of course depending on where you lie on the introvert/extrovert scale, alone time might be more terrifying for some people than getting eaten by a shark. but here's what i've come to learn about this uniquely magical time that singleness has to offer. that hint of sarcasm should not go unnoticed. nevertheless, this alone time is a chance to find my identity - in myself and in christ.
in the counseling world, there's an important philosophy to healthy relationships that says each person should enter a union as a whole person rather than a half person looking to fill in the gaps through someone else.
in doing so, neither one can fulfill each others needs because they themselves are incomplete to begin with. i'm not talking about being perfect cuz none of us are; that's just the way the cookie crumbles. i'm thinking more along the lines of having a full grasp on your identity as a person - being confident in who you are, accepting your complete value in christ and being your own person. the tragedy comes when you look to another person to tell you who you are or to chameleonize yourself to match who you think the other person wants you to be. (and when i say you i really mean me because i've been completely guilty of this myself) result: great sadness. my hypothesis is that humans naturally crave identity - to know and be known. and it's a weirdly warped expectation to superimpose the pressure of obtaining this identity through someone or something else. i suck at math but i do know that 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4.
so what to do?! i think this is where time alone comes really handy especially when i have all the time in the world.
- i wake up in the morning and it's just me --> let's figure out what kinda music i dance best to
- i'm home from work. again, it's just me --> explore different hobbies or cultivate ones i already have
- weekend rolls around and the prospect of a free dinner is looking slim --> kidnap a lady friend, yelp something new and split dinner tab 50/50
- vacation hours are piling up and i'm feeling cabin fever --> nowhere in the fineprint of groupon's romantic vacation deals for two say it needs to be fulfilled by 2 loveydoveys.
see where i'm going with this? obviously i still need to take a dose of my own medicine but it makes sense that instead of wasting time at home moping about the emptiness of my other half, time could be better spent filling that half with ME stuff! find out what i like and don't like, trailblaze hobbies of my own that are uniquely me, and create experiences for myself that add to the mosaic of who i am. then, god willing ;) if i ever meet some perfectly hunky dude, i can bring my whole self to match his whole self and live happily ever after.
acacia we studied the life of elijah during his 3 years of exile where he had no life encounters except with a black bird twice a day and with the one and only holy god. what did he learn from his time alone? for once i enjoyed group discussion (jk :D ) and this is what we came up with: elijah grew in his faith and trust in god's promises through his experiences and in his persistence in proclaiming the power of god even when circumstances argued otherwise. i would then add that through this time, he grew a strong and rich identity in who christ called him to be so that when the day came to reveal God's glory in the test of gods, he had the boldness to deliver.
Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire - he is God.” 1 kings 18hollaaa how cool is that?? i believe god desires to grow us in our identity in him - as the theme of a bible study i'm going through goes; to live a life free of anything that hinders us from the effective and abundant spirit-filled life god has planned for us. okay, yada yada yada bible talk aside, what does that even look like?! i don't know. i think it's different for everyone. but it's worth exploring on your own and cultivating it in your magical time.
tangentially, i think it's possible that people who aren't fully okay with being on their own or have a clear idea of who they are make them to be the needy sort. eww shudder.
conclusive notes: don't be afraid of being alone. live life richly, fully and wholly.