How do you feel when you are alone? Do you hanker for the company of others? Are you afraid of being alone? Do you desperately seek other people to fill that void you feel?
Or do you enjoy being alone? Are you one to immerse yourself in its tranquil space? Do you relish its freedom?
There are two experiences of being alone.
“Language…has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.”
– Paul Tillich
The question is, which is yours? Do you experience loneliness? Or do you experience solitude?
More importantly, why?
As for me, here are reasons why I enjoy the glory of solitude:
1. There is total freedom.
You can do anything without being judged by people.
No expectations, no telling you what you should do, no rules.
You can eat messy, no one will tell you to eat properly.
You can dance around like crazy, nobody will tell you to behave.
You can sing or shout out loud, no one will tell you to tone it down.
You can think whatever you want without having to censor it.
2. You can hear yourself – your intuition.
Beyond the noise of all other people, things, and events, one can hear what one truly thinks and feels.
This gives you the space in which you see your inner world. Going into oneself, you can see if you are staying true to yourself amidst the chaotic sea of influences.
When you hear yourself, that leads to a centering, a peace, a tranquility – because you are listening to the small still voice inside you.
Your intuition tells you if the things you are doing in your life feel right or feel wrong. And
3. You get to know the person whom you can know the most.
No one can get to know you as much as yourself. There is an impenetrable space in which only you can abide – your soul.
Even your closest friends cannot feel how you feel exactly or know what you think exactly.
But you can. Relish that you are the best (or the worst) company that you can ever have.
You are the person whom you will know (and be known by) in the deepest way possible. It is a most intimate relationship.
4. Communion leads to depth in communication.
How many are those who know about all that is happening in the outside world – being updated with all the news and getting to talk to a large number of people – but don’t know what’s happening in the inside world?
Communication is done with the rest of the world. But only with ourselves can we hold communion. No words need be spoken.
Thoughts are seen. Emotions are felt. Being is.
Are we communicating just for the sake of communicating with others? Or are we communicating the depths which we have reached through our inner communion?
The more we commune with ourselves, the deeper we can communicate with others.
I don’t just talk for the sake of talking. I talk out of the depths which I have discovered inside me.
Do you want that too? Try being alone more.
How do you feel about being alone?