When I’m not blogging, many amazing ideas come to my mind to write about, esp. when I am in the shower. I even write some of them down. However, I decided that pre-planning what I am going to write about takes away from the purpose or experience. For now, I just want this to be a free-flowing stream of consciousness—unedited, raw, my pure thoughts.
Authentic. Sincere. Intimate. In the moment.
In fact, I’ve been writing first thing in the morning after I wake up. I begin by writing the 3 things I am grateful for from the previous day. Then I do my reflections on what could have gone better yesterday. Next, I write my affirmations…and then I blog. Nice and flowy.
Yep, that’s the topic for today. Isolation. Is isolation a good thing or a bad thing? Or is it good AND bad?
I go through periods of isolation. They first began when I went through a deep depression a few years ago. I completely isolated. I went to work. Had relationships with the people I worked with. Enjoyed them. Then I went home. And I isolated. I only really interacted with my family—kids and husband. Those were pretty much the only people who had daily, consistent, authentic interaction with me. At that time, I didn’t even respond to many messages from people. I just isolated.
I wouldn’t really call this isolation ‘BAD.’ It was just an output of my depression, and I didn’t physically or mentally possess the energy to engage or interact. I listened to voicemails. I read messages. I smiled. My heart was warmed. I appreciated them. I needed them. But I didn’t respond. Responding would start a dialogue. I didn’t want to dialogue. And I didn’t bother with a short simple reply because I didn’t know what to say. Or maybe I didn’t have anything to say. I don’t know.
Over time, as I healed, I remained isolated. But isolation looked different. I wasn’t isolated and laying in my bed miserable and sad. I just enjoyed being alone. Reading, writing, learning, spending time with God, living, or just doing nothing. I thoroughly enjoyed being alone. There is a lot of beauty that emerges from me in these seasons of isolation. The stillness births beauty. Intimacy with myself. Introspection. Reflection. Deeper knowing of self. Greater self-love.
Yet, as beautiful as it is to me, it was harmful to some of my relationships. I was unreachable and unavailable for many people who cared about me. I damaged some relationships that, still today, seem permanent. I’ve struggled there. Struggled to understand how to navigate those situations. How can you be there for others at a time when you only have the resources available within to hold yourself up. I’m sure many people have solutions to offer. And fundamentally, those all make sense. But in the moment—in the thick of the situations, it’s not that easy. From an energy standpoint…sometimes it’s just not there.
One day I was listening to the Black Girls Therapy podcast. Dr. Joy, the podcast host, talked about isolation. She said that isolation can be beautiful. But then, we can allow ourselves to remain in isolation too long and it can become a form of “hiding” or “avoiding.” That’s when the isolation can become a hindrance to our healing. And so now I consciously think about that as I navigate my seasons of isolation.
Oddly enough, all my life I’ve been labeled as an extrovert—high on the Richter scale. But after years of healing, I no longer identify that way (although I still rank as an extrovert on every personality profile. I’ve even tried to cheat to answer as an introvert and it still didn’t work. Lol)
I’m not, however, as extroverted as I identified with for 40+ years. In fact, that extrovert label was part of my people-pleasing—my codependency. It was my big personality that showed up in an effort to fit in, to be accepted, to be seen, or to be heard.
As I’ve worked through years of deep inner work and healing, I feel much less of a need to be that ‘present’ or ‘connected.’ I don’t show up that way anymore—at least not in that energy. I’m still very much a people person but in doses. I enjoy connecting. In fact, I can find a connection with most people. But it’s a pure connection—not a needy one. I’ve healed from the “Pick me. Look at me. Choose me” syndrome I had most of my life.
(It still gives me chills and makes my stomach kinda curl when I think about those years of settling, being moldable, dumbing myself down, not feeling good enough—being a classic codependent. #sighs
Back to isolation… it’s now part of my being. I literally thrive off of my alone time. Recharging my energy. Quieting the voices. Being present with myself. Clearing my thoughts. Tapping in. I love it. Seriously.
What about you? How often do you spend time alone? Do you have seasons of isolation? What does that look like for you?
Well, signing off for the day, have an amazing day today. xoxoxo
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Until next time, I leave you with light, love, and high vibrations! Toodles. Talk soon.