For your entire life, you live with the best friend you could ever have – yourself.
Many of us live our lives oblivious to that fact, and when we find ourselves on our own, we feel lonely. Some of us actually treat ourselves as the enemy.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
One of the possible outcomes of living alone is finding out who you really are. I say one of the possible outcomes deliberately, because there are others, and you need to make a deliberate choice to embark on a journey of self-discovery.
I encourage you to make that choice, because the alternatives, like loneliness, depression, and alcoholism, are not all that enjoyable. And suicide is final – you don’t get to reconsider it after the fact, at least not in this dimension.
The external world is the focus of most of our attempts to understand the world and our place in it. It’s true, there is a lot of interesting stuff in the world you can study, and you can keep yourself busy studying the world for hours. In fact, you can hide there if you choose.
The journey of self-discovery is an inner journey, and an interesting, revealing, and surprising experience as you encounter yourself along the way. You’ll definitely discover you are not who you currently think you are – if you undertake the trip.
To take the journey, you need to turn your focus away from studying things outside yourself and start studying yourself. This journey is about noticing what’s going on in your life and wondering why.
Never wonder why anything happened to you. Always wonder why it happened for you to notice. If some things have appeared repeatedly in your life, take notice. You’ve been missing the lesson.
A journey of self-discovery is not something you’ll complete in an afternoon or by attending a weekend workshop. This is a journey that requires a commitment to ongoing exploration.
I suggest you start by learning to simply stop and check in with yourself. A journal will help.
In my experience, the best way to achieve that is through learning to meditate.
Check out Sounds True for help with meditation.
Peter Mulraney is the author of the Living Alone series, written for men who find themselves living alone.