“Understand that healing and growing can distance you from people who you once had a bond with, and it can also bring you closer to those who will heal and grow with you. The time in between can be difficult, but there is so much to learn in solitude.” ~ @themoontarot
There have been many occasions in my life where I’ve felt lonely. Some of these times I remember as incredibly painful; other times, I’ve relished in my solitude.
During some periods, I’ve even forced myself into seclusion, which comes easily to me as an introvert.
One thing all of these solo experiences have taught me is that it’s okay to be alone. In fact, with solitude, there’s a lot of self-growth to be had.
In today’s day and age, we’re expected to be social creatures. With the rise of instant messaging and social media, it’s easy (and addicting) to stay connected all the time.
This doesn’t mean it’s healthy, though. In fact, I’ve come to realize that solitude can be incredibly rewarding in a vast number of ways.
Solitude: The Benefits
My epiphany moments have come from many nights spent alone. These are the ones where I’ve realised what my purpose in life is. Ones where I’ve realized my spiritual path, and ones that have fueled new, exciting creative ideas.
Time spent alone is a hallmark of many artists, philosophers, musicians and writers. As Aldous Huxley once said, “The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.”
We need time alone because…
- Being alone can help us gain more self-knowledge. We are able to see both what is important and what we require.
- We are better able to acknowledge our feelings and deep desires when nothing external, such as other people’s thoughts, perceptions, or expectations, stands in our way.
- You have the space to reflect, reassess and pose questions.
- Individuals can recover and recharge, especially introverts. It allows them to feel more connected with their peers when they socialize.
- You can trust your intuition, and you will be able to tap into it.
I do not encourage isolation. It’s not healthy to spend All Our time is ours alone.
But, when I think of solitude, it is often a source of anxiety and discomfort.
Why are so many people afraid of solitude?
There’s no denying that for some, the idea of spending a day alone, without interaction, isn’t appealing whatsoever. It is so strange.
It’s a great distraction strategy to be busy and out with other people. When we’re surrounded by people, engaged in activity, we don’t face to face ourselves or our feelings.
Is it you who is dependent on others to talk to while out walking? Perhaps you experience a sense of isolation after only a few hours without any in-person contact. Either way, you’re not alone.
Many people fear solitude because it’s unfamiliar. We don’t know what will happen when we finally face ourselves and are left alone with our thoughts and feelings, so we avoid it. We avoid solitude because we don’t know what will happen.
How can we get from fear to embrace solitude?
The Solitude of Myself
My childhood was filled with drawing, writing, and exploring nature.
My school years saw me rely on others to make my life easier, and I became less attentive to my own needs. The pressures of friendship groups, being sociable, and even ‘normal’ all took over my love for being alone.
By the time I’d graduated from university and stepped into the working world, I was so accustomed to spending time surrounded by people, I barely knew who I was anymore.
Combining confusion around my career, failed relationships and trauma from my childhood, my mid-twenties found me in a state of despair.
Following a messy breakup after a toxic relationship, living back at my parents’ house with no money, no job, and no self-love, I was forced into solitude.
One of the most dark times of my life was when I was alone. It led to what I thought at that time to be an inexorable depression.
Each morning I’d wake up and lock myself away in my parents’ spare bedroom. I had few friends in town since I’d previously moved away to London, and I didn’t reach out to those I was still connected with because I was afraid they’d judge me.
The only thing we did was spend hours in the darkened bedroom, me and our cat. My tears were constant and I was constantly isolated. I disliked feeling alone. However, looking back I realize that solitude was what I needed.
I was about to discover something magical—my inner strength and an infinite love of the universe
How Solitude brought me joy in my life
My story of the most profound period of solitude in my life isn’t a necessarily pleasant one, but I now recognize it as a turning point in my life.
My depression was at its worst and I felt suicidal. I found an inner strength from the most unexpected places. I was able to hear what solitude had to say to me, and it helped me reconnect to my authentic self.
My new resolve was to get out of the current despair I was in and move on. My spiritual journey was being enhanced and I had found peace.
I was meditating one night when I experienced warmth and deep love. Knowing that there was an escape from my sadness and that the only way I could learn more by being in solitude, I felt that it would be possible to find that.
In the days following my realization and connection with a power I still can’t describe to this day, I gained the courage to step outside the house.
I started noticing things around me on my solo walks like the vividness of nature’s colors, the soothing sounds of the river, and the tangible beauty everywhere around me.
It was also the first time I realized that all things are connected. All of it is within the universe. It isThe universe is itself.
How to embrace solitude
There are always opportunities to be alone, regardless of whether you are living with family members, your partner, or other roommates.
Sitting in silence is a key element for spiritual people who are experienced. You can begin with the basics to get used to solitude.
These are the three ways to increase your alone time.
Meditation in solitude is a great way to experience meditative bliss. You can be more present and focused on being.
Sitting still and in silence can reduce your stress levels, improve your mental well-being, enhance your self-awareness, foster self-acceptance and help you develop self-compassion.
Meditation has helped me to feel a greater connection to the universe and myself.
Writing daily is an excellent way to increase your solitude. Writers can increase self-awareness, personal insight, and creativity. Inspiration often comes from quiet moments of reflection.
You can listen to your inner voice through writing, which encourages you ask questions about the things you really want.
My greatest tool in solitude is still journaling. My journal allows me to gain creativity and is a way to feel connected to my emotions.
3. Nature is your friend
A meditative walk through nature can be calming for your soul, and it will definitely lift up your mood.
You may feel a stronger spiritual connection when you think about the greater, more powerful force that is the source of all things in the universe.
My inner peace and happiness are largely dependent upon how much time I spend outside. I find I’m at my most peaceful when walking in the woods or by the sea.
No matter how you decide to live in solitude, the following are suggestions:
1. Distractions must be eliminated
You can only truly commit to spending time alone when you do. It’s tempting to grab your phone and mindlessly scroll social media or watch a YouTube video, but be disciplined and keep distractions at bay.
Your time in solitude won’t be valuable if you’re just distracting yourself. Spend your time alone and see what it can do for you.
2. It should be a top priority.
Everybody has time for themselves. Even if it feels uncomfortable, or you feel strange rejecting a social invitation, don’t make excuses to avoid being with yourself.
The more comfortable you get with spending time alone doing things you love and reconnecting with yourself, the more connected you’ll feel to others. This is how self-love can be found.
Let me challenge you to spend time alone in a conscious way.
It probably won’t feel great the first time, and you’re likely to look for a way out of it, but spending time alone is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
You can grow so much by spending time nurturing your relationship with yourself.
I’m sending you the warmest wishes and all the good vibes as you embark upon spending (and loving) your time in solitude.
Evie Graham has a passion for her personal self-growth and uses her words to motivate. Practicing both visual arts and written art, she’s dedicated to connecting with others and helping people realize their own potential. Creativity flows through just about everything she does—including the quirky and unique!
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Tiny Buddha published The Benefits of Solitude & How to Get The Most From Your Alone Time first.