Friday, November 30, 2012

" Solitude ... "

In my solitude
You haunt me
With dreadful ease
Of days gone by

In my solitude
You taunt me
With memories
That never die

I sit in my chair
And filled with despair
There's no one could be so sad
With gloom everywhere
I sit and I stare
I know that I'll soon go mad

~ Billy Holiday ~ Solitude ~

There are times when we need a variety of ways to cope with life pressures.  The need for balance and some sense that we are still steering the ship of our life.  Otherwise we feel overloaded and we overreact.  One way is by seeking solitude.

But it is important to know the difference between solitude and loneliness, because they are often confused for one in the same.  They may look alike because they are characterized by solitariness.  But that is the only thing they have in common.

solitude restores your mind and body, 
loneliness depletes them 

So what is loneliness? ... it is a marked by a sense of isolation and a negative place.  When you are lonely you feel like something is missing.  And perhaps the most bitter form of loneliness is when you are with people but still feel it.

Solitude on the other hand is a state of being alone without feeling a loss of something or someone.  It is a positive place where one can engage in something constructive.  It can be desirable as you provide yourself what you need, by yourself.

Solitude: an opportunity to refresh, replenish and renew ourselves 

Ideally, if you had to choose a state, solitude is your best bet.  Solitude can be a time that is used for reflection, inner searching or growth.  Activities such as meditation, in-depth reading, experiencing the beauty of nature and even creativity requires solitude.  

Solitude: a means of enjoying the quiet and whatever it brings 
that is satisfying, from which we can draw sustenance 

But the trap is falling into loneliness ... a state of discontent, a sense of estrangement, a place of deficiency.  And worse, loneliness can lead to depression.  One way to view it is loneliness is imposed on you where is solitude is something you choose.  

Personally speaking, I have struggled between the two.  At times craving solitude, only to have it turn into loneliness and deep depression.  I am slowly learning not to be ashamed when I need a hand up, when I need to reach out, and when I need to ask for help.  

On the positive side, I am learning to be okay with solitude.  I am understanding solitude gives me time to know myself.  It is a counterpoint to intimacy.  It allows me to have a self worthy of sharing.  If I can catalogue my thoughts without having to filter them through other people’s opinions, I think more clearly and regain perspective.  Things don't seem as overwhelming, I stop grasping and clutching and controlling and allow the flow of life to happen.

The key for me is to have a peaceful atmosphere surround me and let my free will inspire my feelings of serenity without the fear of loneliness taking over.  It’s really about giving myself the time to develop a closer relationship with me, and that time is coming ... 

solitude pain with deep calm hope pastel by Prasenjeet Chakraborty

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