In Solitude

Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with The Nocturnal Laundress

Solitude

“I love my solitude. What’s more, I need it. Like I need air. I think that’s why I love the night so much. It’s so quiet and still. Nothing happening. I can literally feel the silence, and it nourishes my soul. It soothes my weary mind.” Solitude…..

 

This may appear as a counter-intuitive choice of subject for a series that aims to engage others in debate and discussion. In many ways — when here — we are not alone, and yet… typing away at the other end of the screen, we are.

I find respite in solitude. I let it envelop me in its cloak and feel warmed by the cadence of silence.
There is something very soothing in this being alone and I struggle to understand those who evade it. This is why I wanted to open up the theme for all of you.

Do you feel at home in solitude?

To be alone is not to be lonely, even though the two are often used interchangeably.

Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation, a feeling that something is missing. Whereas solitude is being alone without being lonely, it is a state of engagement with oneself.

In this age of alienation, strangely enough, it is precisely a lack of solitude that can curtail our joy in relationships, our creativity and even our peace of mind.

However sociable we might otherwise be, we all need some meaningful alone time. It is an indispensable tonic in this fast paced world. Those who have learnt to savour rather than fear solitude, nurture an ability to connect with others in richer ways.

We are all the children of social media. In many ways this is the speedy age of over-connectivity. In the last six decades the earth’s population has doubled. Social relationships have undergone a deep, and perhaps irreversible change. Smart phones have become extensions of ourselves. We can be reached at any time, anywhere we go, terminally in touch.

Despite all this, in a profound way, we are also terminally out of touch. In losing the need for genuine aloneness, we too are lost.

We need to reclaim our solitude. Time to think through and adjust both our inner and outer lives, and rediscover that we have the strength and fortitude as well as the ability to satisfy our own needs.

We need the restfulness of being alone to rekindle our longing to explore, our curiosity about the unknown, our desire to be our own selves, our taste for freedom.

*

Let’sTalk Opinion posts engage with issues that are important to other bloggers, connecting with others on matters close to their heart. If you like a topic and would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.

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41 thoughts on “In Solitude

    • “It is when we are alone that we have the opportunity to be “all one”.” – beautifully put, Beth. Thank you.
      And I agree with you. Over the years I have come to see how lonely one can be in company, and how at peace when alone.

  1. I live alone. By that my family, by default, assumes that I am lonely. How much ever I try to convince them otherwise 🙂 . I love my alone time and I am definitely not lonely. I have been pretty much on my own for almost more than 8 years now with occasional visits to my parents house. So with that yes, I do crave my solitude like my cup of tea (need to be alone at least twice a day on my own 😉 does that make any sense ? )But that doesn’t mean I lost my touch with social life. I enjoy being with my friends and family and have a hell of a time with them too (especially with my nieces and nephew)
    So I have nothing to complain for now. But if things change, well I will have some tough times to handle it then 😉

    • That is lovely, KG. I completely understand this craving for being on one’s own. Many people fear being alone. I wonder whether they are afraid of what they might discover if they took the time to spend some time with their own thoughts, and consider whereto their life is taking them. Perhaps that is why they are concerned when others are alone, and worry that they may be lonely. In these fears they may be revealing more about themselves than the other.
      I also like the fact that you mentioned that enjoying one’s solitude does not necessarily mean that one has isolated themselves from social life.
      Great comment. Thank you.

  2. Fully agree that in one way people are so much more connected and yet so out of touch. In this sense it really is important to have quality alone time. Discover what is happening within. MM 🍀

    • I have been discussing this with some of my friends, whether social media has damaged our ability to connect in a profound way with others, and whether we are not in fact more alone now than ever. I am not sure yet how to answer that. Certainly, the connectivity we have now is very different from what existed only a decade ago, but does that mean that we are more alone? Or did the nature of our relationships, of our being with others simply change?

      • It may depend on age as I grew up pre-computers, let alone pre-internet. Different generations…On the whole I see it as relationships not being as real or as strong if they are conducted through wires as opposed to face to face. But may be I am old fashioned. We will all have views. 👍

      • In a way this is the scariest part of it all. For those who grew up connected virtually, with their ear always locked onto a mobile, their eyes fixed on a screen, it may be that face to face encounters would feel as unnatural as the opposite appears to us. I dread to think what this could make of society and individuals if taken to an extreme.

  3. Get out of my head, Vic! LoL!
    I was just thinking about this exact topic, the other evening as I inhaled the calm of the night.
    I was in awe, with the full recognition of how solitude has become a vital part of my life. I have found a necessity in maintaining a quiescent mind. A sense of tranquility is born from solitude and I embrace that.
    I concur with all that you touched on in this write. Thanks, Vic. 🙂

    • What can I say, Liza? Perhaps as the holiday season approaches and we all look forward to spending a little more time with loved ones, somehow the question of when and how we make time for ourselves also crops up. I am glad that you found resonance between your state of mind and my writing. I find those little coincidences rewarding in and of themselves.
      Thank you for such a lovely comment.

    • Dear oawritingspoemspaintings, thank you. I agree with you when it comes to the importance of solitude to creativity. As fellow artists I am sure many here feel the same way.

  4. I love – actively seek – my solitude. Loneliness is not something I am familiar with. I do realise that I have taken it to extreme in recent years, but I have always been quite solitary. Nice post, Vic

  5. If you cannot be comfortable alone in complete solitude then you truly aren’t comfortable with who you are. I believe solitude is an experience every human needs to moderate and implement into their lives. I personally am an introvert, so I enjoy being alone more than the average person.

    • Thank you, kbeezyisviral. I agree with you. If we are comfortable in our own company then solitude is nothing to fear. Most people who know me consider me an extrovert. Perhaps I am, but I cherish those times when I can be truly on my own.

      • Everyone should always cherish their alone time because it won’t always happen when you want it to. People who know me would label me as an extrovert – but those who truly know me for who I am make no mistakes about my introversion behavioral patterns.

      • Beautifully said. When it comes to opposites, I often think that we are both. Some choose to nurture one part of themselves, some the other, and then there are external pressures one way or another. Ultimately, we are both.

      • I see what you are saying and I definitely agree. It all just depends on how the person handles certain social situations. Your brain does eventually condition itself to react to certain scenarios in a timely manner.

      • Unfortunately, but when life gives you a curve ball it’s best to stand at the plate and take the hit.

      • And yet, while circumstances may not be of our own making, our reaction is, at least in part, our own. At times to flee is a more appropriate reaction…

      • If you are fearing the consequences of your actions then fleeing would be an appropriate reaction.

      • Perhaps you could depending on the circumstances. I personally wouldn’t let that fear prohibit my social interactions.

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