Alone Time/Isolation - Teal Swan

The reason why you want to isolate by yourself is because you're falling out of touch with yourself when you're around other people. And...this is not healthy.

This is how we're supposed to work as people: you use alone a last ditch effort if you really really can't access personal truth unless you are alone. The rest of the time, believe it or not human beings are not actually meant to be alone.

So if you've got somebody who's like "I'm feeling really, really good alone," they're feeling really, really unsafe with people.

So it's a relational or relationship issue that you gotta work with... Not "let's figure out how to have alone time and have other people too."

All of the work has got to be around how to feel good with people, safe with people...not responsible for everything with people.

I spend a lot of time alone.

By choice.

I could be around people a lot more than I am, but I often find the outside world overwhelming.

Now I will admit that I'm an introvert and a certain amount of alone time comes with the territory; it is what it is.

But I've noticed myself withdrawing lately. As the world is opening up, I'm shutting down.


What's going on?

I didn't know until I was scrolling through Instagram the other night and came upon the above-quoted video by Teal Swan. I played it over and over again. And then I wrote down the words so that I could read them over and over again.

You're falling out of touch with yourself when you're around other people.


Because of my upbringing, I've learned how to completely tune out of what I think and feel when I'm around other people in order to defer to them. My parents constantly invalidated my inner experience, and I often don't know how I feel about something until after the fact, when I'm alone and have had a few days to think.

You really really can't access personal truth unless you are alone.


I struggle to access my personal truth when I'm around others. I'm definitely getting better at this, but it's not my go to yet. I still need to work on making my inner voice louder than all of the external voices.

Feeling really really unsafe with people.


I am still emotionally frightened of people. And I know that the way to get over that is to trust myself; to trust my ability to hear myself, my ability to speak up in the moment when I'm not alright, my ability to align with my personal truth even when I'm around other people.

The work has got to be around how to feel good with people, safe with people...not responsible for everything with people.


That last bit is a crucial piece - not responsible for everything with people. My parents made me feel as though I was responsible for how they felt. That with my actions and inactions, I was affecting them; that they did what they did because I did what I did.

Most of my life, I've been made to feel responsbile for things that aren't in any way in my control. The result is that now as an adult - for example - if I choose a movie, and it's not good, I will apologize for my selection, as though I could have known; as though it's my fault.

It IS really important to take responsibility; I feel we live in a society that's very averse to responsibility and in which everything is someone else's fault.

But for those of us who grew up in abusive households, we need to learn to do the opposite and give back responsibility to those it actually belongs to.

So Teal Swan is right - All of the work has got to be around how to feel good with people, safe with people.

And that work is not outer-focused; it's not about learning to trust other people - it's about learning to trust ourselves to take care of us, to take care of our needs, to protect us - so that we CAN go out into the world, and it can do whatever it will do because we are strong enough to take care of ourselves.

Last year was a tough one (see all the posts since January). It was a necessary process but it was a very painful process, and part of that process was to stop speaking to my parents. That's what's finally given me the space to hear myself, without the weight of their expectations on my shoulders.

But all of that growth has left me feeling incredibly raw and vulnerable, and aside from a select few, I don't feel ready to leap out into the world with my full self. Not yet. And that's ok.

I am in the process of unfurling; of taking the being I twisted myself into in order to fit their expectations, and slowly but surely finding my real shape.

I'm experimenting and discovering who I am, and what I like and don't like, and who I really want to be. It's a slow and steady process, but forward is forward.

Until then, alone time is ok.


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