Somewhere in my life I learned that being alone meant being a failure. If a person was alone, it meant he or she had not been sufficient for others to desire their company. It was more than being an outcast. It was its own scarlet letter, defining a person as having nothing to be desired by others.
Interestingly, I have spent a large part of my life feeling--and being--very alone.
To avoid this fate, I have often compromised and sacrificed greatly, sometimes my morals, more often myself. Each time I have lost far more than I ever hoped to gain, and I have come to realize that to be alone is not great shame. Sometimes it is a defining act of courage. It is not just the refusal to be what one is not, but the determination to be what one is. Honor and integrity are not most often found in large gathering. Instead, they are found in the choice not to gather.
It is simple to pick up a drink, a drug, a porn flick, or a grudge, and be part of the crowd. Anyone can do that. The fact is people will take anyone who entertains their follies. However, to go home to a spouse, to endure the pain till the other side, to honor one's vows even in the dark moments, or to let a matter go requires valour beyond the measure of most men. It requires a conviction of right and wrong, and a determination to accept responsibility for that conviction, a responsibility to act in accordance with the wisdom and knowledge of what is righteous, just, and holy.
This is not a light-weighted identity to carry, but it is one that allows a person to look in the mirror and be content with what she sees, one that allows a person to lie her head down at night and sleep deeply without torment of mind or spirit.
To be alone in such a manner is a choice of character, not a result of rejection. It is not determined by what a person is not, but by what she is.
Knowing what I truly desire to be, I choose to be worthy of being alone.