“But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.”- tanya davis
April 18, 2012 by
Categories: Mindfulness, Miscellaneous

This week, I want to share a five minute video by poet Tanya Davis, called “How to Be Alone.” Her message is beautiful, relevant (to both genders), and the graphics of the video make it enjoyable and easy to watch.  I have some poem excerpts and thoughts below. Please watch and share.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7X7sZzSXYs?rel=0]

{A video by filmmaker, Andrea Dorfman, and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis}

(poem excerpts)

“If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.”

“Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.”

“Take silence and respect it. ”

I visit this video occasionally and each time take away a new meaning and appreciation for her words. As a person raised in a large family, I have had to learn the art of being alone in solitude, even when I was not alone. Constantly surrounded by people, talking, and togetherness– the venture to do things and be on my own was a challenge. The occasional quiet break and time to myself was embraced, but I noticed that even in that time, it was rare that I still was not connected to people through means of technology.

How rare it is that we are truly alone, with ourselves, and only ourselves–to give time to think, to read, to focus on just one task at a time and enjoy our own company?  It is even rarer  to go out on solo ventures, satisfied with our own company and open to the possibilities and people that are hidden to those in pairs or groups.

My challenge to myself and you is to either carve out some time this week to be intentionally alone, or, if you suddenly find yourself alone, to embrace it and hold off on the instinct to pick up a phone and immediately find company.  Notice yourself in silence.  Find out if you  know how to be alone. Find out what it means to to you to be lonely, even if it’s tough. Be content with your company, as I am sure it is worthwhile.

I will leave you with a few reflective questions that cropped up in a discussion with my colleague:

– What is the difference between being alone and loneliness? 

– Is it more about the fear of being alone, or the pain of loneliness? 

Thanks for reading. If you have thoughts on the video or post, please leave them below or send an email to fatimah@collectiveinquiry.com. For full poem, click here .


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