To get wisdom is to love oneself; to keep understanding is to prosper. (Proverbs 19:8)
I’ve had a number of friends through the years who couldn’t stand being alone. Even a moment by one’s self is uncomfortable. This is different from loneliness. You can be lonely in a room full of people. Loneliness is the feeling no one knows about you or cares for you. Being uncomfortable alone is different.
The idea of hating it when you are alone has to do with insecurity and perhaps even a little self-loathing. The person who does not feel comfortable alone uses others as a diversion from the pain within. This Advent season, it may be time to address this issue with yourself or someone you know.
The first step in feeling comfortable with yourself, is facing your guilt. Self-loathing is painful and destructive to one’s being. Often, this has occurred because someone has done something to you that makes you feel unworthy, or you have acted in a way that leaves you humiliated. Naming your pain is the first step in the healing process. Offering your pain to God, through prayer, is a truly cathartic activity.
These steps are often not enough. When you’ve faced your fear of being alone, and it hasn’t made a real difference, spending time working through this with a therapist can make a lasting difference. When you begin to feel comfortable with yourself, others begin to feel more comfortable with you as well. The more you spend time alone, relaxed and comfortable, the more you will be comfortable in other situations as well.
Today, schedule some time in the next week to spend at least three hours by yourself. This isn’t easy, depending on the stage of life you are in, but try your best. Evaluate your level of comfort. If it isn’t a pleasant experience, ask yourself why you aren’t comfortable with yourself. As you come to this self-realization, you just might feel better than you’ve felt in many years. God made you in the Divine image and wants you to appreciate yourself enough to live well in your own skin.