I've discovered relatively recently that inner peace comes from knowing who I am.
We spend so much of our time getting to know other people, and trying in the process to make a good impression on them, that we forget to allocate time to really get to know ourselves.
And that's a shame because so many of us are really nice people!
Here's the test, if you locked yourself in a room alone, all by yourself, for two days and nights, without so much as a television or a radio (and of course with no mobile phone or similar diversion), how would you get along with yourself? If the thought fills you with terror then its probably high time to examine your reasons for not wanting to spend some quality time with yourself.
As a lonely young man, I found myself in my own company much of the time getting to know the person I was then.
I've written about it in earlier posts, I'd spend days wandering remote hills and coasts in an effort initially to escape - both myself and the scary world around me - and later to get to know myself on some basic level, something I soon began to realise I'd never done. All I had been doing up until that time was reacting to the perception that other people had of me, and allowing that to inform how I saw myself. Anyway, I quickly found that you can't run away from yourself, you just end up taking a whole lot of baggage with you and dumping it down when you arrive wherever you thought you were going.
It was a very unhealthy and destructive way to be living. It took many years for me to get to know - and like - myself for who I am with all my foibles and quirks. As an individual.
I know from bitter experience that if you let others see you as lonely and vulnerable then they will descend like vultures... oh, yes, for example the time I was targeted by Christian missionaries who tried to manipulate and systematically destroy me and my unique identity, disguising their intentions with 'kindness' and clothing their nasty agenda in garments of 'love' and sympathy. Their imitation of love was a world away from the real love that I later found. I was into my third decade on this earth before I began to properly redefine the person I was and embrace him. Until that point I had believed what others presumed me to be - and they were mistaken.
I believe that the time I had spent by myself in my youth had at least provided a foundation of truth, which in later years when I really needed to rediscover my identity, was there, intact. Had I not been able to go back there to that place in my past, then I don't know where I'd be today, quite possibly beholden to those who in the intervening years had tried to claim me in order to bolster their own egos and selfish agendas.
So for those of you who could not spend two days alone in your own company, please, for your own sake, put aside some time to get to know yourself, don't let others decide for you who you are.
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