The Joys of Solitude

Self-reliance


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Like most important  learning  experiences, solitude is full of pain. No state of life can sour more easily. We must use both craft and courage to prevent it from doing so.

1. Don’t feel sorry for yourself:

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Nothing separates us from others as quickly as self – pity. The risk for all of us who live alone is that our feelings may become the most important thing in our lives. we may brood responding to them we may glorify “the way it used to be” and give little heed to the life we are now living.

Although it is not easy, you must contrive in your solitude to love life and people dearly. Remember, you will not always feel as you do now. It is impossible to exaggerate the resilience of the human spirit.

2. Search out the joys of solitude:

I have heard lonely  people  say: “Nothing good ever happens to me”. You will not think so if you keep a journal! Each day in my journal I list  my special joys: “Today a friend called and brought me an unexpected gift. I took a  long walk and came back feeling rejuvenated”. Looking back over the pages, I can  watch  myself growing, and discover  how unpredictable and wonderful life can be.

3. Accept your solitude as a time to grow:

The trouble with many unhappy, lonely people is that they can see no significance  in their solitude. Our lives are and ought to be, like the seasons and the weather, a movement in and out of the sun and shadow, rain and aridity. Solitude is not an interval to be endured. Rather it is related  to our lives as a link to a chain. It is – if we will let it be  – a time to grow; a time to see the past and the future directions of our lives.

4. Accept your solitude:

Do not think of it as either temporary or permanent, but rather as just here, to be dealt with now. Perhaps you will live alone the rest of your life  – and you  must be ready for that. But if there is something you want – marriage, a new kind of work, new friends – change the longing into being worthy of these things when and if they come.

5. Deepen your life:

Turn everything to account,   to understanding. This is the special virtue of solitude. The power of life  comes from within; go there. Pray, meditate. Reach for those luminous places in yourself where, for most of your life, you have been a stranger.

6. Love, respect and enjoy yourself:

Do not castigate yourself for guilts that may have contributed to your loneliness. Rest, eat well, sleep. And give yourself rewards, surprises, joys. Say to yourself: “I have been hurt. I will allow myself a break comfort”.

Given a choice, few people  would choose solitude  as a permanent state. As Christopher Fry says: “No  man is free  who will not dare to pursue the questions of his own loneliness. It is through them that he lives”.

All of us are solitaries even when we live in a house full of people. Everyone is born alone, finds the meaning of his life alone, goes to his death  alone. The important thing is to live with ourselves with courage, humility and beauty.

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