“Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.” ~ Paul Brunton
There was a time when I wanted to be surrounded by people – a lot of them. I didn’t enjoy my own company so I guess I didn’t want to be alone. But as the years went by, as I learned to make peace with who I am, and as I discovered how to truly love and accept myself.
I began to realize that there’s great comfort in solitude. And that in fact, the more time I spend alone with myself, the more I enjoy my own company and the more love I seem to have, not just for my close friends and family, but for the whole world.
The Power of Solitude in a World That Is Afraid to Be Alone
“We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.” ~ Hermann Hesse
For me, solitude is freedom – freedom from social norms, freedom from self-imposed limitations, freedom from ignorance, freedom from everything that keeps you from being true to yourself, and freedom from living a life that has no purpose or meaning.
Solitude teaches you how to love and accept yourself fully, for who you are and for who you’re not.
The more you learn to love yourself, the easier it becomes to love the people around you. And the more you love the people around you, the better life gets.
Finding Yourself Through Solitude
Solitude has the power to teach you how to be true to yourself. How to no longer waste your time living someone else’s life and act as if everyone else’s needs are more important than yours.
“I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”~ Henry David Thoreau
Solitude puts you on a new and magical path where you learn to live your life from a place of truth, love and high integrity. A path where you learn how to love yourself as much as you want the world to love you. A path where you understand that the relationship you have with your Self is sacred! That’s why,
A lot of people think that if you love someone if you care about them, you have to be physically present in their lives. You have to always be near them. But what I realized is that at times, if you love people as much as you say you do, you’ll have to give them some space.
Solitude teaches you how to do that.
If you spend some time away from everything and everyone – to renew and replenish, to strengthen the relationship you have with your Self, to discover more about what your path and purpose in life – not only will you find the inner strength, courage, and confidence to live the life you came here to live, but you will also create space in your relationships for those you love to find themselves and be true to who they were created to be.
The relationships you have with the people in your life with your children, spouse, friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, etc., they are all important.
No doubt about it.
But so is the relationship you have with your Self. In fact, the way I see it, the relationship you have with your Self should be the most important relationship in your life.
Because only by loving yourself fully and only by being true to yourself can you love and be true to the people around you.
This isn’t about you being selfish. This isn’t about you not caring about other people.
Nothing like that! In fact, this is about you being true to yourself. This is about honoring yourself as much as you want others to honor you.
It’s about learning to love, accept and embrace all that you are, so that you can later inspire and empower others, through your own actions and behaviors, to do the same.
This is about honoring yourself as much as you want others to honor you. It’s about learning to love, accept and embrace all that you are, so that you can later inspire and empower others, through your own actions and behaviors, to do the same.
Khalil Gibran said it so beautifully:
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
You may be a parent, daughter, son, wife or husband, a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend. And even though at times you may be tempted to lose yourself completely in the process of serving and loving the people in your life, you need to remember that before being all of these things for all these people, you were your own unique and authentic Self.
“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible but the mark of a fake messiah.”~ Richard Bach
Your Self is who you are. Your Self is who you were created to be. And your Self is who you should always be!