I am alone. Individual, singular, distinct – call it whatever you want, at the end of the day they’re just fancy words to say the same thing. The fact that each and every one of us is alone.
Sure, we attach ourselves to family and friends, to work and to ideals, to possession and environments. But once you strip away these things, there is nothing left but you.
And every one once in a while, it’s a good habit to step back and refuse the helping hand that’s offered, because it reminds you of that fact.
I’ve found over the years that the best way to ensure that you’ll come unstuck when you need to stay glued together the most, is to rely too much on others. It spoils you like good food and comfortable beds do.
If you’re not used to it, then at first, being able to lean on someone else’s shoulders feels awkward. Then slowly, when you see how much easier things become if you shift responsibility to others, you begin to indulge in it more and more. Until you reach a point where every time you’re down or you need a boost, you’re automatically reaching out.
And then one fine morning, something really big hits you and guess what? There’s no one around. Oh, not because they don’t want to be, but because they have their own ups and downs to handle. Because they too are alone.
When you pamper yourself that much, the hardest thing is being hit with the reality that was always there, but that you blocked out by drawing the curtains of your own blindness over. The reality that the safest shoulders you can ever lean upon are your own.
So yes, I am alone. And yes, sometimes I forget that fact. But every time I am made to remember it, I stand up a little taller than the last time, I pull back my shoulders a little further and hold my head up a little higher.
I become a little stronger.
It hasn’t yet stopped me from repeating the same folly again and again – maybe that’s part of the convenient short-term memory cache we humans have for pain – but I know I go one step further to reaching that point when I will be able to confidently say:
“I am enough for me.”