I have always been solitary; I belong to none else; I behold no one whom I can say I belong to nor do I behold one whom I can designate as mine. The path of worldliness is nothing but disaster. Who, whose, and where are one’s kith and kin? Who, whose, and where are strangers, all going round in cycles of birth and death? At times, the kith and kin become strangers, and vice versa. Ponder thus, “I am all alone. Nobody was mine in the past, nor will ever be in the future. It is because of my karma that I delude myself and consider others as mine. The truth is that I was alone in the past and will ever be all alone.”Jainism, Acharanga Sutra 4.32
We are all our own souls, and it is an illusion to believe someone belongs to you or that you belong to anyone else.
Many attach themselves to partners, friends, family, children, so on. But there is no ownership over anyone.
When you were a child, you knew that your body and your mind was separate and distinct from your parents, you understood that you were your own person. They may have raised you, or conceived you, or had legal ownership over you, but they were not you. And if you do go on to have children, the same concept applies.
Your friends and family are also completely separate people who live their own lives and therefore can make their own choices. Getting jealous or possessive over someone implies the false belief that you own them.
You can be a hermit who lives in isolation: no dating, no marriage, no children, no friends, and no family. Or you can date many people and have many close friendships. Or you can get married and have children. Whatever the case is, you are alone, either way. The only difference is the illusion. Anyone surrounded by others is just as alone as anyone all by themselves. You are still your own person, your own soul, your own desires, your own self. You have your own mind, your own brain, your own body, your own consciousness — no one else’s.
If you date or marry, if you have children, if you have many close friendships, you can choose to believe that there is ownership or not — and that is what makes all the difference. If you listen to your ego, or if you are living through your ego, you will take ownership over them. And through this, you get caught up in negative patterns, drama, and confusion.
Some people consciously choose not to get married, or have children, or even have any friends, because they do not want to become attached to worldly matters. Some believe that through relinquishing attachment, you free yourself from the eternal cycle of death and rebirth. Attachment is an addiction that weighs us down and prevents us from entering the gates of heaven. Your soul will never ascend until you let go of attachment. And you can do this by remembering you are alone, you don’t own anyone, and you never have.
Aloneness is not to be feared or avoided. It is not a negative thing; it is truth. Aloneness transcends the ego. It is your savior from endless cycles and patterns. It is fearless, it is pure, it is freedom, it is peace.