It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
As a predominantly introverted person, I adore solitude. I love being alone and allowing my day to unfold or fully engaging in what I intend to do. I don’t have a fear of missing out on activities. I am completely content filling my day with whatever inspires me or tugs at my heart strings. I experience joy in a broad range of activities, too; anything from singing and dancing around my house to journaling to spending time in nature.
When I am alone, I am content and comfortable with who I am. When I am around others, my serene snow globe can get shaken or turned upside down.
I can get bombarded with a hyper-vigilance around what I share or how I respond…or how others respond to me. Although this is situational, it is an interesting detour my mind can take, usually after the fact. I can dance around how much (or little) I trusted my instincts in a situation versus pushing it aside in order to be agreeable with another. It can be quite exhausting. If I could simply love myself in social settings the way I love myself when I am alone…
“…the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
The self-assured person is one who, in the midst of the noise of fear and judgment, stays centered in self-love and acceptance.
Situational or not, choosing self-love is a muscle that continually needs strengthening. It needs to be as automatic as breathing. The reality is that it’s not as easy as it sounds. We all have stories and limiting beliefs around worth and value, whether it resembles mental white noise or an awareness to grow and change. We experience countless opportunities to choose self-love; sometimes it’s a subconscious reaction and it just happens and sometimes it requires some mental wrestling. Regardless of the effort required, choose you. Be kind to you. After all, you are the only person you are guaranteed to spend time with every day.
The tender soul is the person who, in the midst of the noise of fear and judgment, chooses self-love…as much they are able.
A starting point for deepening self-love is to open to how your body responds in various situations. For example, I have learned that I hyper-extend my low back and/or clench my shoulders when I feel uncomfortable. It is a subconscious learned response, as though I’m bracing myself for something. My body sometimes offers more noticeable responses, usually prior to an event, signaling that I’m not feeling emotionally safe about stepping into a situation. When I am feeling vulnerable in any way, the faucets under my arms have leakage issues. 😊 I have learned so much about myself by paying attention to what messages my body is sharing. I have also grown to accept how my body chooses to share information…mostly. The sweaty pit thing still gets a big sigh and eye roll…baby steps.
As you start to translate the messages from your body, you gain power. You are now armed with information and insight. When your body starts talking to you, take a deep breath and open to gentleness. Your body is your ‘wing-man’, standing with you through thick and thin. Let your breath be the reset your body needs, guiding you to self-love and acceptance. The love and acceptance you offer yourself translates into joy and celebration of who you are. You are free to be you.
The celebration of who you are supports the comfort of solitude, within or without a crowd.
How comfortable are you being who you are when you are with others?
What messages does your body offer you?
How have you used that information to support you?
Walking together in light, love, and peace 🙏
When I choose to love and accept myself,
I am free to be me.