The Journey Alone, The Journey Together
Today, I am present to a seeming paradox: We humans are both deeply connected and uniquely individual. We live on a cosmic plane with an infinity of otherness, with a deep unity, and yet in a universe all our own. We are one. We are many. We are connected. We are disparate. We, each and all, need people to be with, to process with; people who can see us empathetically and objectively. At the same time, who can truly understand all of who and how we are? We get glimpses into each other and allow others glimpses into who we are.
At times, we can resist both of these poles and the tension they create. I go to a coffee shop to be around people, yet put my headphones on to be alone; arguably neither. Other times, we can feel imbalanced or incomplete on one side. Some people I know have little trouble on one side or the other, contentedly introverted or extroverted. For us ambiverts, things can get a little complicated. At once, we may be desiring both to be deeply connected and understood with others yet craving the space to experience the world in our own way. At best, we embrace the aloneness of contemplation and creation while also embracing the celebration and connection. The opportunity is simply this, to embrace.
Embrace when I am alone. Practice the art of self-love. Nurture my body and soul. Set up aid stations to take care of me. Be immersed in rituals and rhythms that are significant to me personally. Take space and time for quiet, for activity. Breathing in the moment and simply enjoying what is. Create, doing what brings me joy. Reflection and revelation live here primarily. Whether I am focused on a task or project or staring at the sky, aloneness offers a unique opportunity.
Embrace when we are together. Love the others I am with. Listen deeply, connect wholeheartedly, engage. I offer myself space to show up and be authentic while giving others space to do the same. Our love and synergy create a ripple with no end in sight. The views, experiences, and insights of another are a gift to me as well.
What gets me into trouble is wishing I was some other place or some other way instead of making the most of where and how I am right now.
When I am alone, thinking about who I wish I was sharing this with, feeling lonely or misunderstood. When I am together, feeling like I have to fill space or kill time to get back to what I want to be doing or how I want to be. It's silly, really. I know I would feel crazy with only one and yet I can mistakenly think that my resistance to life as I'm curating it will get me out of it. It won't. Instead of resisting, let's choose to capitalize on the well of resources available in both aloneness and togetherness.
When I feel stuck and in need of another pair of eyes, I can reach out to the rich resources of other people in my life. Family, friends, artists, healers, runners, generous and loving people that may only be a call or a conversation away. Then, I get to take the next steps. No one can complete my race for me, no other person can inhabit this body, this mind, this life I have.
When we feel lonely, it can be discouraging. When we feel unable to make space for creation or experience that matters to us personally, we can become frustrated. Where comparison and analysis can lead to paralysis, it's time to get back into my life and embrace it to the fullest. Together, surrounded by amazing people, working for beauty and goodness in the world. Alone, a unique perspective and the gift of simply being me.