You might find this strange, but I really do enjoy it when my husband travels and I have the whole house to myself. I don’t have to be on any sort of schedule, which means I can make dinner for myself anytime I want. I can eat anything that appeals to me; if I feel like having breakfast for dinner, I just do it. I watch television programs that would irritate everybody else but me and I change the channel every 5 minutes. I can talk to my cats and my dog and no one thinks I’m the least bit odd.
The best part of this whole scenario is the following: I do my best thinking when I’m home alone. When I have the house all to myself, it’s finally silent. With the quiet, I can fully hear what’s going on inside my head. I can finally feel, without any distractions, what I’m truly feeling. I can make sense of the things that have been bothering me and let go of the stuff that’s holding me back. I also become clear on what I want to accomplish in life.
I wasn’t always this way. When I knew that I was going to be home alone, I would furiously schedule numerous things to fill my time. I would map out my daily itinerary and make plans with friends for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would run from thing to thing for fear of being alone. Now that I’m looking back, I wonder, what was I running from?
I’ve noticed a number of clients that seem to follow the same routine. They overschedule, filling their days and nights with numerous commitments. They run from one event to the next, filling every hour with lots of people. Their biggest fear is hearing that silence. You know, that moment when you stop running and just “listen” to YOU.
So, think about that one for a minute, because here’s the absolute truth: in order to grow and develop as an individual, you need to take the time to listen to you. Until you slow down and start listening to what you’re feeling and thinking, you’re not going to understand what you need, what you want and how to take that information and move forward.
What might be at the core of this need to run is the fear of being so close to your feelings. Are you afraid of what that might be? Do you try to avoid that feeling of being sad, lonely, angry or scared? The only way to get past this is to face it head on. Just get up the courage and walk through to the other side. That doesn’t mean you should mask that feeling with more people, more food or a few too many glasses of wine. It means doing the hard work and allowing that feeling to wash over you. Accept it for what it is. Don’t judge, just observe the emotion.
The next time you get the chance to spend some time alone, go for it. Seize the opportunity to learn more about you. Get clarity on what you want your life to look like going forward and then take action.