Photography & Words by Sara Dungo
Learning to love ourselves is a never ending endeavor we will pursue until the days of our enlightenment. With an innate introverted personality, I prefer to deal with exploring the depths of existence through a tool I call “isolated introversion.” Isolated introversion is a developmental process, a point when someone pays attention to and receives gratification from their own interests, thoughts, and feelings through periods of self-induced isolation as a form of self-care. Through this method, we highlight the authenticity within and unlock healing needed not only for ourselves but everything around us.
In the past, I was disturbed by the preference of my own company over that of others. I felt the intention to be alone was shameful, that my introverted nature was a problem that needed fixing, so I inevitably transformed myself into a person I truly didn’t align with. Differentiating between needing space away from society and needing society within space can be difficult, especially whenever human nature requires the latter to maintain social connections. As I continued to force this personality, I came to the realization that I was unhappy with myself. At this point of desperation, I began to ask the universe for guidance.
It wasn’t until I accepted my introversion and allowed myself the freedom of temporary isolation that I was able to restructure my life.
In recent years, I’ve implemented frequent detoxing using isolated introversion. Lately, this has meant removing toxic forces that were causing a number of health ailments; removing the flesh of fearful, anxious, and abused animals from my diet; and removing a destructive partner with whom I invested my love, validation, and worth. Though all of these experiences left me struggling, melancholy, and ultimately, alone, they were all incredibly necessary to the dying process of my brainwashed ego in order to propel myself towards the purest form of self-love.
Any method on the journey to self-love can prove to be a double-edged sword. While solitude allows for magnitudes of both physical and mental space, there will be times you’ll find yourself gasping for air in desperation on the bathroom floor. Tears will flow in amounts you didn’t think were possible. Your way of life may feel absolutely meaningless, and the fear of loneliness can shadow the journey. But, in these times of becoming aware, we also begin to see ourselves wholly. We are giving our shadows the space they need to breathe. Seeing our faults and flaws can make us want to turn back, but I encourage you to keep going, because shining light over the darkness we hide away makes the process easier to accept and honors what we may think is shameful or ugly. With these necessary ingredients, love for oneself can truly be authentic.
The process of isolated introversion is reflective of the new astrological age we’re all still adjusting to, The Age of Aquarius, as we move away from the extroverted and often deceitful ideals of The Piscean Age. In The Piscean Age that has spanned the last 2,000 years, humans have been dominated by traits of hierarchy and vertical power among the few, idealizing traits such as money, power, and control. Now, The Age of Aquarius has ushered in the prioritization of new values such as love, unity, and integrity. Through these traits, we are able to seek empowerment by finding the truth within.
As we all take the time for reflection, the reality of this current age is intelligent chaos.
The Greeks believed that life blossoms out of chaos, and through this disarray is where grace can be found: the capacity to find beauty behind the scars.
This feature is published as part of the December 2017 Space Issue.