I am prompted to write about this as a while back I was gifted a pack of Osho Zen Tarot cards. (Don’t worry I’m not going to go off on a woo woo mystical tangent here.) Every now and again I’ll draw a card or two from the deck for a little piece of daily inspiration. The other day the card “Aloneness” came up. When I looked the card up in the explanation book, I found what it said inspiring, motivational and reassuring. It was split into two parts: Description and Commentary.
Here’s what the description said: “…When you are lonely you are thinking of the other, you are missing the other. Loneliness is a negative state. You are feeling that it would be better if the other was there, your wife, your mother, your beloved, your husband. Loneliness is the absence of the other. Aloneness is the presence of oneself, overflowing presence. You are so full of presence that you can fill the whole universe with your presence and there is no need for anybody.”
You’re probably thinking, “No need for anybody? That’s a bit extreme! “…but hold on, the commentary expands upon this:
“When there is no ‘significant other’ in our lives we can either be lonely, or enjoy the freedom that solitude brings. When we find no support among others for our deeply felt truths, we can either feel isolated and bitter, or celebrate the fact that our vision is strong enough even to survive the powerful human need for the approval of family, friends or colleagues. If you are facing such a situation now, be aware of how you are choosing to view your ‘aloneness’ and take responsibility for the choice you have made. One of Buddha’s most significant contributions to the spiritual life of human kind was to insist to his disciples, “Be a light unto yourself.” Ultimately, each of us must develop within ourselves the capacity to make our way through the darkness without any companion, maps or guides.”
Now as human beings we are hard wired for love, belonging and human connection so the last phrase of that commentary “…without ANY companions” might sound a little depressing and unrealistic, but bear with me. Of course, if we have an amazing support network around us both in our personal and professional lives to help us along through those darker, harder times, then that is fantastic. But in reality, there is no certainty to having those shoulders to lean or cry on every single time we need them for the rest of our lives. And even though I know those who care about us are happy to be there for us, one has to keep in mind the effect our physical or emotional needs has on others, especially if it is a constant or a habitual pattern.
I’m not saying harbour all the things that are troubling you and battle with them solo, but I do feel it’s important to work on ourselves and actively try to get better at dealing with life’s trials and tribulations and all those times we feel lonely. So, this is why I find the quote ‘Being a light unto yourself” so motivating and inspiring. It encourages us to find ways to build up our own inner light, strength, optimism and courage, so we become more self-sufficient and empowered, and have greater resilience to deal with those big or small challenges we are faced with.
Here are the three main things I am currently doing to turn up the brightness dial of my inner light, and maybe these practices will help you too…
- Saying positive affirmations to myself, in my yoga practice, during my meditation, when I’m walking, swimming etc. “I am …”
- Making a positive plan that I can activate by myself in order to move closer towards my career and life goals.
- Visualising an inner flame bursting out of me so strongly that nothing or no one can dim my radiance or dampen my spirit….and that it’s so bright it positively uplifts others and stokes their inner fire too.
Whether life’s a breeze for you right now or whether you are going through some tough experiences, I hope that whenever you are ‘alone’ you embrace it as ‘aloneness’, over ‘loneliness’, where your awesomeness, presence and joy is abundant and overflowing. And if you feel disheartened or your inner light is dimmed in any way, do the work, tap into your inner strengths, focus on that which brings you joy and gives you hope, and make a positive, actionable plan.
Love to you all.
P.S Even though I am celebrating ones’ independence in this blog post, I’m always here if you need guidance in brightening your own light.