What You Can Learn From Solitude

person standing in front of tree
Vitto Sommella / Unsplash

I enjoy solitude. I have grown to love it, to appreciate it and to embrace it. Don’t confuse solitude with loneliness. It’s a state of neutrality. A state which can eventually bring you a peaceful mind. A friend you never thought you would need that will always be on your side. It will always be on your side. It will always be there for you, even if everyone else already has left you or have ghosted on you.

I have learned more by sitting still alone than to meddle in constant stimulation of people. Too often, I see unapproved looks when it’s about eating out by yourself or going to the movies with yourself. I used to be that person that didn’t get what the appeal is of doing things alone, especially in the public eye. Even mentioning about it made me embarrassed. Fortunately, I’m on the other side of the spectrum now because I’ve found out that it’s even necessary to be by yourself.

There is a stigma around solitude – as if it’s something to avoid and turn your back at if the subject is on the surface.

We considered it a norm if someone’s weekend is fully planned with activities and friends. But then we bat our eyes if someone wants to stay in and do their own thing. If you feel restless with the fact that you are going to spend a day alone – then you might need to sit still and think why you always need company around you. Is it to kill time because you don’t know what to fill in your time? Then this can say a lot about a lack of self-knowledge, therefore the lack of direction in your own compass of life.

What I’ve learned and experienced so far by spending time more alone has given me more benefits and insights that I’ve expected. I found out that I have endless thoughts and rarely speak it out due to my nature and habits. Without anyone interrupting me, I could finally give all my thoughts and ideas their full attention and give each one of them a deserving space in my mind. And by doing so, I’ve learned how I think and operate. I’ve learned what things make my heart flutter and what cause thunderstorms in my mind. Therefore, I taught myself to set boundaries and tell those off if they have crossed the line.

The paradox is that I have learned more about human behavior in the last couple of years than through my whole life which was always surrounded by people.

By consciously distancing myself, I could see myself easier as a third person and view a situation as objectively as possible and see the two sides of a story. Not through the eyes of a protagonist but through the eyes of an outsider that is able to see beyond the force of ego and heated emotions. As someone who gazes from the sideline and is capable to see the bigger picture instead of fret about every little irrelevant detail.

In solitude, I ask myself questions and look for answers in, yet again, myself. Not to look outside my mind but find information in me. To look through past experiences and memories – the good and bad, the unforgettable and the ones I want to forget so badly.

In solitude, I work on my people skills by constantly reflecting on my own behavior towards myself and others.

It’s getting clearer to me what I accept and do not accept from others – I draw lines now without hesitation and guilt. On the other hand, I put my ego easier aside and help those using my strongest trait: my empathy – which I always have thought was my weakness instead. Slowly, but surely I saw my strengths as something I should be proud of and need to embrace it in order to make the best out of it.

Sit in solitude, listen to the stillness of your mind.

Let it guide you to a place where you can learn much more about yourself and reveal things about yourself that you have never fully known about before. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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