Solitude is golden
- Written by Eric North aka “The Happiness Warrior”
"The person who fears to be alone will never be anything but lonely" - Thomas Merton
As The Happiness Warrior, nothing makes me happier than befriending strangers and making a connection. Sharing the magic of laughter and joy. Without a doubt, happy people want to share their happiness with everyone. They strive to make it happen and live their lives with purpose and self-acceptance.
My mindset is focused on happiness, empathy, and acceptance for others. Life is hard for many of us and for every happy person we see there’s someone in the shadows who’s struggling and needs a smile or acknowledgement. As humans it’s natural for us to want to be together and feel connected but there are times when we need to find ourselves. We want to belong and socialize, but there are times when we need to be alone and live in a state of self-awareness. We need to know when it’s okay to give ourselves permission to enjoy a state of solitude. A place where we can relax and get to know ourselves better.
Solitude is self-love at its highest level. Where else is there when we are closer to our truths?
Solitude allows us to learn who we are and free ourselves of shame and apologies. It’s our authentic self without need for approval from others. While the company of others can lift our spirits, we need to remember that it’s in times of solitude that we renew our inner selves and spirit. It’s the essence of how we renew and reinvent ourselves. Solitude is food for our spirit and soul. Vibration rises when we feel peace from within and know that we are whole.
When I was growing up I never felt like I fit in very well with the world around me. I was always observing and learning, but I never always felt like an outsider looking in. My sense of right and wrong was constantly challenged and I felt the frustration that comes from being misunderstood. Most of the time I was bored with kids my own age and sought refuge in books and solitary walks in the woods. I wasn’t conscious of being lonely, didn’t seek a lot of attention, and never felt like I was missing anything. Many days, I’d happily play sports and games with my friends, but I always sought refuge in my thoughts and looked forward to being on my own. I had close friends that I enjoyed and shared secrets with, but I kept the best parts to myself.
HOW TO SPEND TIME ALONE
The idea of spending any amount of time alone can be a frightening topic for many of us. We get comfortable being swept up in the waves of a group. We can lose our identity and adapt our behaviors to conform to other viewpoints. This self-created confinement can feel like a prison in our own minds. While we may not want to admit it, we’re afraid of the deep thoughts and feelings that can occur when we are alone. Just the idea of being alone is enough to inspire fear for many of us. Life has a way of teaching us lessons without regard to our feelings. Be prepared for change and be stronger within yourself.
Despite how hard we might try to avoid it there will come a time when being alone is just what we need. A time to recharge, reset, and get back in touch with ourselves. A time when no one’s watching, and we can feel the power of being our authentic selves.
Self-care starts from within, and nothing is more important than our truth and knowing ourselves. When we step back from caring about the judgments and valuation from others we can start discovering the best parts of ourselves. Solitude when practiced with clarity is the gateway to more satisfaction and clarity in our lives. It’s a time to focus on setting our intention on health and wellbeing. It’s a great way to learn to respect ourselves and reset our core values and boundaries.
Solitude offers numerous benefits:
1. The primary benefit of solitude is its ability to help us reset our mindset and restore our sense of balance. It helps us slow down and temporarily tune out from our frantic and constantly changing lives. When we are alone is the only time we can truly focus.
2. It’s a chance to remove ourselves from the influence of others. It’s making our own choices without letting others make them for us. Self-esteem rises and we become more confident and gain momentum. We gain independence and strengthen our values. We find our voice.
3. Spending time alone supports our relationships and enhances our boundaries. It improves our relationship with ourselves and understanding of others. It helps us to appreciate the people who mean the most to us. It makes laughter and joy more poignant when we know the value of our relationships that matter.
4. When we switch from a group setting to solitude our minds are free to wander. It gives us a chance to create new ideas and new innovations. It defends us from interruptions and gives us the opportunity to think and explore without external inputs. Solitude is the catalyst for great inspirations and inventions. It allows us to think deeply.
SOLITUDE FOR WISDOM
Let us bring our thoughts and actions back to ourselves and our own well-being. The greatest experience as a human is knowing how to live by our own abilities. With this knowledge we learn that happiness comes when we use our gifts to help others. Through our solitude we learn to be warriors and help others when times are at their darkest. We know that happiness is at its finest when it comes from within.
Throughout time philosophers have come to an understanding that in order to know the world around us better we must start within. Forgetting ourselves and our egos is an act of releasing control or identification of a specific aspect of our lives. It’s a state of selflessness or egolessness where we release our sense of self-importance to gain deeper insight into ourselves. The more we know and retain our knowledge the less we rely on our ego. We reach a state where we feel balanced from within.
SOLITUDE VERSUS LONELINESS
Solitude and loneliness are closely related but where loneliness can leave us hurt and frustrated, Solitude is the actual joy of being alone. It’s the removal of attachment from our egos, social networks, and expectations.
It’s not a longing for others, but a desire for being ourselves. It’s a self-imposed choice to remove ourselves from the demands and expectations of others and find joy in experiencing our senses and thoughts with freedom from external values and influences.
THE GRASS ISN’T GREENER
It’s human nature to have a desire to remove ourselves from our present circumstances into a life that we dream about. We believe that change will come when we change our location without the perspective to see the other side. We can trick ourselves into believing that life isn’t fair when we fail to see our own mistakes and reality. We can succumb to envy and dream about becoming someone else. We can do all of these things and never escape the need to want more. We can become depressed and anxious for the life that we feel we aren’t living. We forget to be honest with ourselves and look for the root of our unhappiness and confusion. We depend on others for our choices and self-validation.
We can also begin to see our lives as important in their own right. We can spend time alone and reevaluate our life choices. In our solitude we can create new paths and opportunities. We can find value in ourselves and stop looking so closely at the lives of others.
Our lives are always changing, and other humans can come in and out of our lives. We can have those that are with us for the long term and people that are there for the short term who teach us lessons. As humans we are at our best when we care about others and are connected. Life can be noisy and unexpected but nothing else matters but our connection with ourselves. There are no rules other than our core values. Solitude is the place where we become our best selves and want to share with others. Happiness starts when we are happy within.