Everyone needs time alone. Everyone needs solitude. We cannot grow at a soul level without solitude. The soul cannot surface if we fail to distance ourselves from the noise of the world -the people, television shows, social networks, and the like. It is then, and only then, that inner growth occurs. However, there is a vast difference between solitude and loneliness. While solitude liberates us, loneliness weighs our soul down. It is a dark place which sucks positive energy out of us.
Loneliness is a negative state of mind marked by feelings of isolation, emptiness, and an undeniable urge to receive attention from another person -any person, anyone who will offer you attention and, more precisely, a means of once again escaping your own thoughts which you are forced to confront whilst alone.
Time alone demands we come face to face with our true selves. It is like our souls seeing a mirror. If we are at peace with ourselves, we will feel the same way when we are alone. If there is any negativity – sorrow, angst, unrest – inside of us, it will come out to haunt us in our alone time.
Loneliness is a negative state of mind, accompanied by the feeling of emptiness or isolation. Loneliness is subjective and a person may live a life in solitude or rather, socially perceived isolation and not feel lonely whereas another person with a great social life and the constant accompaniment of others may feel lonely. Loneliness instills negativity in our minds and in our lives, affecting our thoughts and subsequently, our attitude towards life. Loneliness is embedded in a sense of inadequacy, it heightens the feeling of remoteness with those around us.
Solitude on the other hand, may actually set us free- that’s the beauty of it. It allows us to shut ourselves out from the world and focus on ourselves and I mean, only ourselves. It’s relaxing our minds, letting our thoughts run wild, letting loose. Solitude can come in many forms, be it reading a book with a good cup of coffee or listening to your favorite music playlist.
Many people spend their entire lives “looking for themselves.” The truth is, we can travel to the furthest ends of the earth and still not find the selves we are looking for, as the self is always within us. Chances are, most of us are already aware of the kind of person we would like to become but we are scared of taking steps to become that. It is like we are waiting for someone or something – a life partner, friend, moment of realization – anything to push us in that direction. The harsh truth is, most of us will never receive this luxury. Or, even if we do, we may overlook it altogether!
Stephen Hawking famously said, “Although I cannot move, and although I cannot move and have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free.” If you try to understand the meaning behind these words, it pretty much sums up what freedom actually means. Humans are the cruelest brings on this planet, and sadly we are the hardest on ourselves. While our souls are meant to wander, we bound them through painful chains such as expectations, criticism, ego and what not! There is no worse thing than expectations, and we tend to have them way more often than we should. From ourselves, from people we love, from life, from the universe – everyone and everything. When those expectations are not fulfilled, we tend to fill our minds with negative thoughts. This is where loneliness stems from.
Sometimes all we desire is for the people around us to go beyond listening to our problems or uncovering how our day went but rather, look into our souls and understand us in ways others never did, to surpass conversing on superficial matters. We yearn for someone to actually make us feel like we’re not alone, and liberate us from the torture of being left with our thoughts slowly consuming us.
However, the reality is that we are our sole saviors and our worst enemy. If we can learn to stay positive and feel content with whatever the universe serves us with, we can conquer the wrath of loneliness and take a stride towards greater self-awareness.