In stillness lives wisdom. In quiet, you’ll find peace. In solitude you’ll remember yourself. Robin Sharma.
What Is Solitude?
Solitude is the situation of being alone by choice. It is something we choose to do. It is a necessary part of our lives. Solitude is the time we go away to think, reflect, and decide. It is something we all need to do from time to time. We have to remove ourselves from the chaotic, steady stream of information and noise that surrounds us in today’s society.
Being alone on purpose does not guarantee that it qualifies as solitude. It may lead to the negativity of loneliness. Loneliness is being alone and becoming distressed and discomforted from lack of any social connection. This differs from choosing solitude for a period and then returning to society. Henry David Thoreau went to Walden pond to enjoy the solitude of nature and wrote a book called “On Walden Pond” to describe his experiences. He went to a lake in Massachusetts because “I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” We all need a regular time of solitude to learn about how, why, and what we think, and how to learn from others.
The Benefits of Solitude.
- It benefits our ability to understand and control our minds. If you understand how your mind is working and how you think, then you can respond to the events in society in a thoughtful and meaningful fun manner. You control your response rather than responding based on your emotions.
2. It enables you to develop the capacity to be alone. The capacity to be still. This only is beneficial if it is voluntary, allows for self-reflection, and you can return to your social group when you want.
3. Meditation is a form of embracing solitude. Disconnect from what is going on in your life and take time to meditate.
4. Mindfulness- being fully in the moment can be solitude. If you are fully present and focused on one thing, it disconnects you from chaotic chatter that abounds around you.
5. Choosing solitude helps you find yourself, understand yourself, and better integrate yourself into your oneness.
6. Solitude is not the antithesis of Productivity, it makes you more productive.
7. It can make you more creative, mentally healthy, and empathetic.
Where do you find your solitude?
Thoreau went into nature. You can simply find a quiet place either inside or outside. Where others won’t bother you. Don’t take your phone or headsets because they are a part of the distractions you are trying to remove yourself from. Although my teenagers believed they couldn’t study without their music. You can take a walk in nature. If you live alone, as I am, you have more choices of quiet places.
Wherever your quiet place, find it. Use it. Get to know yourself better and life will be more fulfilling.
One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. Henry David Thoreau.
Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self. May Sarton.
Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. Paul Tillich.