I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Do I get lonely? Sometimes. Do you ever feel lonely? Of course.
I guess we all have been there at some point.
One evening you might be buzzing like a busy bee in the kitchen, happily stirring your favourite tomato soup just for yourself and you couldn’t be happier in the companionship of yourself. The next day you might be doing the same thing but on a contrary, this time the urge to connect might be overwhelming. Loneliness. Where did this storm come from? And then you scratch your head in amazement. Why do you so desperately need a connection right now?
We are all created as social creatures simply incapable of surviving without establishing human connections and interactions with each other. But what is this feeling when sometimes you want nothing more but to distance yourself from the whole universe and to grasp some fresh air with all the capacity of your ribcage? Solitude.
We often confuse solitude with loneliness without understanding how deep the contrast between the two really is…
Loneliness vs. Solitude
I knew people in my life who were terrified to stay alone in a room, they simply didn’t know what to do. There is a friend who lives alone and she cannot recall the last time she fell asleep without her TV running on the background…
Let’s get something straight here. We came to this world ALONE in a single whole piece. Being alone is a big part of our being no matter how many people may swirl around you. No one will ever quite get the things you are going through and FEEL exactly what you feel. No one will ever fully share all the rainy and sunny days the way you would want them to share. Solitude is when you choose to be alone to reflect and discover yourself.
The only person that will ever understand you is YOU. Realising that is weird and liberating. You don’t have to fear to be alone anymore. It’s a good reason to evolve and stop clinging to other people and search for their approval or to feel guilty when they are committed to misunderstanding you.
Solitude helps you understand certain things about you and the world around you so you can grow or reflect, or even overcome some things that others cannot understand to the same extent as you do.
Solitude is the place of purification… – Martin Buber
Loneliness is that something you don’t really have any choice over. You are alone simply because you don’t have anybody to stick around. Shy people are the most frequent victims of loneliness because they don’t really know how to establish connections with people regardless of their wishes. Though at the same time the state of loneliness has nothing to do with the amount of people around. You might be attending a concert or a soccer match filled with people, yet loneliness itself comes from within.
Loners, Who Choose Solitude
“I am a typical loner. And it’s a good thing. My solitude is a choice. I have time to myself. I have time to think, to evolve, to explore and to do what I want without interruptions. I believe that everything we see in our life affects us greatly so I prefer to moderate that interference by establishing some serious filters to make sure that the dirt of the outer world would knock before coming in. I prefer books to people. I prefer silence to pointless and loud nightclubs. And that’s my choice.” – shared Amy.
“Solitude is definitely a choice in this swirling crazy world of the information age. News, people, circumstances, relationships… everything can make your head spinning. That’s when it is healthy to distance yourself from all of that noise and to hear what your mind has to say. If it makes me a loner, by all means, count me in. I’m fine with this definition,” – shared Suzanne.
“Personally, I have nothing against solitude. It is my choice to be alone regardless how many friends I have. When I am in my sweet state of solitude, I never crave or even think of anybody. I just let myself be. Alone with my thoughts, hobbies and interests. I need solitude whenever I feel like I just need some time for myself or to be left at peace. There is a big difference between loneliness and solitude. When you are lonely, you feel all kinds of repression, whereas in solitude you feel comfortable, empowered and generally great! Solitude can make you more productive, you see?” – shared Amanda.
I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was as companionable
as solitude… – Henry David Thoreau
When You Don’t Seek Approval
If we look for connections only to solve our problems with help or intervention of other people, we might also find that it takes a lot of effort and time.
We can’t help it when we are around people. We play games. We might be constantly compelled to portray someone we are not. We behave and restrain ourselves or conversely we strike a pose, we represent dissatisfaction, we demand attention, we manipulate… All these might be important only when we are interested in someone else’s opinion or in understanding our life situations from a different point of view.
However, when you are not interested in all this sham of a game and when you simply don’t care about what other people think – naturally the need for that game disappears and additional free time adds up to your schedule.
In a natural state of solitude, the interest in other people’s opinion loses it’s weight and it doesn’t bother you anymore. All the praise or criticism in the world simply don’t matter to you any longer. You are free in your fortress of solitude.
If someone else’s support doesn’t do much of a job in supporting, what’s the point to look for it? If someone else’s discontent generated by their subjective reality, why exactly would you look for excuses to be “right” in their eyes?
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. ― Aldous Huxley
There is nothing wrong with being in solitude where you can be your normal self. You owe nothing to anybody. Nobody owes you anything as well. All is normal and at peace. You are you with your own unique set of beliefs, opinions and thoughts. No one interferes with your world when you are in solitude and feel content. You see the solitude for what it really is – joy, evolvement and… freedom to be yourself.