Revitalize Mind, Body and Spirit with Times of Solitude
Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement. ~Alice Koller
Solitude is simply the ability to enjoy inward quietness … the state of being alone without being lonely. It is a positive and constructive state of engagement with oneself. The primary difference between loneliness and solitude is in our attitude.
Times of solitude can be enriching and refreshing if we use them wisely. Choosing to set aside times of limited seclusion allow us to do the internal work needed to experience new perspectives that help us understand more fully the things that really matter. Solitude is the prerequisite for creativity and the place in which we can discover a treasure chest of tranquility and serenity and all their benefits.
For many of us achieving periods of thoughtful seclusion is not as simple as simply choosing to set aside a little alone time.
There are a great many people for whom there is no prospect more terrifying than that of a few hours with only their own selves for company. For some the experience of being alone can feel like painful loneliness. They feel the need to fill up space with noise and chatter, be it verbally or through music or the television. Sometimes just the sound of the television can stave off loneliness. Our extroverted culture encourages us to get rid of this lonely feeling by whatever means without ever really trying to understand it.
Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines. ~Paul Brunton
Many people long for someone to come into their life to rescue them from the isolation that often comes with the feeling loneliness, only to end up in unhealthy relationships as a result of the desperate need not to feel alone. Sadly, it is possible to be surrounded by people and still feel lonely … this is perhaps the bitterest form of loneliness.
Negotiating with loved ones
Others of us may be challenged by the insecurities of loved ones. All too often men and women are threatened by their partner’s need for a little “space” and an opportunity to enjoy a measure of solitude. They somehow feel that if their partners really loved them they wouldn’t want to be apart from them. Or they take it personally and project that they must have done or said something that has offended their partner and she/he now wants to get away, when nothing could be further from the truth.
It is so important not to allow yourself to be overcome by the feelings of guilt simply for wanting to set aside some time for yourself. However much you love your family, you still occasionally need to dedicate some time to your own well being.
When we take some time to solely think about ourselves, and not have to consider our impact on others, we begin the process of true self-awareness. It can be a little daunting at first, but the result of this awareness is that you learn what drives you, what excites you, and what motivates you. This new-found self-awareness is a beautiful thing and it can have a dramatically positive effect on your life and relationships.
You are not alone
We all need periods of solitude, although temperamentally we differ in the amount of solitude we need … some solitude is essential; it gives us time to explore and know ourselves. It is the necessary counterpoint to intimacy, what allows us to have a self worthy of sharing.
Solitude gives us a chance to regain perspective. It renews us for the challenges of life transitions when we may need extra strength to find joy at times. It allows us to feel we are in the position of driving our own lives, rather than having them run by schedules and demands from without.
Solitude revitalizes mind, body and spirit.
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- Thrive In Solitude (powerfulnap.wordpress.com)