March 31    

Today's quotation:

Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.
If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.

Paulo Coelho
Manuscript Found in Accra

Today's Meditation:

I really enjoy being with other people, especially people with whom I get along well, but I also love solitude.  I find it to be a wonderful experience to spend time alone, without external noises and voices, simply enjoying the peace and quiet or writing or running or doing one of the so many things that we can do much better on our own.

I've known many people who fear solitude, who seem to feel that if they're alone, they've somehow failed because other people don't want to be around them.  For this reason they avoid solitude, which is a bit of a shame because they never experience the healing and the rejuvenation that can come from being on one's own--not to mention the creativity that can arise from being alone with our thoughts.

When I'm alone, I can follow thoughts through to a deeper level than I can when I'm with others, who tend to shift the focus whether we want it shifted or not.  I can spend time walking or reading without interruptions that cause me to lose my train of thought, or to think about things about which I don't particularly want to think.  And these thoughts are all very important to me.

It's nice to be alone.  It's also nice to be with other people, but for many of us the balance shifts to the latter in ways that are very stressful, and "deliberately seeking" the former is a good way to help ourselves be balanced and to understand ourselves much, much better.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people seem to avoid solitude?

What are some benefits of solitude that you personally have experienced?

How can we carve out even short periods of solitude in our daily lives?

For further thought:

Deliberately seeking solitude--quality time spent away from family and friends--may seem selfish.  It is not.  Solitude is as necessary for our creative spirits to develop and flourish as are sleep and food for our bodies to survive.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

more thoughts and ideas on solitude



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