Where you were …
A friend wrote to me, Multiple times I caught myself giggling at the joy of being by myself. In my tent, on the beach, playing my guitar, building a fire, roasting marshmallows, writing—enjoying the distinct pleasure of doing whatever felt right in the moment. No outside input other than birds, squirrels, and waves crashing. I realize in this moment, as clear as anything, I have never done this before. I have never flowed from activity to activity without consulting a parent, a husband, a child, a friend, or a lover. The day is mine, and I am moved by it.

I do not want to leave here. But know eventually I must. I feel so safe, so secure, so okay. That may sound silly, but I think most of us stumble about hoping to encounter a feeling … that justifies who we are and what we do. A feeling that says we are okay. Until we find that feeling within, we are drawn to anyone or anything that offers a framework for our existence, our own well being tied to subjective opinions and belief systems. It is a precarious way to live but most of us do.

… and where you are now.
Now I am struggling. How did I go from feeling so good, completely independent, to this? It happens so quickly.

Do not see this is a failure, to have gone from feeling independent to needing again. You have not lost the one who was ok being alone. You are there, inside, ready to come alive again.

That sense of complete comfort, inside, comes and goes, by the hour, by the day, or by the week. When it is gone, you are not weak. When it is present, you are not strong. It is simply a measure of boundaries, clarity, and peace of mind. It is that wonderful place where everything comes together in a single, linear process which has no start and no end, but is always in motion.

You experienced your first waking meditation, the ability for the human mind and body to find peace in a waking, walking, climbing, working moment, not unlike that incredible place you go when you write or compose songs. But this time, it lasted for two whole days and gave you a sense of freedom like nothing you have ever experienced before.

I have been there countless times before and strive to be there every chance I get—in my Subaru, backpacking, sleeping in my tent, at Holden last year, the cave in the Superstitions this past spring, and the Ranch in Colorado this summer. This is why I make time to be alone. One, two, even three days without phone or email. That is the only way to find that place.

For me, and perhaps for you, that is the perfection of the human experience. Once you have tasted it, you will crave it for the rest of your life. The challenge then lies in finding someone with whom you can spend your days and nights and yet remain connected to the bliss of solitude.