July 13, 2024

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Free To Be Me – The Art of Being Cosmically Alone

Free To Be Me – The Art of Being Cosmically Alone

I have a personal mantra that is so important to my sense of peace. I know there is a principle of truth to this maxim that works for everyone, so I am going to share it. It is simply this: “I am cosmically alone.” These words give me the impetus to seek, and the ability to find, contentment in none other than God i.e. I’ll not let the restlessness with others that I might feel in my heart, affect my own peace. Additionally, and importantly, I am not only able to be alone; I actively seek it each day because I have learned it is an enjoyable, fulfilling, and healthy spiritual discipline.

I was first inspired by the quote reading a newspaper. It is the life axiom of an Australian Art Gallery director. I have taken a slightly different and perhaps a more spiritual meaning from it compared with the quote’s original sense.[1] It doesn’t mean at all that I think life is all about me, or that I feel alone. This motto simply helps me to give others’ space and respect, and assists me to maintain my own sense of life balance and shalom; via two things: 1) maintaining a healthy independence from people and situations; and 2) by being comfortably alone for some part of each day.

This is an example of the first way it works. Say you have a problem in a critical relationship with a close friend or a family member. You’ve tried to bring certain issues before them and always to no avail; they’ve never really responded the ‘right’ way.

In reality, you can’t do a thing about the way they feel. Actually, there’s good reason-it is taken as an attack on their person, and they’ll probably never respond the way you see them needing to. They need time to come to their own understanding of the problem, and its affects (on you, themselves or others), and time to decide if it’s even a problem to them at all. Secondarily, this idea has application in helping you not make comparisons that might cause envy in you, whether it’s over a material possession another has, or a character quality, or a relationship. Notwithstanding mentors and appropriate role models, we shouldn’t compare ourselves with other people.

It means in essence, that I try to maintain a healthy independence from people and circumstances that speaks fundamentally of my accountability to God alone. I try to remain detached enough to preserve the worlds of others, and certainly my own. I try to ask myself, ‘How important is this issue (to me[2]) in the overall scheme of things.’ Very rarely are things that important that we should need to encroach on others’ spaces-even in marriage or parent/child relationships. This is in theory, a total respect of the other person for whom they are. This doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t challenge things. It means we can say something, if it’s appropriate, and say it with respect and then leave it with the person themself to reflect upon and decide what to do with the feedback.

All you can do is call attention to the problem, and then leave it. Leave the problem with the person. Say to yourself, “this is not my problem.” Give them the respectful space that you can. The outcome is peace for you and peace for them and a win/win outcome.

A second way the idea works is in being alone. Being alone is not fun for some people. They feel bored, lonely, or even scared. For various reasons, they have not learned to quiet their heart, and simply “be.” I have learned that one of the best states I can get to mentally and spiritually requires me to be alone. I feel such peace and contentment in the quiet and stillness, meditating on powerful truths, like the presence of God, for instance. Being alone is never really the case-he is always there speaking if we care to listen.

God has said he will never ever leave us and never ever totally forsake us-in other words, we have nothing less than his complete spiritual presence with us. If we believe, he can guide us in his love, goodness, mercy and grace. If we believe, we can draw on his power to gain peace in being alone, ideally for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Also, if you have a busy life, being still and quiet and alone for some time each day is a pleasant relief from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

It’s appropriate to conclude with this: The basis of this idea is I am accountable to God alone. I believe everyone is, simply by virtue that we came into the world alone and we’ll leave it that way. The biblical character Job alluded to this when he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.”[3] He goes on to say that whatever the Lord gives he also takes away, and blessed be his name. For all these reasons I strive to please God.

It’s irrefutably true; no matter what we acquire in our lives, the ‘pieces all go back in the “monopoly” box of life’ when we die. If only we could live more often with this sort of knowledge at the forefront of our minds. Our hearts would gradually respond in congruence I’m sure. We’d make better life choices, particularly in how we invest our time, not to mention money. At the end of the day, we will all answer to God. We are all, each one of us, alone with him.

Things to consider going forward:

When you feel you’re being too dependent on others or are affected adversely by situations:

  • Ask how important is this issue to me, specifically?
  • Ask yourself: If I let this go, will it affect me adversely? If I let it go, will it affect a dependent of mine adversely?
  • If you’d answer “yes” to the above question you could look for the right time to confront the person sensitively and respectfully, and then leave it.
  • If you answer “no” then learn to let the issue go.
  • Are you guilty of making comparisons with others, and does this cause envy? If so, acknowledge and actively work through these feelings. Acknowledge that envy is dangerous for both you, and the other person-it’s always a lose/lose situation.
  • Other considerations for inner peace:

  • Can you slow down and review/plan your day, your year; your life?
  • Are you able to be still, quiet, alone? How reflective are you?
  • If you can do these things, are you able to ‘sink into the experience’ each time and really enjoy it? If not, don’t give up. It will be enjoyable eventually, especially if you discipline yourself to relax.
  • Being alone with God is essential in the spiritual journey. We can’t actually be that spiritual without it. It takes practise. It takes discipline. But, once you begin to see the benefits in having time alone, you might not need to make comparisons with others, and you might not see others’ issues as such high priorities to change.

    The biggest thing you will gain however is this: God will give you the power to be ‘free to be you,’ with its associated benefits including self-acceptance and self-empowerment.

    © Steve J. Wickham, 2008. All rights reserved Worldwide.

    [1] The actual quote is, “no matter how much you surround yourself with people, at the end of the day you are cosmically alone.” – Alan Dodge. It was a quote his mother always called him to. (Also quoted in the article: Loneliness: Practice Detachment and Master It, Online reference: Wickham, Steve. (2008, January 06). Loneliness – Practice Detachment and Master It. EzineArticles. Retrieved February 01, 2008, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Loneliness—Practice-Detachment-and-Master-It&id=912912.

    [2] Things important to me, are things I am responsible for; the things I believe God holds me accountable for. Other than these things directly, I may not need to be concerned or intervene in.

    [3] Job 1:21a (TNIV).