The word alone makes us cringe. We feel negative toward the concept of being “alone” and rightfully so. We are social creatures, we desire to have people around, meaningful relationships that make us happy and help us grow. Even Adam, a perfect man, became saddened by the fact that he had no partner, no friend. So, for many, just thinking about being alone for the rest of their lives might even bring a tear to their eye or create a pit in their stomach, trust me, I know the feeling. It’s something that most choose to block from their minds, to not think about, “if I can’t see it, then it can’t be true.” Ending up alone was always one of my greatest fears in life. I prided myself in having lots of friends, I always had a guy I was talking to, anyone to keep me from being alone with my own thoughts and feelings, anyone that at least made the prospect of being alone virtually impossible. I had been alone a great majority of my childhood, I had one older brother that was never home and a single mother that was forced to work all day. I wasn’t very good at making friends throughout elementary or middle school, so I kept to myself, I stayed home, watched TV, read. And, although there is nothing wrong in reading and watching TV by yourself after school, being a kid means playing outside all day with other little kids your own age, something I missed out on, and I knew I had, I realized what had happened when it was my last day of middle school and most of the kids didn’t even know my name, much less invited me to hangout with them over the summer. I was lonely from a very young age. So, as soon as High School began, I set out on a mission, I would talk to everyone, I would invite people places, I would have tons of friends. And so… it began. Almost everyday, I had a different group I was supposed to hangout with, I made sure that I would not be alone for a single day. For some time, it felt good, people knew me, people wanted to spend time with me. But, were they really my friends? You have something difficult happen in your life, you need help, and you realize who is truly there for you, who truly cares for you. I learned that. But, there was another vital lesson that I needed to understand. I could not just have a rapport with my friends, even the closest ones. I needed to have one on my own. You are going to go through things in life, experiences during which your friends can not help you, as close and as great as they may be, you need to learn to have a rapport within yourself. My friends were my safe space, something that maybe you have experienced too, and there is nothing wrong in that, but, you need to see that you are a strong person too, that you are capable of doing things without the help of other people at times, there are situations in which, the only person that can help you… is you.  I understand that it can be scary to think about being alone, especially alone forever. But, how can you expect for others to be with you, if you can’t even fathom the idea of being alone with yourself. Only once you have put on your own life-preserver, can you help put on the life-preserver of somebody else. You should view yourself as a friend, as a person that you must take care of, an amazing person that you would love to spend the rest of your life with. Fall in love with yourself. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s the best way to describe what you should feel toward the person that you are. Because, you can not love anybody else, until you learn to love yourself.

Image by: Priscilla Gonzalez

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