Being solitary is being alone well; being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than the absence of others.Alice Koller
How I love solitude. How I used to hate solitude. When I was younger, solitude used to mean isolation and loneliness. Now that I’ve made friends with solitude, it now means something different. It means being able to focus on creative endeavors. It means enjoying peace and quiet. It means being able to breathe easily and not feel any pressure to meet the needs of anybody else.
I still love being around people and sharing things and time with them. I still love good conversations and I love hearing other people’s stories and ideas. But I also love being alone and partaking in the activities that I feel drawn to. When I’m alone, I can write without feeling that I’m ignoring someone else. When I’m alone, I can choose any music to listen to without having to make sure that someone else likes it, too. There’s now a freedom in being alone for me, rather than a misery.
It seems a bit contradictory to me to enjoy being alone so much, but I find that my alone time is about the most important in my life. I wouldn’t give up my time with my wife or my step-kids or my friends or my co-workers for anything–but I also wouldn’t give up the time I have to be alone with my thoughts (which are much healthier now) and my creative energy and my need to recover, restore, recuperate.
How we feel about being alone depends upon how we look at being alone. If we see it as healthy and necessary, it will be a healthy part of our lives. If we see it as painful and dreadful, guess what? We’ll be miserable during the time we spend alone.
Questions to ponder:
1. How do you see being alone? Where does that perspective come from?
2. Why is it so difficult for so many of us to be alone? How do other people see our alone time?
3. How might we change our perspective on being alone? How might we accept our alone times more gracefully and in more positive ways?
For further thought:
I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before. It is as if in parting one did actually lose an arm. And then, like the starfish, one grows it anew; one is whole again, complete and round–more whole, even, than before, when other people had pieces of one.Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Credit: Living Life Fully