small, quiet whispers that are the emissions of our spirits–the utterances of our intuitions. Here

None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone. – Thomas Carlyle

On an intellectual level, I think that we all understand that the true path inward is a solitary one. Yet, we waste years and even lives floundering around–dancing too fast, talking too loud, falling into too many traps, and missing the most simple goal of all.

The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. – Henrik Ibsen

As I have begun to analyze the series Girls, I have realized that I identify with the mistakes that are being made by at least three of the four girls involved. Jessa is my inner wild, hippy, Bourgeoise, Flower Child. She does some of the most ridiculously impulsive and dangerous things of any of the girls on the show. Among other things, she has an affair with the father of the children that she babysits. In Episode 9 of Season 1, the wife of the man involved gently tries to discuss the issue with Jessa:

“I bet you get into these dramas all of the time, where you cause all of this trouble and you don’t know why….In my opinion, you’re doing it to distract yourself from becoming the person you’re meant to be.” Katherine to Jessa

Stop, Shield, Traffic Sign, Road Sign, Attention

Distracting Ourselves from Who We Are Supposed to Be

I have written several posts about Denial. Denial is one way that we distract ourselves from who we actually are. Today, I am adding another term to the toxic cocktail: Avoidance.

In a way, Avoidance is a cousin of Denial–or perhaps it is Denial’s ugly stepchild. It is the things that we do that mire us in the quicksand of not becoming who we might be.

We need to learn to STOP! and to FEEL! And the first step toward learning to feel is that of learning to be alone.

There’s a tremendous difference between alone and lonely. You could be lonely in a group of people. I like being alone. I like eating by myself. I go home at night and just watch a movie or hang out with my dog. I have to exert myself and really say, oh God, I’ve got to see my friends ’cause I’m too content being by myself. – Drew Barrymore

©Jacki Kellum April 28, 2016

Solitude

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