Solitude- The Soul’s Holiday!
Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don't.
“How can you hear your soul if everyone is talking?” Mary Doria Russell
Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don’t. It seems there is always something that needs doing, always someone who needs our attention. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time.
These days we’re also impelled by the technological imperative to stay connected. With the constant access to virtual, if not actual socialization, experts wonder if we’ve forgotten how to be completely alone, wholly cut off for a time. It can be mentally draining if you’re constantly connected to other people. Again, when you’re surrounded by other people all the time, you’re constantly trying to read, and cater to, the other person’s emotions. So much so, that you could end up losing touch with your own.
Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers. A little alone time lets us recharge and take a break from the emotionally and mentally taxing job of constant interaction.
When we start to enjoy being alone, we’ll gain a greater perspective for our own emotions. We’ll create a deeper understanding of what makes us happy, and what saddens us. And this knowledge comes from a little bit of solitude.
Solitude is the desire to be in your own presence and enjoy your own company. The capacity to experience true solitude comes from an inner richness. It is this inner depth that causes us to focus our entire being towards our passions, or bathe in the tranquility of feeling whole unto ourselves.
Solitude is the state of being alone without being lonely. It is a positive and constructive state of engagement with oneself. It is a state of being alone where you provide yourself wonderful and sufficient company. Without solitude we would surely be lost and overwhelmed by the furious pace of our societies and life styles, our responsibilities and routines.
Solitude in our life acts as a catalyst for accelerating the path and clearing unwanted inner debris. It is a time of self-discovery. When you’re able to get some time to yourself, your muscles relax, your blood pressure decreases, and your heart rate slows. Think of solitude as the anti-adrenaline system that kicks on when there’s no longer a need for the fight-or-flight response.
One way alone time is fueled is by experiences that put us in contact with nature. Tidal pools, empty fields, mountains, trees, deserts and oceans evoke peace and contentment. Something sacred fills these open spaces. In these quiet places we can enjoy the empty moments and feelings of awe. We long for “places with no roads….but plenty of space” to get the ‘tonic of wilderness’, as Thoreau called it. It is in stillness that we breathe more deeply, see more fully and achieve a spiritual peace.
Solitude is thus an opportunity to surprise and delight ourselves.
So go ahead—give yourself a break!!!
Written by: Rukhsana Saifee
Associate Professor of English