Thursday, August 27, 2009

Word Wonder -- alone

1. Without company; solitary. To live alone

[From the Middle English word al one, meaning "solitary." The word "solitary" comes from the Latin word solus, which means "alone."] - Funk & Wagnalls Canadian College Dictionary

The words "alone" and "solitary" are so interwoven and laden with negative meanings that some people feel panicky at the very thought of being alone. Such fears can come from childhood trauma, personality traits, addictions, depression, and so on. Being alone is sometimes tied to feelings of not being safe, of being vulnerable, or of punishment, as in solitary confinement. It's also tied to beliefs that if we are alone, we must be less valuable than others who "have someone."

But look again at the definition of "alone." It simply means solitary, which means "living, being, or going alone." It does not have to mean "lonely," "lonesome," or "less than." Such ideas have been piled on top of these words...but you don't have to accept old definitions.

You can redefine your ideas about being alone. In fact, most of us need time alone to recharge, to get to know ourselves, to rest. You can choose your own definitions for words and for your life.

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