Welcome to the continuation of our monthly discussion, the power of solitude. If this is your first article in the series, make sure you see the previous ones, so you can get the full detail of our discussion.
In today’s article, we will talk about The Importance Of Being Alone. So, let’s get started.
As once remarked by Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher, best known for his book, The World as Will and Representation, “A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free”.
I think this is a good place to start today’s reflection on the power of solitude. In the previous article in this series, we discuss at length about the general idea of solitude, so let’s go ahead and consider some of the importance of being alone and how to take advantage of it.
Social Media and Human Connection
By now, you too might have been going around with the illusion about social media that we are truly connected. Sad to say but it’s true that a lot of people count so much on the number of likes and share they have on their social media posts as if it were a replacement of their real human connection and the approval of what they represent.
Nothing can replace our actual human connection because we are social animals and this connection and collaboration are what has helped us to survive over the hundreds of thousands and millions of years of evolution. Otherwise, as human beings, we are not the smartest animals, the most powerful, the biggest, or the most intelligent animals to exist on earth. So, I am not here to dispute the importance of human connection. Not at all.
Having said that, the superficiality of social media does not replace that human relationship. Even more importantly, that kind of communication may end up hindering us from having meaningful intimacy with ourselves, I mean our individual selves.
Find Your Own Relevance So You Can Better Serve Others
For you to be relevant to a group or call it a community, in this case, you first need to be and be relevant as an individual, because you cannot serve others if you cannot serve yourself. And for you to develop your individuality, to tap into your inner strength, you need to learn how to detach yourself from the crowd and from time to time.
Being alone allows you to know who you truly are, in your strengths and weaknesses, and thus gives you the freedom to be reflective, to think for yourself. This is the moment you are able to connect to the infinite potential in the universe because you are not swayed by the beliefs, feelings, and the behaviours of those around you. You are firmed like a deeply rooted tree. Yes, find your relevance and remain unwavering in your unique personality.
Strive For Balance and a Purposeful Life
Being alone does not mean you should never ask for help when you need one or consult the opinions of others. No, it does not mean that. You can learn from other people and from everything around you. This is very important for your personal growth and to have a balance in life.
Even more important is to know your values upon which you base your judgment and your kind of interactions with the people and environment around you. You should never underestimate your values.
That is how you can lead a life of purpose; a life where you are in charge instead of simply following a crowd, thinking that the masses will eventually lead you to your destination. This is your life, chose your own course based on certain values you have given your pre-eminence. You heard me right. Choose to be alone sometimes. Now, what are the importance of that?
The following is an extract from a New York Time article, “Why You Should Find Time to Be Alone With Yourself”
“Choosing to spend time doing things by yourself can have mental, emotional, and social benefits, but the key to reaping those positive rewards comes from choosing to spend time alone. In a culture where we often confuse being alone for loneliness, the ability to appreciate time by ourselves prevents us from processing the experience as a negative thing.”
That is it. A lot of us think that being alone is or should be associated with negativity. But it’s wrong. Being alone, as we have discussed in the previous article, should not be confused with being lonely. For the sake of your mental and emotional stability, try to tap into the power of solitude from time to time and you will give yourself the freedom and possibility of a balanced and purposeful life.
How Do You Go About Being Alone?
Well, you may want to start small if being alone is something new to you. A good strategy could be to deliberately spend some moments all by yourself and from time to time.
Have you considered taking yourself out to a movie or a dinner? That can help, you know. Explore new places alone within your neighbourhood or at a relatively short distance from where you live. Build on these small strategies and they will soon become good habits to keep, especially as you begin to see the rewards.
Note that I am not saying these to discourage you from having relationships, friends, and family to be around or things like that. But like I have said earlier in this article, you cannot serve others, whether in a group or in private life if you cannot serve yourself.
You want to be in a relationship, fine. But what are you taking along with you to make it a meaningful relationship? Are you simply going to occupy a space, hoping that your partner will carry you on his or her shoulder, like a lifeless object with no mission to accomplished? You get the point.
Grow From Within, Tap Into The Power Of Your Solitude
There is no doubt that being alone allows you an abundance of opportunities to grow and become a better version of your yesterday. With no distraction and interference from other people, you are able to better tap into your inner self and reconnect with the universal power of oneness.
Learn from the Great Masters of our times, both past and present. Understand why they travel on solitary journeys to search into the depths of their being and to find answers to some of the challenges questions in their encounters.
Just like them, you too can have the same transforming experiences by being alone and choosing to go deeper about your life. This is where we will end this discussion today. The following article in the series is going to be even more interesting because we are going to consider “How to Embrace the Power of Solitude for Self-Discovering”. Make sure you check that out.
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