I spent a lot of time with myself when I was in Europe. A lot. And I began to realize something,
Not only do I gravely dislike being alone, I dislike even more being alone with my own thoughts. If I am by myself but have something to distract me from the intense self-focus and uncomfortable self-reflection that accompanies solitary moments, I don’t have to confront my own being. I can continue pointedly and deliberately in whatever direction I’m headed with my head down and my ears stopped. And when I find myself somewhere unpalatable, I can blame it on not having a chance to figure out what I really wanted.
So, as has been my habit lately, I began to challenge myself. I would sit on the days-long train rides, my books and earbuds tucked securely in my bag, resisting the pang of guilt for time wasted (where does that even come from anyway?), and just be. I would just sit and BE with myself.
Now, don’t expect too much of me here. There was no sagacious soul searching happening during this time, no philosophical profundities or sophic epiphanies gave way to sudden enlightenment. But I think that was the point. I think I just needed to be still. With no objectives, no occupations, no intention. Isn’t that what meditation is all about anyway? Emptying your melting mind and allowing the threads of emotion to settle lightly on your heart?
Solitude does not require profound self-discernment in order for you to begin to fall in love with the very fibers of your universal being. But it does require stillness. Stop searching for distraction. Forget this mythical value of constant productivity, or time as something that can be spent or wasted. The most pure and practiced love is often demonstrated by the ability to sit in perfect silence and stillness with one another. So do that. With yourself. That’s where it all starts.