Does being alone have to mean loneliness? Not necessarily. In fact, there is a good chance we all could use a certain amount of solitude. How much time do you spend alone, and how do you use this solitude?
If you live with others, time alone may sometimes seem like a precious commodity. However, it is important that you arrange to have some time alone, now and then. Not just a few minutes or hours, either, but a significant chunk of time you can call your own, planned for and taken.
If you live alone, you may feel isolated and lonely. Perhaps you try to fill your time with company or busy-work to keep yourself distracted. With hundreds of cable channels and the endless labyrinth of the internet, it’s pretty easy to keep ourselves distracted.
However, solitude, if you use it wisely, presents some wonderful opportunities for self-knowledge and growth that you really can’t get in any other way. Time alone, spent positively and thoughtfully, gives us a chance to explore our own values, develop a personal philosophy, and discover what is really important to us, without having to contend with other people’s expectations.
Now, this isn’t something you can do in one sitting and it’s not necessarily easy, either. But it is exciting and meaningful, and when you ask yourself the right questions, the answers you come up with can change your life. For example, what contribution do you want to make to the world? What is missing in your life? What is there too much of? What are your passions, what really gives you joy? Where is your life out of balance? What would you like to accomplish before you die?
Perhaps now would be a good time to set aside some moments of solitude and let those things you’ve been pushing away – because you have told yourself that “I don’t have time right now” – come to the surface. Let go of any fear or trepidation. Give those things you’ve been pushing away some thought-time, and perhaps allow an insight or two to see the light of day.
Getting to know yourself takes time, but it’s almost a guarantee that the effort you make will be well worth it. Time alone, just to think, is priceless. You might even discover a new best friend.