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Finding Peace in Solitude

Growing up I was never alone. During my early years I lived with my mother and father in a trailer on my grandmother’s property. My father was disabled, which meant he was always home, and my grandparent’s house was the family hub. Their yard was always filled with their grandchildren and their house was always filled with my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, family and friends. Then, when I was 10 years old my mom gave birth to my little sister, which meant even when my parents weren’t around, she was.

In college I had a roommate until I got an off-campus apartment after not wanting to go home during Spring Break. Even then, I didn’t spend much time alone because I was in school most of the day or studying and working to afford rent. On days I wasn’t working, I would usually spend it with friends. I mostly only slept there.

This pattern followed me into adulthood, I had roommates, worked multiple jobs and spent my non-working days busy with friends and family. I eventually had a family which created a lot of responsibility and many opportunities for busyness. This lasted until I inevitably burned out. I was overwhelmed, stressed and falling apart. At that time, I didn’t have boundaries and needed an excuse to say no. I would turn my ringer off when I arrived to prevent people from asking for my support and not being home seemed like the perfect excuse. I packed my bag, some books and took the 3-hour drive to the ocean. It was a place to escape the stress and pressures of my life at the time. On this first trip, I found peace in the solitude. After arriving, I didn’t read books or journal like I thought I would. I allowed myself too just be. I watched the waves ebb and flow. I felt the wind on my face and sand in-between my toes. I watched the people walking the beach. I looked at the clouds and watched the sun rise in the morning. When it was time to leave, I felt peaceful and centered. I was able to go back home and have healthier relationships with my family.

Healthy relationships are built on a healthy amount of alone time. Below are a few benefits of Spending time by yourself:

  • Time alone allows you to focus on your own needs and desires and begin fulfilling them. Unmet needs and desires lead to depression, irritability and resentment.

  • Alone time allows you to give more of yourself as a result of the recharging you’ve done.

  • Being apart can cause you and your partner to become more attracted to one another and allow you to see each other in a new way, leading to renewed desire in your relationship.

  • We have more patience for our kids when we don’t feel stressed and overwhelmed.

My first trip to the ocean alone taught me the importance of creating time with and for myself. I made a commitment to make self-care and time alone with myself a priority. Today my alone time practice is not about escaping, instead it’s about creating. It’s now about practicing self-care which leads to my ability to create the life I want. It allows me to be the balanced, peaceful woman I am.

When is the last time you’ve spent time alone meeting your needs? You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take time to make sure you’re being the very best version of yourself and allow yourself the opportunity to share that version with others.

Sent with unconditional love,

Kamesha Tarell

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