Mastering the art of aloneness and the richness of solitude is such a loaded phrase for most women I speak to and work with. The conversations run deep by challenging ourselves to bridge the gap of the imaginary boundary where we as women understand that we are in charge of our fates and the drivers of our life.
It's a tough sell. Aloneness can be terrifying. Society conditions us to be partnered. How many of us wait too long in a relationship or rush headlong into the next for fear of being alone? Do you distract yourself from being alone rather than embracing it?
It's no wonder given that a quarter of all single women over 18 live below the poverty line and this statistic remains so for single women over 65. Building our careers for our future has never been more important. Financial and emotional security require us to make conscious effort in how we are to create our lives. Letting go of the fantasy of rescue. As a girl do you remember the narrative. Grow up, get married, have children. Then what??
And more to the point, then what now?
Society has us believing that as a woman alone that there's something wrong, yet we can live completely fulfilled lives if we as women step into embracing independence, understanding our own innate wisdom, building capability and confidence. Life is uncertain. Divorce, the loss of a partner or by our own choice, more women live alone than ever before. Even in a relationship, the aloneness felt can be deep. How many of us feel it, but don't do anything until it's too late?
Then the challenge of being alone is fully in front of you. Unexpectedly and in full force. Is your relationship a space holder or the real deal?
There will always be times in our lives spent alone either through choice or circumstance. Being alone is not a euphemism for being flawed. As Simone De Beauvior reminds us in The Second Sex, it's a divine liberty of sovereign solitude and a time for creation.
The question becomes, who am I as a woman alone?
And the first answer is to be good on your own first. There is nothing sexier and more empowered than a woman who knows herself and has her own life powered by her own steam. Learning who you are and how to put plans
into action so that no matter what appears in your life ahead, you are confident in yourself.
The second is to surround yourself with a group of great people. That reach out with a helping hand and lift you up. The friends you surround yourself with should be a joy to be around. Listen to your intuition and build a support network that influences you to rise.
And the greatest is to give yourself time, engage with friends, build new networks and aloneness is something to be explored, not feared.
I've enjoyed reading The Art Of Living Alone & Loving It by Jane Matthews. I think you will too!
You can get your copy here
An extraordinary book of embracing single living and coming from a fellow (LAT) - living apart together, the tale of intentional solo living.