“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” –Joseph CampbellSo–here we are. We find ourselves alone…again. It can be miserable at any time of the year, to be alone, but especially at the holidays…. There is just something to the holiday season that begs for us to be social, giving, and…anything but ‘alone.’ All the gift-giving, carol singing, shopping, and cooking are designed to promote a sense of communal home, and of finding ourselves of cheer and in good company.
Yet, there is a bald honesty to being alone…maybe that is what can make it feel so scary to us. Alone, we are left with our own company…no other distraction to capture our attention…no other person right “there,” from whom we may appreciate any extra information or support. Being alone is a test of not only our resilience, but also our inner friendship and communal peace-and that same measure of both which we hold with the rest of creation. –Are you your own best friend? Let’s take a look.
How else might we realize anything of this world or beyond, without first entering our own sacred space? Whether we consider our sacred space to be a certain type of physical room, an external communion with the natural world, or a more intimate vista within the open expanse of one’s own mind, this sacred space of alone time is our playground of discovery. This area of aloneness is a very real retreat, where we can go even when there is a lot of people and distraction to otherwise take us away.
We never know what we might find until we look, and being alone in our sacred space affords us the opportunity to do just that. We can be indulgent and come to terms with whatever we find, seeking peace. We may choose to seek balance with it, and to maybe also choose to find out more, if our curiosity so leads us.
Of course, we may look at the very real fact that being alone can be painful…and why. If we are fortunate enough to have family and friends with whom we can share, the choice remains to pursue that special family time. If we have no such hold on our heritage, one may choose to participate-to make the mindful effort to join with other–to whatever extent we feel comfortable. In looking at these many options, we might choose to give of ourselves more mindfully and positively.
A year-end look, alone with our individual self, through the holiday season, may be considered a “gift of the present” we give to ourselves. How is our path going? How are our relationships? What might we count as our successes for this year, and where might we improve in the next? What (if anything) have we created? Do we have anything we might choose to create in the year ahead?
Lonely, and Never Alone
There is also the real sense of loneliness that “can” come with being alone, which may be another good reason to charge head-first into the retreat of our sacred space. Might we be a little less fearful of that loneliness, once we recognize a friendly face–our own? Perhaps a mirror of some reflective sort needs to be made part of our sacred space? A calm pool of water, a crystal ball, or just a shiny metal surface that reflects the loving light to be found in your own eyes…the accompanying, familiar truth to be seen whilst looking.
Before long, we may well discover that we have some measure of work to do in this special space, if we wish to call it work. We can choose to let it all go…releasing our problems to God, the angels, and the greater universe to absorb. Cherish the perfection in what we are…in what just is…and the miracles we may find instead of always looking for problems and shortcomings. Eliminating our own prejudices and stigmatic fear lies in these very little mindful choices we make, as simple as they may be.
How else might we not only make friends with our inner self and accept all that has brought us to a particular point in time and space without recrimination, unceasing punishment, or ‘internal’ damnation? Alone time may afford us the chance to reach a higher level of self-acceptance and respect…something we may learn to appreciate not only in ourselves, but also in others. We may choose the rightful action of being kinder in general when we see how being compassionate affects us to the core of our aloneness.
Disruptions come…energetic disturbances happen in our world again and again. How well we deal with the drama and competition found in places that are ‘not’ part of our sacred space, may well depend on how well we deal with the imbalances we discover within it. Knowing who we are, we may mindfully choose to feel the extremes…of loneliness, of despair, of sadness, or pain…without giving over the entirety of our being to the point of becoming utterly lost. Carefully measuring our tears, allowing them to fall in a portioned, supported, and mindful way, can bring much-needed release and a calmer, reserved feeling than constantly walking around anxious and on-edge.
This is the very type of stress, it is said, which causes dis-ease. To know we have a sacred space and the ability to address it up close and personally can keep it from attaching its claws inside our physical self-from taking root and spiraling out of control. We can utilize our sacred space to mindfully observe “it,” without letting it become a part of who we are. In this way, our sacred space and our time alone in it are the way to reaffirm just who we are at any given moment and recreate ourselves through renewal.
So when the world is pulling us, either through distraction or some other nefarious means, know that being alone may be necessary-if not preferred-as a way to keep yourself healthy, and in tune with the universe itself on the large scale, and with every minute cell of your body on the small scale. When it comes to keeping yourself in balance, you may “want to be alone.” If it was good enough for the late, great Greta Garbo, well…who are we to quibble?
Happy Holidays to One and All ~ Blessings!
About the author
Kathy Custren, senior editor with OMTimes and Mental Health First Aid instructor, is a mother of four who strives for balance, enjoys creative expression, and has a deep respect for All. Interests include educational, environmental, and mental health advocacy, the arts, communication, humanity's cosmic origins, nature, philosophy, spirituality and wellness.