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  • Writer's pictureMichaela A de Guire

Do You Seek Solitude?

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

How do you feel about yourself when you are by yourself?

There is a little saying that goes like this, “you can love everyone on this planet and still hate yourself.” Isn’t that sad? It sounds sad to me. But to truly, fully, and deeply love another you need to first truly love yourself. To be who God has meant you to be, to live the life you are meant to, the purpose God has for you, you must first love yourself. To fully understand who you are, you must be comfortable being alone. Understanding, knowing, and loving yourself are all great benefits one discovers when solitude is found, and sought out frequently.

Being comfortable with yourself, your own thoughts, emotions, etc. is not to be confused as being lonely. Are you comfortable being alone, being by yourself, with only your own thoughts and emotions to keep you company? Can you be alone without feeling anxious? There is a difference between being by yourself, alone, and being lonely. Being lonely is not a healthy state of being. But being comfortable being alone with yourself is a healthy state of being.

Solitude is a good thing to seek out. It offers you the opportunity to be alone with your own thoughts. It helps you learn about who you are. It helps you understand your likes and dislikes, it helps you become the best you, the one God created you to be.

Are you Comfortable Alone?

How do you know if you are comfortable being alone?

Are you constantly looking for someone to be in your space? Are you always seeking external opinions or advice from others? Are you uncomfortable sitting in silence? Are you looking over your shoulder to talk with someone, even just a stranger? Are you anxious sitting in a restaurant alone? Are you filling the car with noise, music, podcast, audio books, etc.

Then darling, you are uncomfortable being with yourself, and sitting alone with your thoughts and emotions. You are uncomfortable beginning with you. It is time we look into ways you can grow into being alone and become comfortable with yourself.

Activities to Learn About Yourself

Here are a few things you can do alone, with yourself to learn about yourself.

  1. Take yourself out for a movie.

  2. Sit at a restaurant by yourself.

  3. Go for a hike.

  4. Take yourself out on a picnic.

  5. Go for a long drive.

  6. Do something you enjoy.

  7. Take a relaxing bath, with candles.

  8. Go to the beach.

  9. Go for a bike ride.

  10. Take a solo kayak trip.

Benefits of Solitude

The benefits of being comfortable being alone includes endless growth opportunities for you as an individual human being. You will get the opportunity to recharge, even if you are not an introvert who finds it difficult to be with other people for extended periods of time. When you are interacting with people you are reading their emotions, keeping them happy, making them laugh, etc.. Thus, being surrounded by people causes you to become mentally, emotionally and in some cases spiritually drained. So when you seek solitude you are inviting yourself to recharge from these events.

When you are alone you do not need to worry about making others laugh, reading their emotions, and all the other rigorous things we do when in the presence of others. Thus, when you are sitting alone with yourself you have an opportunity to reflect. To consider why you may have said, did, or didn’t say or do such and such with another human. You have a chance to reflect on your past experiences and learn from them so you are less likely to repeat the mistakes made. And more likely to repeat the successes.

So if you reflect more and learn about your mistakes and what not, then it only makes sense when you start to be more productive. Being in the space of other people can cause distractions. But also repeatedly making the same mistake can be a hindrance to your productivity. Imagine you actually put your head down knowing what you know and get a boat load of work done because you had the opportunity to reflect on your past experiences.

When you start spending more time with yourself you will unearth many emotions that you might have never otherwise discovered. You might even discover you rather enjoy being alone. You’ll gain perspective for your own emotions and better understand them and their origins.

"Solitude is a good thing to seek out. It offers you the opportunity to be alone with your own thoughts and emotions. It helps you learn about who you are deep inside." - Michaela de Guire

Another thing you will discover is activities that you personally enjoy doing. Not because someone told you that you like it, or because you had to compromise, but because it is something you actually love to do.

Here is a strange benefit for seeking out solitude, you’ll enjoy your relationships even more. You will deepen your emotional connection with other people. As you grow in loving yourself, and spending time with yourself you will soon discover you value the relationships you have with other people.

You will also find you feel more independent. Not that depending on others is a bad thing, but over-depending, such as using others as a crutch is not a healthy relationship to hold. However a natural tendency you will find as you become more comfortable beginning alone is the feeling of independence. You will find you do not have anxiety, or this burning desire for people to surround you. You will no longer be hastily looking for someone to speak with, spend the day with, or grab a bite to eat with because you don't mind being alone.

And the best thing you will find after becoming comfortable with yourself, with being alone, is you’ll stop looking for external validation. Validation from friends, family, or even strangers. You will become more confident in your own decisions. You will stop seeking advice for both big and small decisions for yourself. You will find you can do your own thing and be your own person. And you’ll be okay with any mistakes made along the way. Because you understand you are learning, and offer yourself (and soon other people) more grace and room to grow.

And thus, my darling friends, my question for you is do you seek solitude? And if so, how often? How long do you allow yourself solitude when you do find it?

Even growing up in a big family I sought out solitude and found it in places such as the backyard, the horse pasture, the vegetable garden, the flower garden, my bedroom (which I share with two sisters), the shower, a walk along the road (even in the winter if necessary). And, as I grew up I found it in the car, at the park, and of course, church.

Where do you seek to find solitude?

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