Make friends with yourself

I’m incredibly fortunate to make a living on my mission.  I contribute to the lives of hundreds of men and women every year.  It’s a dream come true, but it’s not without its challenges.  My job involves a lot of travel, which means I spend time away from my friends and family.  I go alone, which can be difficult.  Many of us are afraid of being alone. 

The other day I had lunch with one of my friends.  As we were walking, I asked if he had been to the restaurant before.  He said, “Yea, but it’s been a while.  I usually just eat at the office, because I don’t have anyone to go to lunch with.”

“Why not go alone?” I asked.

“I don’t know.  I guess I don’t like to eat alone.  Hell, I don’t like to be alone,” he replied.  

As we continued our conversation, I came to learn that my friend was uncomfortable with the idea of being alone with his thoughts.  His fear surprised me. 

“What bad things could you learn?  Do you keep secrets from yourself?”  I questioned.

“You know, I guess I do.  I avoid being alone because if I get to know myself, I might not like what I find.”  

I don’t think my friend is unusual.  We live in a society that praises busyness and leaves us all in the fear that if we take the time to reflect, we'll miss out.  We’re so busy consuming information that we often forget to form thoughts of our own.  That’s because we need time to digest the information we’ve already consumed.  Maybe that’s the silver lining in all of the time I spend away from home.  I’m alone, so it’s a lot easier to pause and reflect. 

When’s the last time you took a break from the hustle?  Consider turning off your phone.  Close your laptop.  Tune out.  Allow your mind to digest.  You’ll probably see an improvement in your creativity, and you just might learn something about yourself.  Maybe you’ll make a new friend.