Loneliness can be scary. You don’t necessarily need an isolated environment to feel lonely. It could be that you have a family and some friends, and yet, loneliness can hit you like cold water. In fact, this kind of loneliness can make a person feel guilty, simply because it’s expected from us that if we have a few people around us, we are not supposed to feel lonely.
But we do. And there’s no shame in accepting that.
Loneliness crops up due to the fact that we are not comfortable with sharing time with ourselves.
Deep down, we measure our self worth with the people who are around us. We also crave for their approval. But all these things serve merely as distractions.
The fact is, we don’t value ourselves enough; we don’t give ourselves the same approval. That’s why we seek people who can fulfill the innate needs of our inside world.
But there is no human or thing in this world which can fill the void inside us. Ultimately, we have to take the responsibility for the peacefulness of our inside world otherwise other people would only serve as distractions. And remember, we may crave distractions, but we cannot love them.
Solitude, on the other hand, is about being comfortable with your own feelings and emotions. Instead of seeking peace outside of yourself, you seek tranquility within yourself.
Solitude allows you to be like a flowing river. Instead of feeling lonely, you find joy in being on your own, doing your thing.
In the beginning, you might need to take deliberate steps to establish solitude. And there might be times when you’d slip into the trap of loneliness, but slowly, solitude would replace loneliness as your natural state.
Here are the ways through which you can learn to turn your loneliness into solitude:
Build Your Life Around Your Hobbies
You might like cooking, gardening, travelling or some other hobby. Try to dedicate as much time to your hobbies as you can. And the best thing is, you can also turn your hobbies into paying or non-paying jobs.
For example, if you love reading books, you can start reviewing them. If you like singing, record your songs and upload them on soundcloud or Youtube. There are numerous ways through which you can make your life grow around your hobbies without needing another person to engage you.
You don’t necessarily need to read fiction books, as you can also opt for non-fiction or self-help books. The point is, you must indulge in gaining knowledge.
There is a lot of wisdom available around us, and we must try to expand our mind. Books serve as a great medium.
I love reading spiritual books because they help me to understand the reality of my existence. On the other hand, fictional books help me to put myself in the shoes of other characters and develop empathy.
There are a lot of questions and feelings inside us which are unexplored, and reading books can help us to make sense of at least a few of them.
Journal Your Feelings
The main reason I have started this account is to journal my feelings and spiritual path. We need to comprehend our muddled thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t matter if you are writing it in a secret diary or on a blog for the whole world to see, but you must try to express yourself.
In fact, writing is not the only medium to express yourself. You can sing, paint or even write jokes.
You just need to keep getting everything out of your system.
Step Out of Your House
Staying stuck inside your room can increase the feeling of loneliness and depression because it gives us enough time to indulge into negative emotions. Some sun and fresh air can do wonders for your mood.
Go out and sit in the park or in the nearby market area. Perhaps, take a book along. But stay away from internet and social media.
The main motive of this step is to allow you to learn to be on your own, without any distraction. Look at the people passing by, stroll around and notice the little actions around you like the laughter of a kid or the chirping of the birds.
Be of Service to Others
Whenever we are busy in helping others, our problems suddenly fly away from our mind. That’s the beauty of service. It gives you a chance to look at the world with a kind eye.
You can either teach poor kids or donate your clothes. But being of service to others is not just about charity. There are so many amazing forums available on the internet. Choose the one which speaks to your soul and start answering the queries of people.
Websites like 7 Cups gives you a chance to be a compassionate listener and lend an ear to anyone in need.
Solitude is all about learning to be peaceful in your little space. That’s why we must continuously pursue those actions that give us plenty of time to understand our own inner world.
Solitude is not about sitting alone in a room. It’s about sitting alone anywhere, and yet knowing that you don’t need a better company than your own. It’s about sharing yourself with another person without needing them to be your distraction.
Solitude is a selfless way of life.