“Solitude, like a long love, deepens with time, and, I trust, will not fail me if my own powers of creation diminish. For growing into solitude is one way of growing to the end.”
– May Sarton, The House By The Sea
The world isn’t designed for introverted, solitude loving people. For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me, what with my hermity tendencies and my need for pockets of quiet time, especially after I’ve peopled.
Most of us are afraid to be alone – we confuse it with being lonely. But there’s a fine line of difference between the two. Being alone means being happy in your own skin, on your own, enjoying your relationship with yourself. Being lonely is when you crave external company, oftentimes because you don’t know yourself.
Solitude is powerful. It’s time you carve out for yourself to take care of the most important person in the world – you. It’s a time for self reflection and introspection. To examine your life and your emotions, get a grip on what is working for you and what isn’t.
When you’re in tune with yourself, you’re in a much better position to face life head-on. Decision making comes easier because you know exactly what you need at any given time to move ahead. You know what’s working and what isn’t and can take steps to change or correct your course.
Some of my best times are the few hours after I get back home from work and before the husband returns. It’s my time to do as I please – often I read, sometimes I go out for a stroll and on most days I journal. On Saturdays I’m out with friends because the husband works, but sometimes I stay home – alone – and take myself on a mini-retreat. I come out of that feeling rested, recharged and ready to roll. If I go too long without my alone time, I feel anxious and out of sorts.
If you’re afraid of spending almost an entire day with yourself, why don’t you try spending half an hour to an hour in solitude?
Here’s something you can try during that time.
You will need:
A journal or paper and a pen
Sit in a comfortable position and spend a few moments focusing on your breath. Take a few deep breaths in and out to center yourself.
Close your eyes and ask yourself: What do I need to know most about myself right now? What am I feeling? Is there any part of me that is feeling neglected, unwanted, unloved? How can I nurture myself?
Hold the questions in your mind for a few moments then open your eyes and write. Write without thinking, stopping or editing. The words will flow out of you on to the page.
Once you’re done, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths once again.
Then get yourself a glass of water or a cup of tea or coffee, and sit down and read through what you have written.
You may find kernels of wisdom in there or you may be surprised at the things that have come up in your writing. Find a way to incorporate the wisdom you’ve just gained into your daily life.