The Magnificence of Solitude


Harini Devaguptapu, Staff Writer

Being alone is the state of being physically by yourself, versus when you are lonely you are feeling emotionally disconnected from others. Loneliness is paired with a sense of isolation, and an estrangement from others where you feel deficient in your ability to be with others. Loneliness is instilled in you without a choice, while you can choose to be alone.

Paul Tillich, a theologian, wrote in The Eternal Now, “Our language has wisely sensed these two sides of man’s being alone. It has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”

There will always be moments when you have to step back and take a second to spend some time with yourself. Being by yourself and having a good mindset can make you feel incredibly peaceful, and at the same time powerful. It helps build confidence and helps you be freer and know what you want. You get to know yourself a lot better when you are by yourself without being uneasy. We all need alone time to help us feel good. 

Amy Morin at Psychology Today states that studies have shown, “the ability to tolerate alone time has been linked to increased happiness, better life satisfaction, and improved stress management. People who enjoy alone time experience less depression.”

Wayne Dyer, an American author and motivational speaker, explains that “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” When you appreciate yourself, the hard work you’ve done, your experiences, and your feelings you can appreciate being alone, which is no longer being lonely because you have yourself. 

Being alone also stimulates and increases creativity in individuals. Studies have shown that you are more likely to produce your best work when you are alone. Steve Wozniak, an American engineer, who could only work best when he was alone said he worked best when “[he could] control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee.”

A lot of people choose to be alone at times, but that seems to get mixed with being lonely. When you want to be alone, where you want to work on something by yourself and focus on yourself for a moment, which doesn’t necessarily involve anyone else but yourself. I believe it’s okay to let that person breathe and take a second, giving them time to enjoy themselves and take a moment to think about whatever they need to do. This is a really good thing for that person, and giving them the space they need to do what they want increases respect and trust between people. Being able to understand their needs when necessary is important. 

“If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.” Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian lyricist, says. I believe this is crucial because as you spend more time with yourself, you end up learning more about yourself, your needs, your beliefs and values, and what you love. In turn, you become more confident in yourself. 

I love spending time with myself, and I quite enjoy doing it often. I am relaxed, content, and happy when I am by myself. Rather than loneliness, where you feel empty and yearn for human interaction, feeling unwanted, being alone is freeing and can make you feel incredibly powerful. People should be able to relish the feeling of being alone and choose to stay with themselves in moments when it’s necessary. When I am alone I prefer to journal. I love writing and I like to note down things that stand out to me, what I love and cherish, and things I find beautiful in this world. I also like to watch TV shows, and movies that are fascinating to me, and I write down meaningful things I find about them. I like to draw, color things, and crochet which brings me alone with my thoughts and helps me feel calm, and focused. I also like to go outside and soak in nature, and my surroundings. It brings me incredible comfort and helps me feel the elegance of the world around me. It helps me remember everything important to me. 

It is important to understand and regulate your feelings, and know when to give yourself the grace of spending time by yourself for a moment. It is also essential to be able to give that quality of time to people and recognize the wellness it gives them. Giving them a moment away from everyone else can bring them back happier and healthier. Being alone, and being lonely are completely different things and it’s important to take some time for yourself for self-growth. 

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