Solitude Makes You Whole
In a world where extraversion reigns, we place a lot of importance on doing things with others. All. The.Time. Calendars bursting with parties, dinners, networking events, and club meetups assure us that we have full, busy lives. We are so scared of being alone because that we tend to think that going places and doing things alone are weird, and kind of sad, right? People must be thinking “Don’t you have friends?” We are so afraid to be alone because that means we might have to face ourselves straight on. And that’s not always pretty. But it is necessary.
Whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, we all need time alone. What that looks like might vary from person to person. Maybe that alone time is your early morning walk, a train ride somewhere new, or sitting in your garden enjoying a silent glass of tea. We all need this time to develop and strengthen the relationship we have with ourselves.
When you’re alone, you have quiet time to reflect on the feelings we so often sweep to the side. We use our friends to vent about tough things that come up in our life, but we usually don’t get to the core feeling. Once we become accustomed to actually feeling our feelings, we began to learn about who we are, who we are becoming, what our values and priorities are. When we began to understand these things, we can develop compassion for ourselves, and become our own best friend. We can begin to see that our worth, our validation, our joy ultimately doesn’t come from outside of ourselves. We are already complete.
Not only does solitude help you build a relationship with yourself, it strengthens your relationships with other people. The awareness that you develop can be used to be present and aware in your interactions with others. Your authenticity will show in your relationships, and maybe encourage others to be more open and authentic with you.
Traveling alone can give you the space and the solitude you need to began to develop this relationship with yourself. It could be a simple weekend trip to the coast, or a 6 month soul searching journey across Asia. Whatever it is, you will allow yourself the time to learn more and more how to be more aware of your feelings, learn about who you are, and develop a sense of self that doesn’t rely on others’ opinions and voices; a self that is complete and does not need to be constantly surrounded by others to feel valuable and whole.