“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” ~ Oscar Wilde
I’ve noticed that many people don’t like solitude. As if, by spending a few minutes or hours alone, they will be alone forever. Being alone is not the same thing as being lonely.
All man’s miseries,’ wrote Blaise Pascal, ‘derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone’ A French mathematician, Mr. Pascal probably did the statistics and was spot on. Even before technology. . .before smartphones. . .handheld gaming systems. . . and Google, the distaste for quietness reigned supreme.
Is it fear? Anxiety? Discomfort? Are our thoughts so scary that being left alone with them is a fate worth avoiding? Or is it a fear of feeling?
In my post, The Sensual Life, I wrote about how my senses come alive in the relative quiet of solitude. Once experienced, accepted and even welcomed, being alone is not lonely. It helps introverts such as myself to refuel.
Zaid Dahhaj summed it up quite nicely — “If you like yourself, you have no problem with being alone. When you accept yourself completely, you’ll enjoy having quiet time away from all the external noise. You’ll feel happy when alone and also when surrounded by other people.”
My challenge to you in the first month of 2019 is to take a few moments, maybe 10 minutes each day, to spend time alone — with your thoughts, with your senses, without your smartphone. Thirty-one days — can you do it?