Whatever I had ever yearned for lied
within me. The seeds of change had to be sown within me before the effects could be perceived in my external ecosystem.
The situations we fear and tend to avoid are the ones which help us grow the most, bring out the best in us; every experience has its role to play for shaping us for our future, solitude being one of them. In the words of Paul Tillich, “while Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone, solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”
No matter how stable minded we might be, as humans, we somehow, to whatever extent are constantly affected by the opinions of people around us. Being alone for a while gives us a chance to filter out the impressions to be absorbed from those to be discarded. We are left with our thoughts, to organize them, to nurture them and to grow upon them. It’s the unadulterated YOU.
Just like moving out of our homes we became self-dependent, by starting to earn, we gained financial independence, similarly by accepting solitude, I believe, we become socially independent; all a part of growing up. By social independence I don’t mean we avoid socializing, just that being alone is no longer uncomfortable.
Embracing solitude is important for one’s personal integrity. Fear of being alone is known to have lead people into despaired friendships, desperate and random relationships and marriages. There occur incidents where people get into relationships (or even marriages) seeing it an escape route from solitude. This new found companionship is looked upon as a final consolation. Failure in any such relationship leaves one in wretched loneliness; the urge for an emotional easement becomes so dire that it eventually leaves one stranded alone. One hops from one temporary solace to another in search for an eternal redemption, but never sees that coming.
Once you have been comfortable with solitude, you no longer choose people out of necessity or loneliness, you choose to be with people because you love them, likewise you learn to distinguish people who actually care for you from those who just want you as a part of their social life to escape boredom. They are not the beautiful memories that bond people, it’s the mutual trust which grows over time that does. Stop bothering people if they make you feel you are not needed. Never leave those who make an effort to stay in your life, respect them for their choices, they have chosen you.
When we accept solitude as a part of life, we develop a new perception of life. We become more affectionate, accepting, and more welcoming to love.
Don’t cut people of because of their negativity, love them for the positivity. Their positives will help you grow, and maybe in due course they will learn from your positives. Don’t expect people to understand you; you don’t understand them all. Be grateful to those who make an attempt to understand you; make an effort to understand those who you care for. They haven’t walked in your shoes, so they don’t know what your life has been about, likewise, you don’t know theirs, so don’t judge them without making an attempt to understand them; forgive those for their naivety who do that to you, if they are lucky enough, they’ll learn.
Develop a habit of keeping in touch with those who matter to you. Focus more on keeping existing relations than hopping from new to newer ones. Foster your relations with close ones, talk to them often, share your life with them; it’s an important human emotion. Be honest if something bothers you about them, don’t always play diplomacy. In a world full of people trying to be “nice” to each other, honesty finds its due respect.
Growing up, society taught us that a stable career and a consequent marriage were the two keys of happiness in adulthood, but over the years we realized that true contentment is attained amongst people whom we can connect to. But, they won’t always be available; this doesn’t mean we won’t be happy. We should try to be our own healer. This way they’ll be fewer things in life to make us unhappy.
Time shall pass, so will the solitude and also the company of people that you cherish the most. So while either is there, learn from it, and make the most of it. Build strong relations with people you like. Focus on quality of your relations rather than quantity. For an extrovert, it’s simple and effortless to have a social group for gatherings and enjoyment, but exceedingly difficult (for anyone) to find people who can be counted upon. When alone, learn to enjoy your own company. The only person guaranteed to be in your life forever is YOU. Invest in yourself, develop new talents, and let memories not be the only gift you carry to your future. Empower your individuality. It’s time to sow those seeds of change, nourish them well, and make our lives and our ecosystems ever more beautiful with affection, care, progress and growth. Solitude too has a silver lining, making it a blissful serendipity.