Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Being Present, Allowing Myself To Be Alone

There once was a time when I had a few hours to myself in any given week, I would desperately fill those hours up with things to do and people to see. I hated being alone, I avoided being home alone like the plague. The night before I would send out texts, want to meet for coffee, should we do lunch, hey want to hike and then grab a bite, how about shopping? Then after my meet up, while I was out, I'd just run in to Target to pick up a few things. Oh hey, look at that, it's time to pick up the girls, ALREADY! I didn't really understand the pattern I had fallen into at the time, but now I see it very clearly.

I see how I filled my precious alone time with shopping. I didn't know how to nurture myself. 

There's not much arguing that there is always something that can be picked up for the household. One day I opened the cabinet where I stored cleaners and noticed multiple full bottles of the same product or say, 5 types of multipurpose cleaners. There were boxes of dusting cloths and packages unopened sponges. My bathroom must've had no less than six specific cleaners, I mean who gets their bathroom clean with one product? I do, now. At the time, I didn't have any hesitations about shopping (or buyer's guilt) because I was purchasing essentials for our home. Essentials, a distraction for being all by myself in the house for a few hours. I ran from household duties and I ran from my internal dialogue. It took that cabinet of cleaners for me to start looking at myself closer in the mirror. 

The good news is, I'm not afraid of being alone anymore. I'm not afraid of my thoughts, I can happily spend an entire day at home just puttering around. I spend my one weekday off savoring a cup of coffee through out my morning, tending to tasks to nurture my home, going for a hike alone, reading, and allowing myself to slow down without guilt. I embrace the opportunity to listen to thoughts or concerns that may be arising within me, instead of continually pushing them aside with distractions. 

My favorite lesson from this pivotal self reflection is understanding that being present takes practice

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