Photo Credit: Live Bold and Bloom

Fear of Being Alone

It is natural to be afraid of being left alone — this is because we are all born in a family, and we grow up amongst people who love us for who we are. There is a sense of belonging as we are always part of a certain group, a certain crowd, a certain religion. We are always surrounded by people. So, for us it appears to be natural to be amongst people, though it is just a habit formed since birth.

If we look at nature, we will realise that this is not natural — because in nature, everybody is born alone. It does not matter that one is born in a family. We spend nine months all alone in the mother’s womb. After taking birth, whenever we close our eyes, we discover our aloneness. Even when we go to the market, or in any crowded area, we just have to close our eyes and we find that we are alone.

Aloneness is our very nature, being in a crowd is just a habit. But the habit, over time, has become so strong that we feel it is our nature. And because of this strong habit we are afraid about what may happen if people leave us and go away, what will we do? In fact, we do not know who we are, because it is people’s opinions about us that give us our identity — they create an identity for us.

People have opinions about others — he is handsome, intelligent, caring, loving, and so on — so it is these handles that create an identity for the individual. Our whole identity consists of very nonessential things: and those are the opinions given by others to us. They can withdraw their opinions; hence people are always afraid to do anything that goes against tradition, religion, political ideology, nationalistic attitudes. Even if it seems absolutely wrong, people go on supporting it for the simple reason that they are afraid that if they raise their voice against anything traditional, society can withdraw the identity that it has given to them. And then we will not know who we are.

That is the fear — that if we are left alone, how will we know who we are? All those people who had made us something, have all gone. And now, the fear remains until we come to know ourself directly, as to who ‘we’ really are — directly, not through someone!

We need to remember only two things. When we know ourselves through others, that is our personality, just a thin layer of opinions. When we know ourself directly, we know our individuality. And once we know our individuality, the fear disappears.

Whenever one gets a chance, close the eyes, sit silently, relaxed, and look inside. Slowly, slowly the turmoil settles, the mind becomes quiet, and a deep silence prevails. And suddenly one starts feeling one’s innermost being, the very center of life, which is alone. There is nobody and there can never be anybody. Nobody can approach there except you. It is your territory. It is the only place which belongs to you.

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Girish Borkar

Spirituality ... meditation ... insights ... inner peace ... the journey continues... love and gratitude