Of course we are communal creatures by nature, and it's important to experience life with others; however, spending time with just your Self is really the only way to explore it and grow intimate with it.
A way that helps me process this is to think of my inner Self as another person.
If I were interested in getting to know a new friend, I'd spend some time with her. I would learn about her, try out some experiences with her, grow trust between us and have fun along the way.
First we catch each other's eyes from across the scene. Hmm....this person is intriguing to me. He appears to have some qualities I am interested in. We walk across the room to meet one another in a quiet(er) place to ask a few questions and feel each other out (not feel each other up - get your head out of the gutter!). From this we discover that we dig each other and decide to get together alone to find out more. Now we spend time with one another often to learn, grow and play together.
You get the idea!
The difference is, it seems normal to prioritize time with others and very UNnormal to prioritize time with your Self. To this I say SO WHAT?! All new things feel a bit unfamiliar in the beginning, and there's a good reason for that - they are unfamiliar in the beginning. That is no excuse to not continue something you feel will benefit you.
1. Take your Self on a date. Yep, that sounds super weird. Make it fun. Do something you love doing. If you sit down to plan something and realize you're not really sure what you love doing (don't worry, that's common), you're in luck! You're extra fortunate because now you get to go on an exploration of FUN and decide for yourself what you enjoy. This is a really great way to grow trust and intimacy with your Self!
2. Set aside time each day - even a few minutes - to sit in silence with your Self. You can observe the thoughts and feelings that come up. You can ask your Self questions. You can feel weird about this and laugh with your Self about this goofy situation. The most important thing is that you use this time intentionally. Let your Self know it is special time for just you (or the two of you if you're thinking of it as another person). This time is your display of prioritizing your Self. Think how good you feel when someone does that for you. We all like to feel special and wanted, so does your Self.
3. Use the times in your day when you are organically alone to check in with your Self. These times could include the few minutes you're at the table when your partner goes to the restroom. Your drive to and from work. ::As impolite as this statement is:: when you're pooping. Basically any time you'd pull your phone out to check out, leave it in your pocket and check in with your Self.
Checking in with your Self can simply be observing how you are experiencing your experience (ooo super meta), asking your Self how it's doing, offering a few words of kindness and affirmation. You can vent to your Self or ask it for support or laugh with it. Pretty much anything you can do with a really great friend you can do with your Self once you've built that relationship - and while you're building that that relationship.
This may all sound crazy, but how could you ever expect to get to know someone if you never spent time alone with them???
I say lean into your discomfort zone, try something new, let yourself be weird and make it fun!
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