One Must Go In Alone


Alphonse Osbert - La Solitude du Christ

One Must Go In Alone

There comes a time for those who are actively seeking growth, where the need to be alone swells; not to isolate out of fear, not to retreat into familiarity, but to abide in sobering solitude and discover what it has to teach for the sake and benefit of all.

For it is in this space, where one can achieve enough silence and clarity to remember what the aim of all this is; what exactly is most important.

Something develops in the repeated advent of that. Not an ease, not a comfort, but a humbleness: a regard for the value of uncertainty and the fragile nature of the moment.

It is quiet, and yes it may very well be lonely. But what culture deems as lonely, I would say, is little more than a fearful boredom, and it is perhaps a thick pill that we need to swallow on a regular basis. Not as an option, but as a requisite for growth across every axis, be it emotional, social, moral, or spiritual.

You must though, be willing to face every aspect of your personality, something which you’ll find to be far more diverse than you assumed. You must be willing to admit of your neuroses and watch them as they try to seduce you. There is no other way to reach your true depth; this is the process of not turning away.

In this silence, in this self-penetrating void, no one is there to take on any excuses, no one is there to keep you from pressing your nose against your shadow.

And so you are left to think. To view your shallower tendencies until they awake back into mortality. Consider death, consider the passing of time and how short it stretches. The people you spent it with, and the people you should have spent it with. This is a renunciation of innocence, that terrific veil of ignorance, and an exchange for the hard road ahead entailed by maturity.

Childhood cannot be bound to blame, for it is not so much your new eyes as it is the undercurrent of anxiety, the push and pull of a mind unevolved for the pressures of the masses.

Somewhere along the way, we abandoned the real, and the mind traced signs into a religiosity of symbols.

This is your chance to return; you get to set an intention with this practice and surrender to whatever may arise. Breath. Feel this body with the acknowledgment that one day it will grow old and fall away. Every bit of this experience is valuable, pay attention and stay centered. As you forget and drift, come back and back again.

Go Beyond the Episodes + Free PDF

Sign up for the Meme and Meaning Newsletter and in addition to updates and resources, receive a FREE PDF copy of Steven's Top 22 Exercises for Self-Reflection.