“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”–Michel De Montaigne
Are you someone who doesn’t like to be alone? Or are you someone that regularly likes to take time out from the world to be on your own?
Either way, understanding the bliss of solitude and practising being alone and enjoying your own company is something everyone should do. It’s essential to know who we are, understand ourselves truly and figure out what we like and don’t like.
But for many, learning to be alone peaceably can be a considerable challenge. And it’s a challenge a lot of people have had to face recently because of Coronavirus.
People are being forced to work out the difference between loneliness and isolation and coming to terms with their own company.
Being alone can make us feel lonely, awkward, sad, weird, silly and weak. Ultimately, these things recount to fear.
However, if we don’t learn how to be alone intently and find the bliss is solitude, we will only know how to be lonely, and they are two very different things.
Here is why everyone should be able to find peace in solitude; how it can strengthen our relationships, develop our courage and open us up to self-awareness.
The Power Of Solitude
Solitude [the state or situation of being alone].
Solitude is a powerful tool to unlock a mindset of strength, courage and happiness. It can help us to reclaim or find our sense of self, to awaken us to spirituality, to arouse our minds and unlock our creativity, and to elude sensory overload.
The practice of solitude is creating freedom within; freeing ourselves from the overwhelm of thoughts and emotions that most of us feel regularly. It is freedom from self-established limitations, from societies expectations, from everything that holds you back from being true to yourself. Solitude is the freedom from living a life that has no purpose.
If you aren’t used to being alone, solitary skills do take practise, but time will help you to grow to be more comfortable being on your own.
Belong To Yourself
Solitude is a sacred gift that teaches us to love ourselves.
You are your creator, your boss. You should not look to others for permission to say no to things, or yes to things, to like something, or not like something.
You should not look to others for permission to do things that make you happy or to dress a certain way or to heal a certain way.
You are the master of your body and your mind. They do not belong to anyone else.
Belonging to yourself is self-care. Don’t wish away your alone time, searching and hoping for someone to come into your life so you can belong.
Use your time to fall in love with yourself first. To figure yourself out.
Belonging to yourself is relying upon and trusting your own decisions and your own beliefs, and standing firm to them. It’s not standing down when someone else tries to intimidate you or tell you your wrong. Belonging to yourself is learning to stand up for yourself.
It is allowing yourself to be vulnerable and knowing your self so deeply that you feel easy and comfortable in your own skin.
When you belong to yourself, you become authentic, and you claim your unique place in the world.
Discover Who You Are
Solitude allows us to understand who we are at our very core. When we come to accept the unique qualities that make us who we are, that is when we can fully embrace belonging to ourselves.
But in order to accept these qualities, we first need to understand what these qualities are. That is why it is so important to dedicate time to ourselves.
Because how do you really know who you are as a person or who you want to be if you spend your entire life intertwined with someone else?
“You’ll never be able to find youself if you’re lost in someone else”
Embrace alone time to figure out what it is that makes you “you”. Don’t let someone else tell you or dictate you because you don’t know. Don’t allow someone else to know you better than you know yourself.
You should be the one person that knows yourself better than anyone else does, even your life partner. It is all too common that people fall victim to this, which is why solitude plays such a huge part in discovering who you are for yourself.
Most of us spend our lives surrounded by people; friends, family, colleagues. Relationships are what give our lives meaning, but often we spend so much time with others, we lose sight of who we are and what it is we have to offer others in the first place.
It is important to give ourselves space, to disconnect from the world around us and connect with ourselves.
The more time you spend with yourself, the more you will love yourself, and the more you love yourself, the more love and kindness you will have for others.
When you have more love and compassion for others, life is just a whole lot better.
“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have”
The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will have in your lifetime. Because by truly loving yourself, you will allow yourself to be true to the people around you. That is when you will find real joy.
Develop Strength And Courage
If we do not allow ourselves time to be one our own, we will deny ourselves opportunities for inner growth and developing strength and courage.
We all need our own strength and courage to face adversity. We should never rely on someone else to get us through hard times. We need to be able to stand tall and carry ourselves through the difficult times we may face.
Because the truth is, life is unpredictable, and we never know what is waiting for us around the corner. You are the only person that is guaranteed to be with you till the end.
There will probably come a time at some stage in your life where you will be on your own. If you practise solitude and discover your self-awareness, you can develop the tools and techniques to get yourself through difficult times.
Find your strength and courage, so you don’t have to take it from anyone else.
Discover Your Interests And Passions
When we were young kids, we were content with our own company. We would play on our own for hours on end with our dolls and our toys, and we would be ok with it, absorbed in ourselves and making our fun.
Now, as adults, somewhere along the way, many of us lost the ability to enjoy our own company.
When we find ourselves with some free time, most of us will feel the need to be doing something like housework or attending to our children or partners.
We find it hard to allow ourselves the time to refuel and re-charge or to discover what we enjoy doing.
Solo travel has helped me to discover my interests and my passions. I never knew how much I loved writing until I had the alone time to sit down and do it.
Allow yourself the time to discover your passions and your interests. If we cannot allow ourselves time to do what we enjoy, then we will never be able to fully re-charge, and we need to re-charge to protect our well-being.
Solitude is bliss. Remember, first and foremost, alone-ness does not mean loneliness.
It doesn’t mean running off from your marriage and going on a hopeful journey of self-discovery. It can be simple things like going for a walk by yourself, going out to dinner by yourself or going on a small holiday or weekend trip by yourself.
We demand so much of ourselves and the harder we push, the longer we need to restore.
Don’t let your emotional well-being run dry before you recognise the need for alone time. Practise it regularly, and you will be a happier, kinder, healthier and more authentic person.
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