The essence of life lies in how we harmonize with ourselves. Despite learning numerous doctrines on how to interact with others, we often overlook a fundamental principle – how to coexist with ourselves.

A person incapable of being at peace with themselves will undoubtedly struggle to harmonize with others. We often speak of the harmony between humans and nature, and humans and society, but the key lies in the internal harmony of the individual. Our inner selves are filled with endless desires and contradictions. Take a closer look at your inner thoughts; observe the myriad fantasies and entangled emotions. In these incessant thoughts, we are like a boat swaying on the waves, at times thrust here and at times flung there, never finding tranquility. Only by learning how to coexist with ourselves can we maintain harmony of body and mind. Zhuangzi once said, "The person who can be alone is truly noble." Here, "alone" refers to being independent, self-harmonious, and self-improving – in essence, understanding how to coexist with oneself.

On one hand, individuals need to leverage their abilities to contribute to society for its development. On the other hand, they must cherish their uniqueness, ensuring their lives remain in a positive and harmonious state, becoming noble individuals. The former reflects Confucian thought, while the latter is an embodiment of Daoist philosophy. Learning how to coexist with oneself, reconciling with solitude, and understanding how to spend time with oneself are essential lessons for everyone. This process is like nourishment, gradually seeping into one's being. So, how do we coexist with ourselves?

Firstly, we must acknowledge that solitude is inevitable. While humans are social beings and one cannot exist throughout life without others, each person is also inherently lonely. In the nights without company and in the depths of our hearts, we yearn to be understood and accepted. However, despite knowing many, how many are true confidants? Zhuangzi conveyed the sense of loneliness after losing a mental sparring partner through a story. Imagine a person with a speck of mud on the tip of their nose. They ask a stonemason to shave it off, and the stonemason, without causing harm, effortlessly removes the speck. When King Song of Yuan heard this, he asked the same stonemason to do the same for him. The stonemason replied that he could have done it before, but now his suitable companion had already passed away. No one can be a constant companion throughout our lives. In the long run, amidst the crowd and the festivities, it is easy to mistake this for the norm of life. In reality, solitude is the eternal state of human life. What we can do is face loneliness, then find a path to better coexistence with ourselves.

Secondly, we must accept ourselves and strive for improvement. Zhuangzi's words, "Accept the inevitable and make peace with it as if it were fate," express the attitude of accepting our shortcomings. Life is not about comparison or triumph but about acceptance and improvement. Regularly introspect, understand yourself, acknowledge your shortcomings, and simultaneously be clear about your direction and dreams. Accept and continually refine yourself, making your life a precious gift. How a person treats their time is their life attitude. In the limited precious time, instead of overly focusing on and pleasing others, it is better to cultivate and improve oneself. Loneliness is not frightening; what's dreadful is wasting time in vain, ending up overweight and full of resentment, achieving nothing.

Lastly, learn to endure solitude and relish being alone. Zhuangzi said, "Alone, I will associate with the spirits of heaven and earth." Solitude can be a kind of beauty. Therefore, in loneliness, there is no need to tread as if on thin ice or approach as if facing an abyss. We can learn to relish being alone. Although solitude may come with some loneliness, it is in this loneliness that we can do things we love. Being alone is related to an individual's confidence. It originates from one's own energy and brings a kind of independent confidence. Loneliness and being alone are challenging, and more free time may seem overwhelming. Everyone experiences boredom, and it tends to grow. However, once the inner self is enriched, and the boredom is distributed over days, it disappears. Regardless of how difficult life in solitude and being alone may seem, persevere until you can enjoy this life and truly benefit from it. Only then will you have the ability to transition into another lively and bustling life. If, at this moment, you feel lonely even in the midst of a crowd, give yourself a chance to be alone; you don't yet know how beautiful it can be!